Tess prompts us with a dramatic picture of a steam locomotive hauling a train across (I think) the beautiful curving viaduct in Glenfinnan at the head of Glen Shiel in Lochaber, Scotland. This week Frances Garrood has posted a splendid parody of one of English Lits. most overquoted poems. I'll have a go at another.
I am the Snail Mail crossing the border
letters with stamps on are plain out of order.
Now it's tweets for the rich, and tweets for the poor
And FYI, Luv U for the redhead next door.
I've got parcels from A'zon, some of them Prime
but I'm not right bothered if I'm not on time.
Past ruined farmsteads and flooded remains
and vast heaps of farm-stuff that smell like the drains,
puffing and wheezing and gasping and choking
I'll be glad when I'm pensioned and I can stop smoking.
Mr. Auden stayed with the train all the way to Glasgow accompanied by Benjamin Britten. I hopped off a Carlisle to listen to their collaboration.
I hear on the Beeb that a short-list of 50 Males/50 Females has been selected for a one-way trip to Mars. One of the men apparently can remember pi to 90 digits, so they'll be able to calculate the circumference, surface area and volume of the Red Planet very accurately. The News item didn't say whether remembering pi to 90 digits was one of the selection criteria, but if it was, remembering 90 of the billions of digits to which pi is now known doesn't sound all that impressive a feat.
Nor did the News item say if the 100 worthy folk included any medics or police. Both of these professions will be required because (statistically), of the 100, at least 4 will be criminal psychopaths who have (easily) bamboozled the learned psychiatrists and clairvoyants involved in the selection process. I think the proposed expedition is the first stage in George W. Bush's scheme to "Colonise the galaxy" after George W.Bush and his ilk have made Earth uninhabitable. Also, presumably all the successful candidates are under the age of 3 because they will be very, very old before they blast off from Florida in their converted Routemaster Bus . . .
Chemical toilets will follow at a later date. Tesco have applied for planning permission.