|on the defensive|
You can tell this photo wasn't taken by me, because it's so beautifully framed.
Anna has been besieged by mosquito's since we arrived in Spain. Before bed last night, I scoured the apartment and only found one, which I duly dispatched. They don't bother me at all - I'm not sure if they don't bite me, or I just don't react. But they do bite Anna, and she does react.
Around 4am this morning, for some reason I awoke as one buzzed past my head. I then spent the next 10 minutes trying to spot it again, with just a few glimpses before losing it. So I sat reading for an hour on mozzie watch, but didn't see it again.
Eventually I feel back to sleep, but this cold/virus/whatever I've got has really kicked in now, so I slept fitfully at best.
Anna got up around 9, but in a strange reversal, I felt so rough I couldn't get up at all, and stayed in bed for much of the day, wondering if I'd be able to climb at all this week.
Anna kindly offered to go and take some pictures for me, as she was feeling restless and bored...I gladly accepted her offer.
This is an interesting tree that Anna found just over the way. It's got that bulbous water-retention thing going on, even though there's little sign of life - there's no foliage to speak of at this time of year.
This seems at odds with it's amazing defence system - the trunk is covered in large, dangerous looking thorns.
I guess that the foliage, when it arrives, must be highly valuable to the tree, and it doesn't want anything grazing off it. The tree's still here, so it must work as a survival strategy.
Speaking of survival, how's this for a weird coincidence...
Yesterday, whilst nosing about the BBC news website, I came across an article on the survival of the human species. It was published last year, and referenced a group of academics at Oxford University, headed by a Swede named Nick Bostrom.
The article discussed the various threats facing human survival over the next century, biological, technological and the like.
Later yesterday, out of the 1,000 or so books on my kindle, I decided to start reading Bedlam, by Christopher Brookmyre. I knew nothing about the book, and on the kindle there's no back cover to browse, but I usually love Brookmyre's work, so I started in on spec.
It turns out that the book is a sci-fi novel, unlike his usual crime drama's, and whilst ostensibly about a scientist stuck inside a computer game, the underlying theme appears to relate to possible future technology whereby consciousness could be digitised and virtual worlds could thus be fully experienced as if they're real.
This afternoon, 30% or so of the way through the book, Brookmyre references a 2003 academic paper by one Nick Bostrom of Oxford University, which seems to have served, in part at least, as inspiration for the story!