I am moved by Lady Percy 's expression of love. CLICK HERE - see if you agree.
Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
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Monday, 17 November 2014

At least it's not whingeing

 The old discuss age - or their maladies. This must cease.

How about double-glazing? The phrase is as unevocative as double-digging (gardening), double-entry (book-keeping), double-fault (tennis) and double-talk (conversation). A dull domestic necessity, frequently misunderstood. Many Trollope-readers imagine such windows mysteriously generate heat. They think the same about thermostats. It isn't true.

We have just been re-double-glazed. One unexpected side-effect is the house is quieter. Passing cars make less noise (Not true; less noise gets through.) Not surprising - the gap between the two sheets of glass is twice as wide as that in the old windows. And air is a poor conductor of both sound and heat. But no, I'll not be technoid.

Double-glazing encourages fantasy. The windows and the door fit tightly. Were the house to be carried away in flooding I am pleasingly reassured it would float. Yes, that's untrue too but we may dream, may we not?

The handles are more substantial, more akin to those on safes. They clunk shut. I feel less vulnerable (no, not that; it relates to age), Aroused - sexually, if you like - by something that works well. I go to sleep expecting erotic dreams. There's a bonus.

JOE’S NUDGE
In memory of JH who encouraged poetry in me

TO THE LORD HIGH TREASURER
My Lord, Poor wretched States, prest by extremities,
Are fain to seek for succours and supplies
Of Prince’s aids, or good men’s charities.

Disease the Enemy, and his engineers,
Want….


Reasons why. Initially the outmoded language charms. Re-read, especially the first two lines, it’s poetry: succinct and rhythmic. And emotional. That beautifully expressed (yet horrific) sentiment – want as an engineer of disease. Who can this be?

Ben Jonson

7 comments:

Avus said...

Hmmmm.........double glazing and well-fitting, chunky doors are wont to arouse your sexuality, R.R.? Whatever does it - well done!
Motorcycles could once do that for me - memories...........

Lucas said...

These lines ring with that strange old modernity which is like a slap in the face. Political and aware and as you say it scans. thanks for this.

mike M said...

Are you sure that's "air" between the panes? Argon is often used nowadays. Original insulated glass unit patented in 1865 by Thomas Stetson in the U.S.

Stella said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roderick Robinson said...

Avus: It's the sheer sensualism generated by the action of the window handles. The gradually increasing resistance followed by the "give" followed by the "clunk". I experienced a similar reaction using the winker switch on my BMW (car); again the action was divided into three parts, the aim being to communicate to the driver, by tactile methods, that the switch had done its job. The likely reason for these pleasurably transmitted sensations is that both mechanisms were designed to feel "human".

Lucas: Nail on the head! There's no loss of impact via the obsolescent languiage. As I implied I had absolutely no idea who the poet was; my first reaction on finding out was to say to myself "But he's a playwright." Of course it was pure ignorance on my part. Jonson seems to have been as well-known for his poetry as his plays. Subtly Joe's influence is helping to educate me.

MikeM: You are of course right. In my own defence I can only say - as I said in the post - that it wasn't my intention to wax technoid about the windows. I now recall the subject being raised on my first encounter with the company. Though I don't remember argon being mentioned, rather some other inert gas. But I may have got that wrong too.

Commenter-who-deleted: Alas your communication is there for me to see in my email inbox. It's especially interesting given I am pretty sure I know why you wrote the comment in the first place, and then why you deleted it. Please don't agonise: you are still held in my warmest affection.

Stella said...

You have already divined that I was wondering if you (Brits in general) have been suffering with single glazing all these years and then I went back to read you were RE-double glazing. I should have enquired about heating systems.......this sounds as though you've just emerged from the Stone Age.......do y'all now have central heat or those tidy little electric wall heaters I see in the shelter magazines? Credit given for your balmy winter temps. You'd wonder who would remain in this country where it was -5 with a wind chill today.

Roderick Robinson said...

Stella: After we'd been in the USA for six years an event occurred which led me to write the following sonnet 45 years later:

Pittsburgh, Christmas 1971

I waited, knowing the festivities
Would choke the flow of transatlantic calls,
Delays which brought their own blank auguries,
A prelude to the saddest of farewells.

“Ah… yes…,” my brother said, quite languidly,
Languor that looked for comfort in delay.
But what he added lacked necessity,
The link was cut and youth had gone astray.

She died within a distant older place
I’d left behind with callow eagerness,
Yet unrestrained by any false embrace,
Encouraged, taught, with chances of success.

She wrote, I write, but here’s the difference
No letters, now, to foil my ignorance.


In the New Year I went back to the UK for the funeral, stayed for a fortnight, visited various relations and friends (including Joe), came back and decided for all sorts of reasons it was time to return permanently to the UK. We stayed with VR's parents, looked for a house and saved our money. Saved for what? Central heating! That fortnight in the wintry UK - probably quite mild by Pennsylvania standards - proved to me there would be no more UK nights spent putting on pullovers and woollen socks. Proper gas-fired central heating, no more bloody open fires. I have blogged about this several times.

Since 1972 double-glazing has improved enormously - not just in terms of thermal protection. It was these incidentals, these unexpected details I was striving to celebrate.

I fear I wouldn't consider Canada even with central heating and double-glazing. I am simply too frail.