Thursday, May 23, 2013

Prime meridian

On Tuesday we went to Bletchley Park, which was highly worthwhile (I think the Colossus rebuild is the most amazing thing, but it's very cool seeing so many bombes and Enigma machines after having read much about them); on Wednesday, we rode a fast boat to Greenwich and saw among other things precision timekeepers at the Observatory and the Maritime Museum. Visiting these places on consecutive days, one is especially struck by the implicit continuities between two different periods of brilliant technical innovation and superb precision manufacturing in British history.

Yesterday evening, a delicious gin sour and smoked mackerel latkes at Mishkin's with my dear old friend Orion and his partner Harvy, a hatter whose recent creation made a big hit this week. Later this afternoon we'll walk over to see my cousin George at her day job, then meet up with another dear friend of mine for dinner.

Light reading (planes, trains, etc.): Michael Sears, Black Fridays (not sure the autistic son plot was really successfully integrated with the trading skullduggery one, but not bad overall); Claire Messud, The Woman Upstairs; Andre Aciman, Harvard Square; Gene Kerrigan, The Midnight Choir (I thought this one was fantastically good, even better than the other book of his I read recently); Melissa Scott, The Empress of Earth (I don't think volumes 2 and 3 lived up to the promise of the opening volume, but the trilogy is a pretty good read); Gordon Dahlquist, The Different Girl (another standout - it is a really lovely YA novel, science-fictional in its affinities and most beautifully written, with something of the strange haunting quality that I found as a child in the novels of John Christopher).

Old but good: basset hounds vs. gravity.

1 comment:

  1. What's your view of the Aciman book? I got burned last time round.