When Stringer and I were in France for our wonderful Magical History Tour of 2004, one of the gîtes we stayed at was in the beautiful little town of Montrésor, in the département of Indre-et-Loire and the région of Centre: the pigeonnier in this shot is just outside Montrésor.
He took almost all the photos during our travels – an unsurprising thing, what with his being a Stills Photographer … :-) So he always had a weather eye out for a lovely new veduta (I apologise for introducing Italian into this French story; but I don’t have a French equivalent for that perfectly descriptive word).
And he loved taking shots of the sky – I have many beautiful and impressive cloud formations over glorious spreads of French countryside in the image files. But it’s this one that speaks most directly to me: it is indeed my personal interpretation of ‘horizon’. So many things the carry meaning for me come from la belle France …
See all that? – the pride of my life, these days. It’s what I refer to as ‘my setup’ (and you can see it much better if you click on the little image). It comprises my utterly wonderful Gaggia Classic, my Sunbeam EM0450 grinder – now selling for roughly half the price it was when I bought it 2 years ago! – my Grindenstein knockbox and my CoffeeParts tamper. As well, that nice brown bag contains almost a kilo (I’ve already had two cups this-morning) of Nicaragua RFA beans from my mate Jenny, who keeps me supplied with approx. monthly deliveries of truly terrific coffee. Sighh … Just to look at it all makes me happy.
I think almost daily of how much pleasure Stringer would’ve derived from it all …
This-morning, it being a second Saturday, I disassembled the relevant parts of the Gaggia for the purpose of cleaning the showerhead holder area. I extracted, without too much difficulty, the holder’s gasket and, having cleaned inside using an old head in my electric toothbrush (!), put in a new gasket. After reassembly I cleaned out the grinder – to the extent I can – by applying a little stiff brush to the nozzle’s innards (once having bashed it on the sides to dislodge as much leftovers as poss.), wiped down the inside of the bean hopper with a clean cloth and filled it with NEW BEANS. I like to do this every two weeks (not counting replacing the gasket, that is); because it’s the kind of routine I love and it means that all the coffee experts by whom I seem to be surrounded can’t crap on me.
A couple of years ago, my very oldest friends gave me a large amount of dosh for a birthday, specifically meant to buy a replacement espresso machine, for the little Spidem was showing very distinct signs of ageing (like its owner). So the Gaggia Classic started it all off, and all the other things were then purchased.
I joined a coffee forum, surprisingly enough an American one, and they all proved incredibly helpful and kind and friendly. I am known thereon (a self-applied nick) as ‘The Gaggia Classic Halfwit’.
I can’t remember how I managed without my setup, now. I suppose I get through 5 or 6 coffees a day – sometimes but not often more – and as Jenny is aware of my taste in coffee and takes care to send me beans she knows I’ll like, it looks very much as though I’ll be drinking at least this much coffee till the end of my days.
If any of you saw my favourite film ever, Galaxy Quest, you may recognise that heading as a quote. There you go – a trivia question: what was the scene in which it was said …?
But that’s not my topic, here: I’m actually referring to the WordPress Help staff, and my heart bleeds for them.
Who’d want to be on the receiving end of queries from me that are often grumpy and usually at a level that most bloggers would laugh at?
WordPress and M.R.
I had a WP blog about a year ago, and I spent quite a lot of time learning the software and creating the site to my satisfaction. But it was too soon: no good blogging at that point in time, as I couldn’t justify the site’s existence. Not then.
Now it’s a different story, and there’s a genuine reason for doing this. But, of course, I’ve forgotten almost everything I knew about WP, and am having to learn it all over again – as well as learn some new stuff. :-\
I hope readers will bear with me as I move slowly through this relearning process. Who knows? – I might even give you a few laughs, involuntarily, because there’s so much to do, and I need to do it a.s.a.p. I know, I know: more haste, less speed; and with me that’s always a truism, for I’m an impatient woman.
Onwards and upwards. And even I don’t know the source of that one.
It’s out there somewhere, giving up its beautiful little voice …
Such a calm morning, this fine Saturday; still bushfire smoke on the horizon, but not very much, now. I can’t bring myself to turn on ABC morning television for an update – it’s always simply more of the same. If I had to watch one more reporter (I refuse to call them ‘journalists’) asking someone who’s just lost everything “So how did you feel when you saw that your home was completely destroyed?”, I’d only scream.
Sydney really is my home. I’ve tried going away from it before, and it didn’t work – and then, I didn’t know what it meant to me until after I’d left. Now I must admit to myself that if I were ever to have to leave Sydney again, I’d just fade away for lack of … her? Is Sydney a she? You know, I can’t think of this city as being female … Surely Sydney is a big, brash bloke, sometimes cruel, sometimes loud and often loving (nothing like my bloke – he was never anything but loving). Yes, I feel as if I must refer to my city as ‘he’ … and I don’t know if I’ve ever come across that before …
Having just gone through my local photos, I find there isn’t a single one that shows this area as it now looks. THEY have done so many terrible things to this little suffering suburb that it changes almost weekly. No-one seems to give a damn – although there are very probably other ancients like me, who’ve lived here for much longer than my 21 years, who care even more deeply about the way Pyrmont has almost disappeared under the facade of Progress. Oh, I do so loathe Progress!
In the name of history, and for the sake of that little bird’s beautiful song – sounding still, but faint in the peaceful sky – I give you an idea of what it was like ’round here, many moons ago. It will never be even remotely like this ever again.
If you click on the image, and then once more, your browser will show you a full-size version – so big you have to scroll around it – taken at much this time of morning, but with no bird singing …