Turned Out Nice Again!

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?

4 thoughts on “Turned Out Nice Again!

  1. Semibreve says:

    Do you at least have a big round hand? And how are you off for cousins and aunts? Do you have an elegant sufficiency to make up for the shortfall in multiple sisters?

  2. Stuart Ffoulkes says:

    When I was young, I did indeed have a big round hand – and blonde hair, like spun gold it was. However, in my early teens, my big round hand was considered to be holding me back (by my mother, I think) and so almost overnight my handwriting was changed to the rather tiny, crabbed style which it retains to this day. The blonde hair also fell by the wayside – to be replaced by a sort of mousey brown number which I continue to wear to this day (though now it has to be “helped” to retain this colour against the ravages of time, and so the option to return to the spun-gold look is always there).

    It is possible to establish an isomorphic relationship between my sisters and aunts (and neither would run to a second digit in binary). Only in the most ascetic of households would the number of either be considered an elegant sufficiency – though, if I’m honest, I have never particularly pined for a greater volume of aunts or sisters (though, in my youth, I did have a rather fine complement of great aunts – sadly now all gone to their eternal reward).

    Counting cousins is more difficult – given the possibility of including mth cousins n times removed, then for suitable m and n I might be able to muster a decent number. However, for m and n both equal to one, I have only four cousins and only half of those are of the distaff persuasion and so might be of comfort to me in my dotage (which I plan to start at the earliest possible opportunity!).

    Should I make it to the position of 1SL, I think I would have to introduce a number of honorary positions for aunts and/or cousins. I’m sure I could glean some enjoyment from the recruitment process…

  3. Semibreve says:

    You may be thinking of nieces rather than aunts, I fear.

    An elderly Major General of my acquaintance had a wonderful range of nieces who used to spend the weekend with him. Rather than “come up and see my etchings” I think he went for “come and spend the weekend on my yacht.” We weren’t big on rocky coves in Norfolk – being mainly on former peat mines – so no rivulets and very few fountains. No cat either, but certainly wine, cigar and lamps.

  4. Stuart Ffoulkes says:

    You could be right. But, I think I should avoid any age discrimination in the recruitment process – indeed, I might be forced to do so by EU employment law – which would permit me to have a biologically implausible 22 year old aunt as a comfort in my declining years (though I think I’d struggle to find one who’d understand this blog, and, by extension, me).

    You do travel in much more exalted military circles than me – I’m not sure I know so much as a private or a rating (though I do know a member of the TA who always struck me as officer material). I also bow to your superior knowledge of lyrics from that infernal nonsense, Pinafore.

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