No, this is not an ironic comment on the weather – and, yes, I am now nearly dry again after my earlier cycle trip into Cambridge, thanks for asking. In fact, having a colleague in Brisbane and friends in Christchurch, I find it surprisingly easy to place the modest harm done to me by the earth into its proper context.
Instead, this post will be about windows (and, once again I will eschew the sitting duck that is Microsoft’s most (in)famous product). To make sense of the title in this context, you might like to imagine your interlocutor strumming at a banjo ukelele and wearing a flat cap while transmitting Lancastrian charm at you through the aether.
Fish Towers, in common with many other UK properties following the repeal of the window tax, has a number of glass filled openings in its brick facade. At the time of their installation these might well have been clean – but in the somewhat more than 4 years since, the only cleaning they have received has been coincidental when a passing zephyr has hurled raindrops (or, maybe whiskers on kittens in very stormy weather) at their increasingly dirty outer surface.
My failure to clean the windows has had a number of consequences, including reduced light transmission to the interior spaces of Les Tours de Poisson and has (along with the state of my knob-free and really rather modest front door) been a major obstacle to my appointment as head of the Queen’s Navy (a position apparently referred to as 1SL). To be scrupulously fair, recruitment practices for the higher echelons of the senior service may have changed since Victoria was on the throne – though looking at much of modern politics, I fear the changes may not have been “improvements”.
However, this has now all changed, for yesterday I engaged the services of an artisan window cleaner who in a matter of minutes removed four years of accumulated filth from the windows at Fish Towers. This was all a very modern process – disappointingly no use of ladders, squeegee, vinegar or brown paper (or was that for dealing with broken crown injuries?) – and now light can enter my demesne without the photons having to rely on quantum tunnelling to breach the layer of dirt which previously coated the oriels and lancets of Fish Towers (readers should very much imagine it as a more upmarket version of Castle Gormenghast).
The only downside to a clean outer surface to my windows is that it tends to highlight the rather distressed state of the obverse side – but I think I will leave tackling that particular project for another day (or decade). This is not down to apathy on my part, but I will need to let my eyes and skin adjust slowly to the increased exposure to the light if I am to avoid injury.
Whilst thinking about windows, I was reminded of eyes traditionally being considered as their analogue in respect of the soul. Given that other operating systems are available, I wonder if some would consider the eyes to be the Snow Leopard or Red Hat (not of Pat Ferrick) of the soul these days?