This week we said goodbye to Lizzie. That explains why I changed this blog’s background image. It showed two campers; a situation that is no longer true. I said last week, that our son-in-law Romain had put Lizzie up on Leboncoin, and was very kindly fielding initial enquiries, passing through to us only those he thought were serious and might result in a sale.
One such enquirer came to us and, when he had inspected her, said he thought the asking price was excessive. When he saw the paperwork, he realised why. It seems Romain misread the effects of my pet spider ambling across the paper and advertised Lizzie as a 1993 model, whereas she is of 1983 vintage, a full decade older (and currently in her thirties). I tried to explain that this made her a classic, thus more sought-after and valuable, but he wasn’t having it.
He did make an offer, one on which I was unable to budge him, and went away with my promise to contact him with our response within 48 hours. The offer he made was between the lower two of my three key figures: would love to get, hope to get, and will not accept less than. That, coupled with our desire to reclaim 12.3 m² of grass and the view out of the séjour window, and the fact that we believed he was likely to bring her up to condition and actually use and enjoy her, led us to accept his offer. He arrived the following evening with another driver, so he could drive her back to his home. She has now gone. That was our last view of her. There was a touch of sadness about it. That she was more comfortable, as a caravan, than the Roller Team is beyond question. I think that when new, she was well specified; possibly close to top of the range; whereas the Roller Team was probably entry-level. However, a very comfortable caravan that struggled on a 300 km round trip is of less value to us than is a less comfortable one that was quite happy to do a round trip, to Spain, of almost 1300 km, the return journey being broken only by a couple of fifteen-minute breaks to
exorcise exercise the dogs.
Earlier this week, people were raving about the so-called Super moon. We were told that, at low elevation, it would look massive. This is due to it being closer to Earth than at any other time of the year. According to NASA, a full moon at perigee is up to 14% larger (in area, or almost 7% larger diameter) and 30% brighter than one at its farthest point, or apogee [wikipedia]. I knew we wouldn’t see it at its best, as the hills around us mean that we see nothing in the southern half of the sky below an elevation of about 25°; the north is even worse. However, once it appeared, I had to, didn’t I?
For my money, this image isn’t as striking as the ones I posted last week, but it does show (as I pointed out in my photo blog) that the moon is not made of cheese, neither is the moon, as David Niven would have it, a balloon. Not at all. It is very clear that the moon is, in fact, a cantaloupe melon. This image even clearly shows where the stalk was attached.
There is a web site that allows you to submit to its analysis tool any piece of text: blog post, journal entry, comment, short story etc. The tool will, it says, analyse writing style and choice of language, then compare them with those of scores of famous writers. Importantly, according to the site, it does not store your text after analysis. I submitted all of my short stories and each individual chapter of The Orphans (currently on chapter 13); 42 pieces in all. This is whose writing it says mine resembles (number of pieces in brackets, if more than one):
- Dan Brown (10)
- Mario Puzo (5)
- Cory Doctorow, Neil Gaiman (3)
- Chuck Palahniak, Isaac Asimov, J K Rowling, Mark Twain, Stephen King (2)
- Agatha Christie, Arthur C Clarke, David Foster Wallace, Ian Fleming, J R R Tolkien, Kurt Vonnegut, Margaret Attwood, P G Wodehouse, Robert Louis Stevenson, Vladimir Nabokov and finally, William Shakespeare
Because I don’t restrict myself to one genre, and because I have not immersed myself in one writer, I think (hope) I am developing my own style. It is, therefore, to be expected that different pieces will approximate to the language and styles of different established authors. However, if the system has any validity, and if it is true that my output predominately approaches a mix of Dan Brown and Mario Puzo, then I’m not too unhappy. Incidentally, this post came in as Neil Gaiman.
Finally, Clare spotted this sky and said, “Talk about keeping all your ducks in a row!” I thought it worth capturing, if only to show that, even in the cloud, order is good.
Late addition, because we both forgot our wedding anniversary today and it took Tania to remind us:
HAPPY 21ST ANNIVERSARY, CLARE!
À la prochaine