Friday, 4 May 2007

Small things

I've recently had a lot of small bits of projects to finish off or tidy up, things which had been hanging around for a while and generally impeding any significant progress with anything. Yesterday, most of these annoying little things got resolved, and I've been making progress with my new project.

The sun was shining yesterday. At lunchtime, the office emptied and everyone bar our secretary headed down to the ponds in the park for a picnic and a bit of down time. It's not often that this happens, and when it does, it's a good opportunity to relax and deal with each other on a social level without the pressures of working getting in the way. It's a nice spot as well - scattered trees providing dappled shade, the manicured bowl formed by the ground giving shelter from the strong, cool breeze, and the low-rise, well spaced buildings do not much encroach on the pleasantness of the location.

After work, four of us headed down to our local, which happens to be the university sports bar, and which serves good local beers. We sat outside in the sun nursing our pints with the sun dipping and casting golden highlights on the leaves of the patio trees, intensifying the colours against the backdrop of the clear blue sky.

There was a caterpillar searching for food amongst the lichen growing on our table. I suppose the spilled ales provide ideal nutrition for a variety of green things.... Watching this thing make its way along the table, I was struck by three things:

1) It was amazingly flexible.

I used to be flexible...ish. I was actually rather jealous of the extreme deformability of the caterpillar, folding itself in half before clinging on with its back suckers and launching its front legs forwards.

2) It had suckers on its back feet.

Safely adhered to the table by its hind legs, this thing could lean out in all directions, supporting its own body weight and directing its freed body wherever it liked, spiraling into the air, and looking like it was having a bit of fun, and perhaps showing off a bit, enjoying all the attention we were paying to its fantastic design. How cool would it be to have suckers on our feet? We'd all be like spiderman. This little creature was a miniature super-hero!

3) It was lucky we hadn't accidently squashed it with our pints...

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