As we approach the end of 2021, I have a pretty good idea of what my top ten albums of the year will be, for my now traditional What I’ve Been Listening To post. And one of them is an album I want to write much more about than will reasonably fit into one of the brief entries in that post. Hence today’s post:
The eagle-eyed among you will spot that this album is by my wife Fiona. That has everything to do with why I know about it at all, but absolutely nothing to do with why I love it so deeply.
The climactic track of Rainbow’s swords-and-sorcery metal masterpiece Rising (1976), Stargazer tells the tale of a sorcerer whose slaves build a tower so they can watch him fly from it — only to see him not so much fly as plummet.
In the free-form coda that ends the song, Ronnie James Dio cries out:
I see a rainbow rising Look up, on the horizon
Now here is the problem. Even if we accept the dubious proposition that rainbows rise (I suppose they might do so as the sun sinks) and even accepting the notion of a rainbow on the horizon (something you only see when the sun is unusually high in the sky), even then you would not look up to see a rainbow rising on the horizon. You would look horizontally.
So the song should say:
I see a rainbow rising Look horizontally, to the horizon
Yesterday we had an amazingly clear rainbow. And it happened at just the right time of day (4:20pm) that the sun was in just the right place that I was able to step back from the house and frame it entirely within the rainbow. Here it is, straight off the phone, with absolutely no retouching:
I am writing a Jest/RTL test for a React component that invokes another component. I want to mock that second component so I can have it do things like invoking callbacks that the first component passes to it.
But there is nothing specific to React about this requirement: it comes up for non-React modules, too. I have an approach that I have shown to work using trivial modules and I want to document it here for myself and anyone else who finds it useful.
Fiona and I both love the sunshine, and it’s something you don’t necessarily get a lot of in Britain. We’ve often thought that if we had the money we’d love to add a conservatory (“sunroom” for you Americans) to the house — but we never have had the money and doubt we ever will. Plus who needs all the upheaval and disruption?
Then one day it occurred to us that a conservatory is basically just a greenhouse with a sofa in it — so why not get a greenhouse and put a sofa in it? And that is exactly what we’ve done. I woke on the morning of Saturday 24th April, looked at Facebook Marketplace, and found that someone was selling a greenhouse for £2 provided we could come and collect it that day. The listing said it was missing some panes of glass, but obviously it was bargain. So I woke Fiona up and we drove 30 miles to Cheltenham, thinking it would take half an hour or so to take the greenhouse apart and load it into the car.
An interesting thing happened. A few days ago, I made pizza dough for four pizzas, as usual. Generally, I do one each for Fiona, Jonno and me, and put the spare ball in an airtight plastic tub in the fridge, then make myself another pizza the next day.
But this time, unknown to me, Jonno was having dinner next door that night. So Fiona and I had pizza, and I put two spares in tubs in the fridge. I made myself a pizza the next night as usual using one of the balls. Then the next night, I made a third. But by this point, even though the dough had been in the fridge all the time, it had continued to ferment so the point that it completely filled the tub, and had become very light and soft.
I usually think of this as my second favourite Austen (after Pride and Prejudice, naturally), but on my re-read of all six, I found to my surprise that I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had Sense and Sensibility. Perhaps it’s partly because I had overdosed on screen adaptations recently: the Kate Beckinsale and Gwynneth Paltrow versions from 1996, the 2020 film with Anya Taylor-Joy, and the 2009 Romola Garai TV series. I really enjoyed all of them, but I guess having seen four rather different perspectives on the novel, the novel itself didn’t really have much more to show me.