Sunday, 24 January 2021

Cold weather. Water. Lack of interest in celebrity marriages. Nuclear projects. Synaesthesia.

It’s a very cold morning in Delph. My weather app tells me it’s going to hover around freezing all day and then dip below. But at least it’s not raining or snowing. There were a few places where water had settled on the surface and frozen, making some potentially dangerous slippery spots. Puddles were frozen but the muddy paths were mostly just hardened by the cold and fortunately the huge puddle that often blocks the footpath  by the millpond had drained away. Much of the path seems to have been eroded as if some of the recent heavy rain has flowed along the path. Another messy bit of path to worry about.

Meanwhile the house across the road continues to pump water out of the cellar. It sounds as though they had about a foot of water in there. And presumably as water is still draining off the hillside that level is being topped up even as they pump. I think I would be having some waterproofing work done once it dries out if I were them. They are trying to pump it directly into a drain to avoid accidentally causing an icepatch on the roadway. 

In the media a certain amount of fuss has been made about the fact that when the Trumps got off the plane in Florida Melania walked off camera, leaving the exPOTUS to deal with the press on his own. This has caused some speculation about their marriage. Are we worried about the state of the Trump marriage? Well, personally not one bit interested. 

Scanning the papers online this morning I came across something about the Bradwell B nuclear project. This is down in Essex, at Bradwell-on-Sea. There’s a grade I-listed building there on the marshes, a church built on the remains of a Roman fort round somewhere around the year 660, St Peter on the Wall. There’s an obscure Christian community down there called Othona, named after the Roman fort. I was not aware we had such communities here but it sounds fairly harmless - unlike the one we came across recently in a Scandi-noir series we watched on Netflix. I am, however, always a little suspicious of exclusive communities of any kind. One of their members, Tim Fox, is busily protesting about Gradwell B.

Here’s a little section of the article:

  • Although Othona is welcoming to visitors, that generosity is not extended to EDF Energy and China General Nuclear Group (CGN), the Franco-Chinese consortium behind the Bradwell B project. “I know this has to be on somebody’s doorstep, but it seems to me that nuclear power isn’t the way to go,” Fox said. “Renewable energy is getting cheaper and there are two wind farms here. This is the driest part of England – you could put a solar farm here.” -

Now, I was under the impression that Brexit was supposed to be all about “taking back control”. (Actually, no, I was under the impression it was mostly about whipping up fear of immigrants taking “our” jobs! But that’s a different matter.) So, how is it that EDF (Electricité de France - the clue is in the name - it’s French!) and CGN (China General Nuclear - another clue in the name!) are behind the Bradwell B project. Me, I’ not against international projects but I think the Brexit people suffer from double-think! Oh, and I am in favour of renewable energy rather than nuclear, by the way. 

Here’s something quite different. I read about a pair of sisters with synaesthesia, a condition where the brain associates sensations of colour or taste to words or numbers or sounds. The French poet Arthur Rimbaud was said to have synaesthesia. In the case of these two sisters it manifests itself by associating tastes to people’s names. Asked by their aunt if Sarah was a good name for a baby they told her that Sarah tastes of greasy chips. 

“As kids, my sister and I enjoyed our party trick. We’d sit at Gran’s kitchen table asking each other: “What’s Sally to you?” Or Michael. Or some other kid at school. My auntie never had a Sarah. She had two boys, Scott, who tastes like a McVitie’s Rich Tea biscuit snapped in two, and Jack, like chomping on a battered leather footstool.”

Like many people the sisters thought this was perfectly normal and that everyone had that skill. I was reminded of a couple of work colleagues. We were in a meeting and we must have reached a dull point for one of them asked me “What colour is Tuesday for you?”. I had to explain that Tuesday doesn’t actually have a colour for me. The other colleague expressed her surprise at this. She didn’t only see colours for the days but also saw them in a physical pattern, a sort of layout in her mind. Neither of them had any idea that they were at all unusual and had never heard of synaesthesia. Now, how likely was it that I would end up sitting between two synaesthetics?

Life goes on. Stay safe and well, everyone!


  1. My daughter sees numbers in color. I simply see them in a sort of pattern, hanging in space, climbing off into the fog, but in black and white. I suppose it might have something to do with how we learn to visualize and how we are taught.