It's nipple-drenchingly hot here in the blogoshed and I don't know what to write about.
I do remember a difficult conversation I had in an Istanbul drinking house about 32 months ago. Difficult, because I don't often meet a fellow who finds fascinating everything I find fascinating and because even less often do I meet one with whom I'm obliged to share these fascinations in the eleven Dutch, seven German, twelve English and six Turkish words Erol and I had in common. Anyway, several half-bottles of Yeni Raki into the episode, we got to gesticulating at each other on the topic of best-places-in-the-world-to-visit. There was a place - Erol's sure arms, unsure words and deft illustrations informed me - that met all the tests I'd grandly stated a best-place must meet. If my memory may translate from the original four languages and eleventeen gesticulations: "the town; she loves you, she makes you precious, she marries you. And you have never seen beauty like hers. But she does not know she is beautiful. She is wise but she is innocent. She is proud but she is modest. She is (and this with particularly significant gesticulations) water in the desert." Having brought us both unto tears of shuddering sentiment, Erol blithely undid the magic he'd woven, gravely concluding "I do not know why for they call her Bum".
'Bum' must have been one of his English words. And I must say he deployed 'she' very artfully for a speaker of a language that hardly seems to concern itself with gender.
Anyway, Erol had told me 'Bum' was in Iran, but I had no idea where she was until yesterday ...
Vale Bob Monkhouse, author of one of the great lines of all time; to wit: "They all laughed when I told them I wanted to be a comedian. They're not laughing any more!"
Well, it works for me.
Which reminds me of another beauty, this time courtesy of fellow erstwhile Tasmanian Errol Flynn: "It has been the enduring challenge of my life to reconcile my net income with my gross habits."
One reason my sympathy for miserable older people had always been found wanting is that I'd never realised our aspirations and self-concepts can not keep up with, well, us. Had I known these poor sods would be unpleasantly surprised every time they waddled past a mirror, or every time they found themselves an undignified metre short over a dash across an Ankara road - how they felt every time they remembered how they saw THEIR teachers when THEY were uni students - and every time their arithmetic told them that 46/74 constitutes a fraction only the very generous would term 'middle age' - well, I like to think I wouldn't have pointed and mocked quite so much.
The thing is, I don't know how to do mid-life crisis. I don't have a secretary to molest, I can't afford a Hog, and nothing (yet) would move me to wear a large pendant over a half-open recycled body shirt and gyrate tragically on a dance-floor. Ozplogistan is blessed disproportionately with the similarly-afflicted, and I dare hope gently constructive advice might be forthcoming ...
I reckon 'think-tanks' are, on balance, a Very Bad Thing. I hope to pursue this matter when the urge dismally to plog inevitably returns ...
A tolerable 2004 to all!