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w/e 2020-02-09

This week in I Appear To Have Escaped To The Country

§   There are mice, or at least one mouse, in the loft, which is annoying – scratching and scampering can sometimes be heard at night – but at least they’re out of sight.

On Wednesday we ordered a Rentokil FE35 Electronic Mouse Trap.

On Thursday morning I found a mouse in the cupboard under the sink, pooing away like it owned the place (in the UK, by law, only a property’s owner is permitted to pooh under its sink). The mouse escaped into the netherworld behind the kitchen cabinets.

On Friday morning in what I now call “the telly room” (previously the dining room) I heard the familiar-and-surprisingly-loud scrabbling sound… and realised there was a mouse inside one of my ageing Blue Room Minipod speakers. Inside! I guess the bass port on the front looks like the entrance to a futuristic mouse-sized space house. Anyway. Ugh.

Eventually, for anyone googling “how to get mouse out of loudspeaker”, the solution was… Place the speaker in an empty bath, unscrew the main drive unit from the front, and gently pull it outwards to reveal the mouse snuggled in the padding behind. Encourage the mouse to jump out using a long implement, leaving it to scurry around the empty bath. Further encourage the mouse into the safe-looking darkness of a wellington boot, then hold the top of the boot closed. Take the boot a long way off before releasing the mouse from the boot.

Thankfully the 25-year-old loudspeaker still works although it presumably now contains added mouse pooh.

§   After a few days of barely seeing a human being I start wondering if it’s possible for me/us to live here long term without gradually descending into a hermit-like state. The gaps between me shaving face and head are already growing steadily longer each time, which I assume is the first step towards ending up as a silent recluse with the beard of Catweazle and the hair of 1970s Eno.

But then on Saturday we went for a walk and ended up chatting to five neighbours (i.e. people who live within a mile or so of us) either out walking or in their gardens. It was the most social interaction I’d had for some time.

Coincidentally I had only just shaved so appearances have, thus far, been maintained.

§   We finished watching season one of Succession which is as fun as everyone has said. It is often ridiculous and just about believable enough.

I’m fascinated by the continuum that extends between comedy and drama. Succession seems to jump about a bit in the “comedy-drama” or “drama-comedy” territory. Sometimes it seems as over-the-top and hilarious as, say, The Thick of It, others it’s sombre and desperate, while the rest it’s at different points between. I’ve no idea how much of the comedy/drama weighting is down to script, direction, production, performance, or what. Could you shoot the same script and have it all be hilarious? Or all deathly serious? I don’t know.

Anyway, it is excellent, and frequently excruciating. No character comes out of it well except maybe the domestic staff drifting silently, thanklessly, past in some scenes. The main characters are all terrible people or, at best, completely unsuited to the positions they’ve comfortably landed in or strived for. Even the entertaining cousin Greg, the closest we get to being the viewer’s proxy, is lazy and inept, and super-keen to be promoted way above his ability, so far anyway. I also love Matthew Macfadyen’s portrayal of Tom Wambsgans, such a horrible mix of bullying, desperation, weakness, sycophancy, obliviousness, entitlement… Very good.

§   I forgot to mention last week that we finished season one of Wisting which was good because it’s been a while since we’ve watched a frosty scandi-noir and this hit all the right points plus the story in the first half has a couple of American FBI agents who behave all American, which is entertaining.

§   That’s all. It looks like I can’t add any tags to this post, like weeknotes, having updated some python dependencies a couple of days ago. Writing and maintaining one’s own CMS is definitely still a worthwhile use of one’s time in 2020. 🙄 Have a good week and don’t accidentally write a CMS.

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