It feels like this post needs a little preamble. I started writing this post in the very early days of 2019, but for a number of reasons and a series of interruptions it took me quite a while to finish. This is going quite a bit against my intentions concerning this blog and these Recent Exploits posts, and the challenge will be to learn ways to be more productive and write more effortless. I hope this will be an exciting undertaking and result in content people will enjoy to read. Events that have transpired in the meanwhile will feature in the next post which, hopefully, will be coming about a bit more swiftly.
We’re well into the new year, without me having indulged into any New Years post… The following deals with last year, actually, but I am not about to embark on a a full recount of the bygone year – you can get a decent overview of my 2018 hijinks by reading through previous posts, unsystematic as that may be – but merely at the most recent items of noteworthyness… and only those, that took place since the last post in early November. Believe me, it wasn’t supposed to take that long….
A short preamble: Once again it’s taken far too long… hence it’s hardly a weekly review. As this seems to be how these posts work I found the new title more appropriate: It better describes what I’m writing about and gets rid of counterproductive temporary constraints. It is, of course, also a nod to one of my greatest teachers, the inimitable (and rather fictional) Dr. Faustroll, founder of the science of ‘pataphysics.
As always, I hope you enjoy my ramblings:
Autumn has always been my favourite season. It may be, because of childhood priming based around my October birthday. It may be for other reasons. Maybe it’s that purported Austrian morbidness, a pleasure of watching nature get ready for the death of Winter. All, of course, ideally while sitting cuddled up in man-made warmth as rain and wind create a Ganzfeld effect conducive soundtrack. And that’s pretty much how it is on this first day of Autumn 2018 as I’m – finally – setting out to writing this long overdue post, looking back on much more than the events of one week, while listening to some music I haven’t put on in aeons.
“It’s funny, you live in the universe, but you never get to do these things until someone comes to visit.“ sez Dr. Zoidberg in Futurama‘s “I Dated a Robot” episode (S03E01) when Fry suggest to go see the Edge of the Universe.
I didn’t visit the edge of the Universe this bygone week, no at least not that I’m aware of, but Zoidberg’s bonmot rings true on a – pardon – more universal level and thus equally applies to London. Where, thanks to a friend from way back visiting, I got to see places and things (& the inevitable people that go with them) that I hadn’t visited in years. Or never even been to at all. So it goes. That visit from my friend, btw., shall serve as excuse for this being another one of those bi-weekly rather than weekly posts. I got started early enough, but the distractions of old acquaintances not forgot, all crammed into the tiny spaces of a London flat, as well as the streets of – and tunnels under the city – and some of it’s meadows green proved too much distraction and provided not enough contemplative alone time for the ponderings that bring forth these wild-waters & sometimes (read: more often) puddles, which we call stream of consciousness, that end up filling the hypertext pages of this here blog. Back to those waters:
“We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender”… I don’t know how many times I’ve heard Churchill speak those words, but it must have been often. This week, more precisely Friday, I heard them again.
Whenever I hear them they are usually followed by the intro riff to Aces High, one of THE classic Iron Maiden tunes. The same Friday July 13th. With a difference. Usually, when I hear them, I’m listening to a recording, most of the time the classic 86 live album Live after Death. This time I heard it stood in the middle of a crowd of fellow Maiden fans and the band which I’ve absolutely adored in my very early teens, and which I still proudly count among one of my favourite bands, were live on stage at Lisbon’s Altice Arena. It was a great experience!
But before going into any more detail about the concert (and I’m not going to write a full review anyway), let’s look back a bit further, all the way to that first Sunday (July 8th), when the location for the Week that Was was being set! It’s worth mentioning at this point – I didn’t want to spoil the intro – that at the time this is being finished and published we’re speaking of the Week that Was previous to the week that just was. Sometimes that’s how it goes.
And thus, as the week ends, we enter the second half of 2018. No worries, this is still the Week that was I shall keep the review at that. Mostly. And this time I got a whole lot of pictures, so I might even get away with less text. But that we shall see… The regular reader, or those now heading off to do read up on the previous 4 posts, will have had opportunity to realise that these write-ups pretty much follow a stream of consciousness path. Therefore I myself usually don’t know what the week will have brought, once we’ve reached the grand finale. It is, of course, always based on a true story…
Talking of true story: True story – last week, I’m no longer sure if it was Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, all of a sudden the song The Timewarp from the Rocky Horror Show pops into my head. I have no idea why. And then, on Friday I’m on the phone with my mum back in Austria who tells me that she and my aunt went to see the musical last Wednesday. I immediately had to think of C. G. Jung’s concept of synchronicity.
Sometimes I can’t help but wonder if this theory that sometimes pops up on the fringes of weirder ideas, which states that time is actually accelerating, might be true after all. And would that, considering what the General Theory of Relativity says, even be felt? Or are matters rather subjective? But let other speculation-inclined minds ponder this for now. Hit me up when the results are in!
Meanwhile, there never seems enough time to do all the things one wants to do. Even less so when you want get a proper night’s sleep, or two, in there as well. And after last week I had to prioritise that for a bit – less successful as hoped. In part I have my lovely cat Schnitzl (Full name & title: Tiger, Lord Schnitzl. Best of Cats) and his nocturnal activities to thank/blame for that. But, honestly, my tendency for night-owling are strong and seem to be coming to the foreground again recently, miraculously shifting bedtime to later and later hours in the process.
Later today I will be flying to Austria to visit family for Christmas and meet friends. But yesterday’s events cast a somewhat dark shadow over things. Of course, nothing about my visit will have fundamentally changed. I will not suddenly find myself in some Man in the High Castle style state. But I am about to travel into a country – my home-country – that has a right wing government.
So, Austria has a right wing government – not just a right wing party in government, but a full blown right wing government. Because, as far as I’m able to judge, I think Sebastian Kurz’s conservative party is far from being a center-right party these days.