Tuesday, 15 November 2016


Why so few posts yesterday, Poul Anderson fans?

Hours Yesterday
1 on gym bike
0.5 swimming
2 visiting Ketlan in the Infirmary, afternoon
0.5 meditation
1 visiting Ketlan, evening
2 Duke's Playhouse film quiz
1.5 travel time

That is a day's work. There was time for eating and reading but not of Poul Anderson. For the Duke's Playhouse night and day, see the images.

The film quiz included a few items relevant to recent posts:

one James Bond film, Doctor No;
four time travel films -

Daleks Invasion Earth 2150 AD;
Planet Of The Apes;
The Time Machine.

The Daleks are Doctor Who's continuing villains. We recently suggested combining the Time Machine and Doctor Who with Poul Anderson's Time Patrol. See here.

Tomorrow may involve visiting another very unwell friend, the Italian Fascist, then Ketlan again. The current reading schedule, maybe, is:

finish reading The Myth Of God Incarnate;
finish rereading The People Of The Wind;
finish reading SM Stirling's On The Oceans Of Eternity.

Theology, future history and alternative history expand the mind.


  1. Kaor, Paul!

    I do understand how anxiety for Ketlan is quite properly taking up much of your time as you repeatedly visit him. I hope he soon recovers!

    I too do regular exercises, albeit not the same as what you do. I do 22 planks and 250 situps a day. Plus often going for walks after I get back home from work.

    I'm a bit puzzled by the terminology used for medical facilities in the UK. Is the Lancaster Royal Infirmary more or less what we in the States call a "hospital"?

    I'm sorry your Italian friend is also unwell and I hope he recovers. I find it interesting that he's a Fascist! And I know the Italians Fascist were no where as GRIM as either the Nazis or Communists.

    I too am far too slowly rereading Stirling's ON THE OCEANS OF ETERNITY. I spend far too much time online when I should be reading the book! And I look forward to any comments you make about that work.


    1. Sean,
      Yes, an infirmary is a hospital, I suppose because it cares for those who are "infirm." I didn't realize that our terminologies differed on that point. "Infirmary" and "hospital" are interchangeable.

    2. Kaor, Paul!

      Thanks for clearing up a small puzzle! Yes, "infirmary" is seldom used like that in the States. Mostly for things like the medical wings of military installations, schools, prisons, etc.

      All this reminded me of Poul Anderson's "A Tragedy of Errors." The story is based, as you recall, on the confusion caused by changes in the meaning of Anglic words after the Empire fell.


    3. Paul and Sean:
      Another thing I've found confusing is the British term "Nursing Sister" or simply "Sister" for what we in the States would call a "Nurse." I read one book in which the narrator was clearly making a pass at a particular "Sister"; she plainly wasn't at all displeased, and I was shocked because I thought anyone addressed as "Sister" was a nun....

      Like Mr. Stirling, I wish Ketlan all the best. And your (Fascist, did you say?) friend Andrea, too.

    4. David,
      Thank you. I have to explain to my anti-fascist comrades that Andrea would have supported Mussolini only until the latter became Il Duce. Also, Andrea thinks that Italy was on the wrong side in the War.

    5. Kaor, DAVID and Paul!

      David: Yes, I too have come across the puzzling, to Americans, British habit of calling "nursing sisters" by a term we mostly associate with Catholic nuns. In books by British authors (including SF books like DAY OF THE TRIFIDS).

      Paul: I'm a pit puzzled by your Italian friend's views. I thought Mussolini BECAME "Il Duce" when he assumed or seized power in 1922. As dictators go, he was surprisingly mild and easy going. I remember reading in Churchill's history of WW II that the PM believed Mussolini's biggest mistake was allying with Hitler's Germany. And that if Mussolini had opposed Hitler his fate might well had been very different.


    6. Sean,
      Mild or not, Musso did become a dictator. Andrea says he would have supported the Fascists as long as they were a Parliamentary Party, participating in elections, sometimes forming a government, sometimes in opposition, sometimes in coalition etc.

    7. Kaor, Paul!

      Of course I agree with you! What I had in mind was that, compare to the great tyrant monsters of the 20th century (Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, Castro, Pol Pot, etc.) Mussolini wasn't that bad.

      And I agree it would have been far better if Benito had been content to be a law abidiing politician and rise to power in the ways outlined by your fried. Alas, that was not the case.


  2. Best possible luck to Ketlan, by the way.

    1. Mr Stirling,
      Thank you very much! I will hopefully visit Andrea (Italian or rather of Italian descent) this morning (if he is well enough to answer his door) and will see Ketlan at the Infirmary/Hospital at 2.00 PM. He will certainly appreciate your good wishes.