Falkirk Wheel

Yesterday we went to see the Falkirk Wheel! We took the train out to Falkirk, had lunch, then took a bus out to the Wheel. (Well, not all the way there–it was just a local bus that took us near the Wheel. We had to walk the last bit ourselves. Eventually, they plan to have amphibious vehicles that ride from the centre of town out to the Wheel, give you a ride, then take you back. But they won’t be ready till August.)

It’s an utterly astonishing structure. We’d seen it already a couple of months ago, but only from a distance, as the approach roads and the Wheel itself wasn’t open then. But this time we went all the way up to it, watched it cycle round several times, and even took a ride on it ourselves!

Falkirk Wheel 1
Falkirk Wheel 2
Falkirk Wheel 3
Falkirk Wheel 4

Perhaps one of the most surprising things about it is how little sensation of movement there is when you’re on it and it’s going round. It’s very slow. Unless you’re watching the vistors’ centre and everything else as they glide by (and really, what’s the point if you don’t?), you’d never even notice you’d just risen or descended 35 metres

Alex didn’t appreciate it as much as we did, but he had a fun time toddling about anyway. And he even picked up some sum, which by this morning had already turned into tan. He has his mother’s skin…

To love the ideal more than the reality

“High on hope, he has forgotten what he loved and, instead,
loves the ideal more than the reality, which is the cause
of all the misery that the human species creates for itself.”

Dean Koontz, Seize The Night

I’m not normally much of a person for quotes. But every now and then one will jump up out of a book and grab me. When I was reading Dean Koontz’ Seize The Night (a seriously good book, btw), the above quote struck me straight away. I remember at the time stopping for a while, and just turning around the implications of it in my mind.

Today more than at any time recently, this quote feels relevant to me. All throughout the day I’ve been tying myself in knots, wondering “What if I do that…?” “Will they…?” “But how about…?”

But then I came home, and there was Alex. He was sitting on the floor of our bedroom, with his grandma Foley’s walkman in his lap and the matching headphones in his ears. He’d fumble with the buttons of the walkman, then reach over to Abi’s hand, and make her press “Play”. Whereupon he’d get a blast of music, and start nodding his little head with a big grin.

For me, Alex is the reality. I come home every day to warm baby lovin’. And so long as I remember that, and keep his happy smile with me, all the other stuff is relegated to a status of “nice to have.”

Dimplomatic Immunity

New Lois McMaster Bujold book out: Diplomatic Immunity! And it was released in May! I’d picked it up on my radar back in January or so, but then lost track of it. I only came across it by accident again this evening.

Okay, so I’ve only just this week got round to starting The Curse of Chalion, but Diplomatic Immunity is another Miles book! Amazon to the rescue!