You are old father William

‘You are old’, said the youth, ‘and your jaws are too weak
For anything tougher than suet;
Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak –
Pray, how did you manage to do it?’

‘In my youth’, said his father, ‘I took to the law,
And argued each case with my wife;
And the muscular strength, which it gave to my jaw,
Has lasted the rest of my life.’ [1]

Yes, yet another post with zero science but don’t go away – there is some rowing later after the tedious bits. And so: exhibit 1 is the glasses, which you’ll immeadiately note are varifocals. I have spent the past 2 years gradually learning to peer over the top of my spectacles like a headmaster and now have to learn to look down instead. Incidentally, did I slag off the last Dr Who yet? Shamelessly self-indulgent and insufficiently inventive.

And another part of growing old is attending your son’s first Speech Day / Prizegiving. I’ve forgotten what they were like at my school, probably due to the extreme tedium. This one too was fairly dull but could have been a lot worse. Highpoint was, oddly enough, D getting his prize the “SIO technology prize”, possibly for doing well in exams, we are a little unsure. Must ask the school. Meanwhile Miranda took her Grade One piano exam today, with a result eagerly anticipated.

DSC_5007-mystery-pink-flower Oh yes, the rowing: sorry to leave you in suspense so long. Today was my first Double outing (which is to say, an outing in a double, as in double scull), thanks to Dave. We sneaked in a lock in the cool of the early morning before the speechifying. I don’t scull much, and not terribly well, so it was an experience to be in a more balanced version and actually able to reach fully at the catch. We were both natural bowsiders and found the boat had a tendency to pull round to bowside (there is no rudder – you steer by pulling harder one side ot the other (well ideally you steer by reaching just a little further on one side rather than by hauling the finish, and I started to get the hang of that by the end)). We didn’t hit anything (apart from a very rude City IV that came steaming up the Reach and tried to go through a gap that was clearly too small for it). Dave was in the bows and did the watching-for-steering-direction and indeed most of the steering. We didn’t manage to hold off any VIII’s for long – nor should we have been able to, really, but I was hopeful. The familar when-pushed-speed-up-the-slide-and-slow-down-the-boat-speed came up. Must try to learn.

I gave you the flower as a special free gift, it was that to us, having appeared by the front as if by magic. I must have planted it – possibly a corm, I’m no longer sure what it might be – last year.

Quick Links:

* David Appell tries to get Roy “Dr” Spencer to say what *would* make him believe GW. It turns out that nothing short of 5 oC will do. This is vaguely like the mental maps of invisible dragons that Paul has mentioned, though not in that post.
* Harry Potter is up to chapter 27.
* If you haven’t met if before, The Euthyphro Dilemma is worth pondering.
* BP share price is down to 305. Ouch, that is painful. Or is it a buy signal?
* Sea ice: still too close to call. Still interesting.