Friday, October 02, 2020

As Time Goes By…

bingo_tv 1
Bingo watching television

Bingo the wonder cat demonstrated the other night that cats actually do notice stuff on television. His taste in TV shows relate to nature programs, especially if there are birds involved.

He was lolling on one or the other of our knees in front of the heater as we desultorily watched  a program on SBS about Russia’s Wild Sea, exploring the Sea of Okhotsk that lies between the Kamchatka Peninsula and the Japanese island of Hokkaido, termed the last and greatest unspoiled ocean on Earth, when his attention was captured by the sea eagles flying around on the screen. He sprang to the floor and sat beneath the TV to get a closer view and remained fascinated long enough for me to take a photo.

People on the screen hold no interest for him; it’s only birds and animals that grab his attention.

It’s October already and here in Melbourne we are still in stage 4 lockdown, though hopefully with cases of Covid19 diminishing by the day, we may be able to experience greater freedom soon. Wow, I might even be able to go to the Victoria Market in a couple of weeks!

Unfortunately the easing of restrictions will not include public attendance at the races over the pointy end of the Melbourne Racing Carnival. I’m particularly aggrieved to miss going to the Cox Plate.

However, as usual I have been following the racing action as the season progresses. This weekend for instance has four Group 1 races to watch, the Turnbull Stakes in Melbourne and the Flight Stakes. Epsom Handicap and Metropolitan feature at Randwick in Sydney.

To console myself I have been having the occasional wager with mixed results, my best win being on Kolding in the George Main Stakes, which boosted  the funds in my Sportsbet account, thus giving me plenty of play money for the rest of the season.

On the home front I’ve as usual been killing the time with reading and computer games.

After finishing the Dublin Trilogy, which I enjoyed quite a lot, I read Lanny by Max Porter and the enchanting  new Susanna Clarke novel, Piranesi. I must admit I was not as enraptured by Lanny as I was by Piranesi, which continues to haunt me. I acquired it in an exclusive signed hardcover edition from Waterstones. It is a handsome edition, quite the bibliophile’s delight with ornate boards under the dust jacket.

Piranesi hardcover binding

Piranesi Dust Jacket

The novel has received rave reviews from all and sundry so I’m not going to provide one here.  There’s a summary of the reviews on Literary Hub.

LONGING_packshotAs for games, I’m still playing The Longing and have progressed – at snails pace – in that the Shade has acquired more books, has explored most of the caves and collected various items to enhance his abode. He has expanded his one room into four chambers that include a bathroom and mushroom farm. He’s yet to find enough pieces of wood to make a bed. Most days I set him off on a journey to see if anything has changed and generally close the game when he’s back home reading a book.

I’m also playing a 2018 game called Unforeseen Incidents. Ironically it deals with a viral plague afflicting a town called Yelltown. As a person living in a similar situation in Melbourne, one feels slightly alarmed to see the game characters walking around without PPE and failing to be infected. It’s moderately amusing to play and the story is interesting so far.

So life goes on and one must be thankful that we’re still alive to report on it.

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