Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Homage to Catalonia

Well, here's a book by George Orwell I should definitely read, all about the Spanish Civil war; the socialists, the communists, the fascists, the anarcho-syndicalists et al. The birth and death of political idealism...looks like powerful stuff. If I ever get around to reading it that is ;-)

Orwell served as a private in the Spanish civil war and it was these experiences that inspired his later books Animal Farm and 1984. Here's a quote, what's perhaps surprising is how relevant it still is today:

"He had learned a hard lesson,especially about the new political Europe. Totalitarianism, the new creed of 'the streamlined men' of Fascism and Communism, was a new manifestation of Orwell's old Catholic enemy, the doctrine of Absolutism" [21] - "the ghost of Torquemada had arisen, imprisonment without trial, confessions extracted under torture with summary executions to follow." [22] "The essential fact about a totalitarian regime is that it has no laws. People are not punished for specific offences, but because they are considered to be politically or intellectually undesirable. What they have done or not done is irrelevant."

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Manchester 10K run

Oooer. Time is getting very close (5 weeks!) to the next Manchester 10K run. I was getting really stressed about things (mainly to do with my dad's house and the delays in getting it on the market as well as the usual crappy work stress) and it was affecting my sleep. So my misses told me to have a run at dinner to relive the stress. It worked, although I felt awful at times while I was running. Coughing, spitting, burping (get awful gas in the top of my stomach while running sometimes) but it was worth it; certainly sorted my stress levels out for the time being.

I've spoken to my sister about the house and I think we're going to get the house on the market by the end of the month; there's just some stuff to move from the house to the garage, to tidy it up before the photos, and a complicated potential-death-trap ceiling-rose light system to install. So as long as I don't get electrocuted, I think we'll be alright ;-)

Friday, April 8, 2011

My word, you do look Queer !

I found an old 78 record belonging to my gran (In the olden days records would be played at 78 RPM rather than 45 RPM for singles and 33 RPM for albums) in my dad's record collection. I can't play it because I recently sold my record player, but I did find it on Youtube; it's from a set of funny monologues from the 1930s (originally performed on the radio or on stage in a vaudeville show) by Stanley Holloway and it has a particularly black sense of humour; it's hilarious ;-)