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Greetings from Orwell's Grave...
Sat next to Eric, amongst friends. Where are you?
Due to present company this email might be a little heavy on the Orwell.
I got here mid morning, just as the rain cleared. As squirrels foraged in the sun, John the verger prepared for a wedding later in the day.
“Oh hello,” he said. “It must be June the 25th.”
I’m so glad John is still here. I’m yet to ask permission for this little get together but it looks like I might have become a part of the church’s 800 year old timetable.
John the verger told me that the Orwell Society had to cancel their annual graveside get together. It’s normally on the nearest Sunday to the 25th but it looks like it’s just us this year.
Eric’s grave is warm at my back and the usual offerings of pages from his books are absent. Just flowers and a row of coins across the top of his headstone.
Our thoughts were of our diminishing privacy and civil liberties, commercial influence on mainstream media and the surveillance of our every move, online and off.
Orwell stood for decency and kindness and called out injustice and institutional corruption. He warned us of dystopian society, he protested colonialism and taught us not to bow to dictators. He also reminds us that it’s never too late to act.
This picnic is a political act.
It is also a meeting of minds and a gathering of friends.
I find it interesting that no surviving sound recordings of George Orwell have been found. Maybe one day something will surface. Till then here is a docudrama…
And this video contains the only known video footage of George Orwell.
Did you have to make some YouTube videos public in the great YouTube unlisted video purge? Here is one of mine that had never seen the light of day. Till now…
And here is some 3d Orwell’s grave action from the 9th annual get together…
Finally, do you remember the time I ordered a glass of absinthe in a Ukrainian bar and didn’t realise I would have my head set on fire before it was pounded with a wrench?
This artist gift edition of 1984 is already out of print.
But here is a free digital copy.
There is a hefty book on the sofa back home. 582 pages to be precise.
It was a Father’s Day gift. Not one I was expecting. It’s been a while since I dropped a Doors album on the turntable. I have all their LPs released in Europe and some that weren’t. My interest in The Doors came from my mother. She was a fan and saw them at the Roundhouse 1968. Her albums became mine and even a few of his poetry books. Like any angsty teen I too fancied myself as a poet and Morrison was an unlikely role model. There was even a stint in the 90s where I’d attempt to channel him on stage. My band didn’t seem to mind.
Whenever I was passing through Paris I would go visit his grave. There was always an international contingent of freaks and fans. Guitars strummed, while bottles were passed inside a fragrant cloud.
In 2001 it was the 30th anniversary of his death and a graveside party to remember. July the 3rd this year will mark the 50th anniversary. I’d love to stop by but there are still travel restrictions that force quarantine on return. Sounds Orwellian when I say it like that.
Strange that I should be writing this from another graveside. I don’t think I have a thing about graves. Other than the psychogeographical. I’m pretty sure my attraction is to the ideas and works of people who came before me.
Anyway, back to the book. It will take me some time to get through it. The forward by Tom Robbins has me once again looking forward to delving into this esoteric anthology, the life and works of Jim Morrison.
Eleven of the best dystopian novels you should read.
It’s day twenty five of #AudioMo! Yes Audio bloggers month is nearly over for 2021. I have kept things simple this year dropping simple clips into Twitter. Here are my #AudioMo posts so far…
Day 01 / Day 02 / Day 03 / Day 04 / Day 05 / Day 06 / Day 07 / Day 08 / Day 09 / Day 10 / Day 11 / Day 12 / Day 13 / Day 14 / Day 15 / Day 16 / Day 17 / Day 18 / Day 19 / Day 20 / Day 21 / Day 22 / Day 23 / Day 24 / And today recorded right here… Day 25
Orwell dismisses the British diet as…
“simple, rather heavy, perhaps slightly barbarous”, going on to describe porridge “boiled into a spongy mess” and cabbage rendered “almost uneatable” by overcooking, and derided milk puddings, made with rice, semolina, barley, sago or macaroni mixed with milk and sugar and baked in the oven, as “the kind of thing one would prefer to pass over in silence”.
I made yoghurt.
It was easier than I thought thanks to having a digital thermometer and a slow cooker to hand.
Just bring a litre of milk up to 82°C stirring occasionally and then cool it down to between 35 to 40C. You then remove a bit of the warm milk and mix with a few tablespoons of existing natural yoghurt (your starter) to then return to the pot. Set the temperature to ‘low’ for 8hrs. Some just insulate a pot and put it in the airing cupboard for 8-12 hours. I’m sure both these methods will give you some kind of yoghurt. Sieving the whey will give you a more bitter ‘Greek’ style, but I stuck it in jars as it came and have enjoyed it on my cereal all week.
Been testing the Wahoo Element V2 all week.
I can plot my route on Komoot, or just record a ride straight into it. When I’m finished it will update both Strava and Komoot automatically and I only then need to go in and add photos if needed. (Click the above link to connect with me on those platforms.)
Bike based devices need power and I’ve added a dynamo to my new bike build. I’m now looking at what I need to plug into it. I have this list but if you have any ideas please let me know.
Hidden behind a fake vending machine in a Boston Bodega is an upmarket fashion store.
I’m contemplating riding from my house into Wales and stopping of at some places on the Documentally community map. I’ll share a potential route soon.
Use OCR on your screen grabs.
UNESCO atlas of world languages in danger.
Left alone together.
Here is a privacy news aggregator.
My bike should be built next week. I’m very excited. Till then… We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness.
“I enjoy talking to you. Your mind appeals to me. It resembles my own mind except that you happen to be insane.” ~ George Orwell, 1984
See you out there.