25 October 2005

Invasion of the Tiny People

Had a fantastic, if rather child-heavy, weekend, with a visit from our rarely-seen expat friends H. and M. together with their very lovely cosmic / sybilline offspring C.

After their arrival on Saturday afternoon the five of us made a trip to the zoo where we met our equally old (but Bristol-resident) friends M. and R., plus offspring. We saw an (also very appealing) five-month-old baby gorilla, but no lions (they were at the vet's) or penguins -- as, annoyingly, the penguin coast closed half an hour before the zoo did. This was frustrating, but the buddhaesque placidity of the capybara was as calming as ever.

Young C. is nearly two, and very sweet-natured and affectionate, as well as obvoiusly having a very active mental life. Having been put to bed at 7ish she remained entirely silent for the rest of the evening, allowing us adults to get on with a very pleasant meal (including late replacement cheesecake) and a rather staggering amount of bottled beer. Much amicable conversation and general catching-up ensued.

On Sunday eight-ninths of the previous day's complement met up at Zerodegrees for more food and beer, before H. and M. had to be on their way. My goddaughter E.'s little brother L. spilled my beer all over my good jacket, but he's too young for this to be held against him. (I'm planning on waiting till he's about twelve, then lying in wait with a cricket bat.)

On Monday my parents were in Bath, and took B. and me to the rather decent Bathtub Bistro for yet more food and beer, which was extremely kind of them. Admittedly it's not Demuth's, but the veggie food was very good, with the banana, coconut and rum trifle particuarly recommended.

This week I'm off on half-term, and have spent most of today banging my head against much-needed updates to the website. So far these have been mostly invisible (except for the review pages for Peculiar Lives and Wildthyme on Top), but there's been a lot of behind-the-scenes revamping. All the links to my books, for instance, should now go through Amazon associates, and many of the files have changed their names (so if you link to a specific page at www.infinitarian.com, you're probably going to need to check the link and update it).

I've also made a start on transcribing the Greenbelt talk (utterly mind-numbing though the task is), and have given a moment's thought to the annotations I promised ages ago to accompany "Minions of the Moon". So with luck, there may be some more interesting content coming later in the week or at the weekend.

Oh, and Cloud Atlas is very good so far. I think that's everything.

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