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Tadpoles In May

Wednesday 5th May, cloudy but warmer, few spots of rain around noon.

Here's the tadpole news: it's mixed. I had a big die-back in the yellow bucket, last week when the weather was very warm, and this week a moderate die-back in the plasterer's tub, no obvious reason why, except maybe that I had stopped covering the tub at night, and we've had a couple of very cold ones. On the plus side, my pets (the tadpoles reared indoors) are doing well. Two of them have well-developed back legs, a body shape that gets more defined by the hour and evil, glittering little eyes. . . (I've noticed this before, but it's purely an adolescent thing, never met a grown frog that didn't have perfectly mild-mannered gaze). I'm feeding them on the white of hardboiled egg, Peter having rejected the idea of stomped slug suspended on a thread as too disgusting & the other tadpole-rearing site suggestion, organic chicken breast, raw or cooked, as too ridiculous. (It doesn't have to be organic of course. One of the respondents gives a charming insight into her domestic habits: take a chunk of chicken tikka rinse it and "suspend on a thread".

The suspend on a thread thing is supposed to create an entertaining feeding frenzy, as the tads struggle to rear up and grab the tasty morsel, but I haven't tried it yet.

Many thanks to Ben Lund and Richard Palmer for their book orders, that's £25 so far to Amnesty and another £22 on the way.

Remember I said I'd enjoyed the Royal Society's 350th anniversary celebration essays, Seeing Further? I've now been invited, due to Sarah LeFanu, to speak at one of the celebratory events at the end of June. It's called Who Needs Men Anyway, and is all about the fragility of the Y chromosome. I'm to tell the people about the feminist science fiction angle. Thanks very much Sarah. I'll give it a go, how could I resist. More on this later.

Reading, Georgina Ferry's biography of Dorothy Hodgkin and enjoying it very much. In the past I've marked Dorothy Hodgkin down because, as you may know, our only female Nobel Laureate Chemist always maintained that being a woman had been no obstacle to her career. Easy enough for you to say, princess, was my verdict. Possibly you never noticed that you were rich and privileged. . . practically born with that proverbial £500 a year in your pocket.
But there's a lot more to it than that.

Watching: Saw The Ghost, thought it was okay. Watched the first episode of "Luther" Idris Elba's post-Stringer Bell debut on the tv last night. Won't be trying that again. Oh dear, oh dear. Crude, shallow, silly. We're back to that old favourite, lots and lots of running around meant to simulate urgency, the maverick cop with psychotic behaviour problems, and I do believe a Salander-copy-cat, the kooky, violent young female genius sidekick, but this time, hey, how cool, she's gone over to the Dark Side. Ridiculous.


And now, at last, back to work? I'm trying.