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Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Who's for new? Not I

Getting older means fewer opportunities to do something new - you've tried most things that tempt you. This isn't necessarily a bad thing.

I recently replaced the seat on the downstairs loo. I've done this before so it wasn't new. But a day later one of the plastic buffers between seat and porcelain detached itself and disappeared. Flushed into oblivion no doubt.

VR complained, Said she felt unsafe, sitting there, rocking.

I improvised with four door-stops. I re-shaped them then needed four washers. Found them - just four! The work took less than an hour. Lav-seat buffers are new to me and, briefly, I was able to give old age the finger.

But you see what I'm reduced to. Lav-seat buffers aren't viable cocktail party chat. Many cocktail drinkers wouldn't admit to sitting on a lav-seat even in their own home.

OK. Old age may deny us the new, but it may also encourage us - beneficially - to distrust it.

Here at Chez Robinson books flow, helping VR to meet her annual target of 230 titles. I read hardly any of them. Yet I still read.

Waiting on my Kindle is a new translation of Proust's A La Recherche Du Temps Perdu and an illustrated (!) version of Joyce's Ulysses. Aha, you say, many people have unread Proust and Joyce on their Kindle. But I've done the former three times and the latter (I think) four times. I look forward to doing both again.

So, you snarl, I’m just boasting. Maybe. My problem is I'm unconvinced anything new will stack up. I lack the energy to waste time on disappointment. Both these books are good - if difficult - reads with more to reveal. Watch as I adopt the foetal position.

12 comments:

mike M said...

That's quite a bit of unreading! Re sensitivity to chat about using "the throne", we Appalachians simply draw the line at "eating in the bathroom."

Sir Hugh said...

Well, I suppose you had an odds on bet that I would rise to this one.

Bravo! That looks a half decent job. Just to be pernickety, you could have filled the old holes with plastic wood, sanded down and revarnished. But then the sheen would never have matched, so you would have needed to do the whole unit before fitting your door stops. I hope the washers were non-ferrous.

Ellena said...

Just aim well and you won't have to worry about washers.

Roderick Robinson said...

MikeM: Ah, but do you discuss among yourselves the whys and wherefores of that drawn line? Etiquette is one thing, retrictions on conversations are another.

I didn't realise you qualified as an Appalachian. Do you celebrate that in any way?

Sir Hugh: I had four washers that fit. So I wasn't going to be pernickety about their metallurgy.

Ellena: Yes, but I'm aiming at targets I've hit in the past. Might I be considered unadventurous, a wimp, a person who "hears the fleas cough"? (A saying which was born in Austria.)

Do you re-read books? If so, what's your range of languages?

Ellena said...

I occasionally re-read books. The very last one is "A tree grows in Brooklyn". I wanted to know why it spoke to me so loud at age 16/17. My language range? German, French, English, Greek. The first three I speak-write-read. Greek I understand more than I speak and vaguely remember First Grade in Athens.
I have now reached the stage where I need to open all of my language drawers to search for the word I need when having a conversation. And and and it sucks.

mike M said...

Well within the Appalachian mountain range, but on the northern fringe of what's recognized as "cultural" Appalachia. No special date is designated for celebration of our heritage, but round after round of county fairs and "wheel days" mark the summer. The focus is on tractors and trucks competing to pull gargantuan weights a short distance on a dirt track (hear horses breath great sighs of relief), and most festivals build toward the final evening's event, the demolition derby. The grounds are generally tidy, but large crowds demand the use of Porta-Potties to augment the regular latrines. Discussions re pin worms are not only allowed, but recognized as vital. We don't use the term much here in Appalachia, but I believe outsiders refer to our celebrations as "Appalling."

Blonde Two said...

With such sturdy and comfortable looking loo seat supports (I have support envy), VR will not need to interrupt her impressive reading schedule for "comfort moments".

I once dropped my mobile phone down the loo and wonder if anyone has ever lost their Kindle in that way.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

Enough with the old-age thing already! (Brooklyn accent required to read or say this). Upgrading a wonky toilet seat is clever. Whatever age the DIY person. I leave it to you to work out why I'm bothered by old age references in any context.
Good job, by the way.

Roderick Robinson said...

MikeM: By outsiders I take it you mean smartyboots residents of the East coast. Whose own celebrations are reduced to visits to the lav, there to manipulate credit card and powder.

I was completely misled by pin worm. Given you are a techie I imagined it might be a compressed synonym for crown wheel and pinion. Wiki brought me up to speed and again you Appalachians come out tops compared with those to the east whose only equivalent conversation, once out of the lav, consists of bemoaning septum subtraction.

Blonde Two: Both of us have Kindles; both of us read extensively in the bath (an hour at a stretch); neither of us has ever dropped a book in the bath (over many decades); yet neither of us reads our Kindle therein. Both of us are atheists yet reading a Kindle in the bath is seen as tempting a Malign Presence to have sport with us.

I am horrified about the loss of your mobile and speculate about the word you uttered when you saw it bubble down to Neptune. Was it the same word pilots utter - recorded for eternity on black boxes - seconds before they return to earth violently in a crash?

Natalie: Sounds like censorship - all things should be grist to our mill. Besides, although I'm long-winded about it, the point I make is that old age has its benefits even if some are unexpected: that novelty, of itself, is often a chimera.

Ellena said...

Haha - slapped my forehead after realizing that I should aim at getting a range booster for some areas of my brain.
Just proved that I'm not a robot. Learned to spell sphere

Roderick Robinson said...

Comment actually supplied by MikeM - but followed by a huge blank space. Hence deletion and reinstallation.

By "septum subtraction" I can only guess you mean rhinoplasty. Wouldn't it be a pretty drastic job to get all the way into the nasal septum? I know mirror gazing is considered a primary toilet function, but are you referring to a septum related to even more basic loo activities? I don't want to turn this thread into the literary equivalent of a worm infestation, but I'm puzzled.

Roderick Robinson said...

MikeM: Rhinoplasty is the re-shaping of the nose. Septum subtraction is the end-result of inhaling too much coke; the septum, the fleshy wall which divides the nostrils, eventually disappears.