Tuesday, 20 December 2011


My cold has retreated, and the wind has stopped. It's been almost springlike today, so a perfect opportunity to get out to the shops, clear the back deck drainage channels, and hoover out the engine hole. Batteries were 12.87v, two hours after running the engine for an hour. So I'm thinking I should oik them out and see if they need topping up, before the bad weather comes back.

Now that my sinuses are no longer bulging, and my eyes feel normal in their sockets again, I've been drawn back to books to pass the long winter evenings by the fire. Last night I read this..

Level 7 ~Mordecai Roshwald

Published in 1959, Level 7 is presented as the diary of a military man who is permanently stationed thousands of feet underground in a self-sufficient bunker. His job is to sit in a room awaiting the command to push a button to fire nuclear weapons at an enemy country.
A jolly little tale. Of especial interest to me, because in another time and place, I also worked in a bunker. An underground facility built on springs, capable (we were told) of withstanding a nuclear attack. And all of the times I went to work, I never once suspected that I wouldn't be able to come out again. Or that the people in charge could be so stupid, as to start an all out nuclear war. One of the most chilling parts of the book for me, was when X-127 realiases he is down there for life. The geopolitics may have changed since the book was written, but the detachment from emotions and daily diary updates made for a fascinating read.

Something a bit lighter tonight, I think. I was reading Peter Ackroyd's Biography of the Thames, but got frustrated with his many references back to Hilaire Belloc's The Historic Thames, that I thought I had better go and read that first.

Found a free copy here.. Thankyou, Project Gutenburg.

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