Monday, December 26, 2005

Not just for Christmas....

Allow me to introduce the newest addition to our little menagerie. By way of celebrating his coming to us at Christmas, his name's Barabas (prnounced, as per the original Hebrew, with the emphasis on the third syllable and a silent 's'). He seems to be settling in okay: we watched 'Batman Begins' (which had far fewer rodentia than Fran had been led to believe from the trailer); and currently snuggled up to Sandy (who has yet to be photographed - memo to self) on top of the dresser, ready to go to bed...

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Perceiving through a glass darkly...

Meeting Margeaux's little dog, still relatively unplayed with, untravelled, and - dare I leap to such conclusions - uncuddled, I found myself thinking, this week, about what it is to grow old. We synthetic organisms, I feel, have a curious outlook on age: we have no genes that disintegrate with replication; our furs, though perhaps less fluffy as Time's winged chariot hurries near, are chemically identical to how they always were; we do not grow, or metamorphose into butterflies.

And so age, for me at least, must be about learning new things, exploring new horizons, finding room in which to love and be loved, and reaching, with outstretched paws, to stars, infinite in variety, that we may never grasp in our own lifetimes. To grow old is to become as true to oneself as one can be, to be the best little dog that one can be, however falteringly.

And all this leads me to two conclusions of immeasurable importance:

1.) I have a much nicer collar than I used to.

2.) Despite the obvious invitations to comparision, Lost has nothing to do with Locke, Rousseau or Enlightenment philosophy.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Forthcoming EP release details

I'm not sure what's happened to Fran today. She seems mightily tired - perhaps it was the waking up at 4.30am...

Anyway, I'm not entirely certain what she's been up to. When I came back from the supermarket this afternoon, I found that my guitar was out, my Trevor-Bayliss radio tuned to Radio 1, rather than it's usual Radio 4, and there were paw-prints on my Wacom Graphire4 tablet. Is this kitten adolesence, or something far, far more clever?

Answers in an 8,000 word essay, please.

Incidentally, you'll be pleased to know that my proposed paper, 'Whipping up a Revolution: Coleridgean Politics, the Morning Chronicle, and William Hazlitt's 'On Coffee-House Politicians' has been firmly accepted for the conference detailed below. Call me "Fran-pup-ino" from now on!

Saturday, December 10, 2005

The best Call for Papers this year...



The Friends of Coleridge website celebrates Christmas 2005 by tackling the ultimate crux of Coleridge scholarship: did the Great Man invent, in 1802, an egg-based form of our favourite frothy coffee?

One half of the white of an egg—a couple of tepid water after the egg has been beat up—Water enough to make the Coffee moist whatever it be/—Then put in the ground Coffee, (one heaped Coffee Cup to six cups of boiling water to be after put in) mix up the Coffee with the beat up egg & tepid water/then put it into the Coffee Boiler, & add boiling water in the proportion of 6 to 1—put it on a quick fire—& let it boil up, two or three times. Then throw it into the China or Silver Coffee pot thro’ a Strainer/After boil & decant the Coffee grains & use the Decantia instead of hot water the next time. (Notebooks I 1300, Dec 1802)

It is surely the verb “throw” that reveals the panache of the man, and the influence of the dynamic philosophy on his recipe. Stand aside ye lightweight celebrity chefs who think Schelling is something you do to peas!

Proposals are invited – titles of papers only - by 31 December 2005

Send to

The following approaches are suggestions – any disciplinary angle will be considered:

• History of Science, Intellectual Property and National Rivalry: Did Coleridge introduce the cappuccino to Italy in 1805? Was it a perfidious Italian imitation that led the dying Keats to throw his food out of a Roman window in protest? Was George Stephenson’s British-made Rocket in fact the world’s first steam-driven milk frother?

• Post-colonialism: Embracing the “Decantia”: re-use of coffee dregs as symbol of re-integrated alterity.

• Feminism: Sara’s post-omelette fatigue; or, who didn’t invent Teflon before expecting his wife to clean cooked egg white out of a coffee boiler?

• The Hermeneutics of Froth: the post structuralist metaphor that leaves a sticky residue on the upper lip.

• Home Economics: It’s coffee, Bob, but not as we know it: does Robert Southey’s 1807 statement “nothing is so detestable as an Englishman’s coffee” result from a botched attempt at recycling the “Decantia”?

• Neoplatonic Allegory: On the mystic proportion 6:1. Six = Kosmos and Marriage. The One= Orphic Egg.

• New Historicism: Starbucks avant la lettre: the hegemony of branding; or, no sugar thanks, we’re abolitionists.

• Queer Theory: “couple”: uncoupling the cup; or, no sex thanks, we’re decaffeinated.

Friday, December 02, 2005

The underside of Fran

So, Frani cat woke me up at 6am this morning, because one of the other cats ate some of her food last night, and so she decided that she had been hard done by after all. A snackette of food and a quick trip to the litter tray, and she was bouncing around even more. I'm thankful, really. When else would I have the inclination to lit under my desk and take pictures? Perhaps I should make a nature documentary someday.

"And, here, for the very first time, we can show you the underside of this magnificent cat..."

She's posing with the corner of a new Wacom Graphire4 A6 Graphics Tablet - but more on that story later.
advanced web statistics Locations of visitors to this page