Thursday, January 18, 2007

Sickness, Childcare and de Quincey

This week I have had a case of food poisoning and the flu. The food may not have been contaminated but maybe just really bad. It was soya sausages and when I was cooking them they smelt like petrol; always a bad sign. The flu is still with me, like a telephone seller who won't take no for an answer and I find myself unable to hang up the phone.
In other news we have a daycare place for Benyamin:

But not until the 19th February so I am home for another month on father leave (to all those colleagues who may be wondering as to my time table).

Finally, I finished reading The English Mail Coach by Thomas de Quincey yesterday. It is included in the post-everything media reader XXXXX, the central theme of which is the crash that is coming (popular topic at the moment). The Mail Coach begins as a reminisce of the glory days of the Royal English Mail coach system during the Napoleonic wars and ends is a kaleidoscopic hallucination of Miltonic proportions:

"Having mounted the box, I took a small quantity of laudanum, having already travelled two hundred and fifty miles–viz., from a point seventy miles beyond London, upon a simple breakfast. In the taking of laudanum there was nothing extraordinary. But by accident it drew upon me the special attention of my assessor on the box, the coachman. And in that there was nothing extraordinary. But by accident, and with great delight, it drew my attention to the fact that this coachman was a monster in point of size, and that he had but one eye. In fact he had been foretold by Virgil as–
“Monstrum. horrendum, informe, ingens cui lumen adempium.”"

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