Christmas cards were completed today; Christmas shopping was continued; the tree was placed in situ, and a few lights draped on it and around the walls.
Our Velux kitchen window leaks. There is no connection between the amount of rain and the leaks. Sometimes beneath very heavy rain the table remains dry; sometimes less rain slips in and plops into various collection pots. Today we have experienced the latter phenomenon, with heavy rain. The first picture presents a reflection of the table covered by an old dressing gown and containing a bowl; the second has a container placed at the next likely site; the mop and an old towel catch what bounces off the plastic container on the windowsill.
It is a bit like Chinese water torture as I type – not on my forehead, but certainly in my ears. Wikipedia speculates thus about the origin of the idiom: ‘The term “Chinese water torture” may have arisen from Chinese Water Torture Cell (a feat of escapology introduced in Berlin at Circus Busch September 13, 1910; the escape entailed Harry Houdini being bound and suspended upside-down in a locked glass and steel cabinet full to overflowing with water, from which he escaped), together with the Fu Manchu stories of Sax Rohmer that were popular in the 1930s (in which Fu Manchu subjected his victims to various ingenious tortures, such as the wired jacket). Hippolytus de Marsiliis is credited with the invention of a form of water torture [in Italy in the 15th or 16th century]. Having observed how drops of water falling one by one on a stone gradually created a hollow, he applied the method to the human body. Other suggestions say that the term “Chinese water torture” was invented merely to grant the method a sense of ominous mystery. The victim would be stripped of their clothes, shown to the public, then tortured. They would be driven insane while bystanders watched and mocked them.’
Early this evening we visited the Christmas lights display at Byron Road. This time the water was dripping on my forehead; and on my head; and in my eyes. Nevertheless the 35mm SIGMA lens was up to the job, even though I couldn’t really tell whether the subjects were in focus as I sped around the glorious front gardens.
The main thrust of the exhibition is along a terrace on one side of the road.
Each of the facing gardens features their occupants’ own take on the festive season.
A few more gardens on the other side of the road than usual have joined in the fun,
which is reflected in residents’ parked cars.
We went on to dine at Lal Quilla. We both drank Kingfisher, and shared an egg paratha, special fried rice, and lentil and cauliflower bahji. My main meal was lamb vindaloo; Jackie’s chicken buna.