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There must be a systole and disatole in all inquiry - A Most Illuminating Tale
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Robert Wells or Mr Waters
Date: 5.37 pm, Tuesday 10th March, 2009
Subject: There must be a systole and disatole in all inquiry
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That was such a lovely long weekend I can hardly remember what happened on Friday. Also, my major memory of Friday is being practically comatose with lack of sleep. I had the thought of going to see one of the many shows closing soon and then fell asleep on the tube home. Proper gladIliveattheterminus sleep. Home to find housemates cooking. Lovely food, glass of wine, tuck up in bed with Bruce Campbell and soon asleep.

Woke about 1 on Saturday. Groggy and still exhausted. Attempted to finish off a dozen jobs and so succeeded in none. I cleaned up an old bike, air in the tires, well oiled, checked through. Took it for a test run to find the gears needlessly complicated, the frame far too small for me and the chain, well, a little to breakey for my purposes. Dragged myself out to the Barbican to Sandpit. I spent some time being Mr Smith. The first time I got caught by a small group who stalked me, then by another small group who took after me with the cry "Get 'im Pete!". Then I dropped back into the building by a staircase that didn't say I shouldn't use it. I went down and down and passed several identical floors, each with doors that I couldn't open. I started running and floors just flew by faster. I began to think that maybe I'd found my way in to the house. Then suddenly the floor came rushing up and I could hear a concert from beyond the final door. The final locked door. I turned round and ran up surely more floors that the barbican could hold. Then my second session as Mr Smith. I was spotted almost instantly by a quiet couple who took one ribbon and quietly disappeared. Then I stood looking over the lake and waited. I had about thirty seconds before I heard footsteps all around. I made for the stairs behind, and saw a crowd coming down them at the bottom was the quiet man blocking the way, making to catch me and then jumping out of the way as I ran at him, granting me a little space to get away, but there were just too many of them. Quickly overwhelmed. Then I had a phone call from Inspector Dupin, offering me a challenge to find a girl called Ruby. She was last seen down a dry well between lakeside and curve. Down the hole we find a pretty girl, arrows pointing to her eyes. She can't hear or speak. She ties a string around my wrist and demonstrates tying one around a banister while miming If you are looking for Ruby, look for a string like this, over there. Sprinting across the barbican, we find a string tied to a banister which leads to a clue that says to look up a chimney to the coloured ceiling. A gentleman who can not see or speak dangles a string down a hole to attract your attention. He writes Water. "Ruby's next to the water?". He nods. By the lakeside a young man you can neither see nor hear grabs my wrist and reads me a clue about Ruby being taken away to a deep dark place, so I must find the golden face. I run to the golden faces, a three headed statue on the second floor. Nothing. I run down to the pit. Nothing. Then I run into more stringed people who say they've been told to hold back for now. My phone rings. Dupin tells me it is far too dangerous. He will call later with further instructions. We wait and wonder and wander. Suddenly a cry of fourth floor. Someone has got the call. Gather the strings and head to the fourth floor. A trail of strings leads from the stairs to a conference room. We are too late. A note tells us she has been taken down to Hades. A phone call and we're dashing back to the stairs. Dupin is dead by the three headed Cerberus and the man of pointy beard is holding Ruby, or Persephone, on the other side of the lake. Down two floors, out the door. Three mature people are walking along slowly. I stop and say "I'm dreadfully sorry, but there's about to be a large crowd running through here. Would you mind standing on the right for a minute. Thank-you" and then tearing past the three golden faces and across the bridge. Duck left not right at the end and down the stairs. Pointy says to stop. Once we're gathered he tells us he's a sporting man so he'll play a game for her. Do we know Grandmother's footsteps? I'm shit at grandmother's footsteps so I immediately dive behind a flower bed and crawl around the obvious route. I emerge two feet behind the leader and six feet from the girl. Another man has run around the church and popped out behind pointy. He's being attacked on three sides. Persephone shouts bugger this, kicks him, and jumps on the leader. We win. After that, it's a slow goodbye, a check on the city we were building, and then home. Some toast and tea and sleep again.

Sunday and Monday were a proper weekend. An awful lot of sleep, an awful lot of eating, some fine wines, and watching a Gilliam triple bill (Time Bandits, Brazil, Baron Munchausen). I'd forgotten how horrible the end of Time Bandits is. I also did some DIY. I got to use a big old power plane and look manly. Then tidying. Feel much better for the laziness.

I'd also like to draw your attention to this: What Just Happened.

Album of the day was Antony and the Johnsons - The Crying Light. Kinda like listening to early Tom Waits. Lovely music and a voice just the right side of affectation, but all so relentlessly on one level, one emotion. Inevitably I found myself slipping off it no matter how hard I was concentrating. Also, in the two listens I had time to give it, I found nothing in the lyrics that caught me at all.

Antony and the Johnsons - The Crying Light

Play of the day was Thomas Shadwell - The Virtuoso. I'd picked this up having read the play The Tragedy of Thomas Hobbes which finishes with Hooke attending a performance of the Virtuoso and seeing a satire of himself, often quoting his own works. It seems a fairly simple comedy of its day, with the plotlines about science mostly slapped over the standard dalliance of crossed lovers, wives, cuckolds and whores. It's not the neatest of things and I wasn't enamored by the ending, with the foolish man of science losing everything and all others, good or bad, coming out on top.
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