Our house is being refurbished (nearly done, in fact), so since September we have been living in temporary accommodation. My daughter is on her way home from swimming club right now, and I’ve been sitting in this by-now-familiar kitchen looking through the saved drafts of posts I never posted. I found a rather nostalgic one which has now made me nostalgic about nostalgia. That seems suitably meta, so I am going to post it now (with some of the more in-the-news-at-that-moment stuff excised) in case it strikes any chords with anyone else.
During the lockdown we’ve been using the the little study space in our loft a lot. There’s only about two squares metres of space you can stand up in, but there’s plenty of room to recline and drink cocktails, and the skylights are nice.
My old tape collection is up here and for the first time in — literally — decades, I have started listening to some of them again. As I type, HQ by Roy Harper is playing. That’s not particularly representative of the archive, but it’s good.
Even though he was born in Rusholme, much closer to where I grew up, Roy Harper reminds me of Oxford because a friend introduced me to him* while I was there. My own music up until then was mostly Yazoo, Depeche Mode and The Cure. Nothing wrong with that but university is supposed to broaden the mind and it did.
To add to the nostalgia, we have some Unicum Zwack left from our honeymoon visit to Budapest (also decades ago) and I just tried it in a Manhattan, displacing the Angostura bitters and some of the vermouth. Rather good. Maybe this will be the end of the longest-lived bottle in our drinks cabinet.
The last time I drank Unicum Zwack was with the Hungarian delegation to CERN Council, when one of them was stepping down. The first mouthful frankly tastes like medicine, but it gets better and seems to be very good for the stomach (functionality, if not size).
Today was spent mostly in the “Dark matter at the LHC” (DM@LHC) meeting, which should have been in Hamburg but is now in zoom. I am quite excited about some of the work that is going on. I have a talk to give on Friday. Well, when I say “I have a talk”, what I mean is, I should really be writing it now instead of this.
We just got to “When an old cricketer leaves the crease”.
So that’s got that off my chest and out of my drafts folder.
I learned about the importance of “swim downs” from my daughter’s galas. It grieves me in cocktail bars when they throw away the remnants in a cocktail mixer. When I make my own cocktails at home, like drinking the remnants as a second drink, with the melt from ice at the end. It’s like the last chapters of Lord of the Rings, an important swim-down after all the excitement
* Not in person, just musically.