I suggested in the last blog that this looked a quieter week and as I was stuck inside the house with a blizzard blowing outside my thoughts turned to Quantum Mechanics as I am sure yours did also.

I once listened to a programme on BBC 4 in which a scientist spent half an hour explaining all about quantum mechanics. It was absolutely enthralling although I barely understood a word of it! Anyway this week in an idle moment I was thinking of the programme and how quantum mechanics has affected my life. Schrodinger’s cat is an interesting concept. There was this mad scientist called Schrodinger invented a theory that proved that a cat in a theoretical experiment could be both alive and dead at the same time. I decided to test this theory on my own cats. When I looked for them they were all fast asleep on the sofa, you could almost describe them as “dead to the world” so fast asleep were they. I turned around and within nano seconds the kittens were chasing around the house. Dead and alive at the same time, proof positive of the theory.

The other description given on the BBC to explain quantum mechanics was to use a pool table as an example of the existence of alternative dimensions. In one dimension the pool shot would hit a ball into the pocket and be placed perfectly for the next shot; in another dimension the ball would miss the pocket but the white ball would go in off. In yet another dimension the ball would go through the cushion and reappear in another part of the pool table, completely at random. This explains so much of what I experience when playing on my pool table. Shots that are perfectly constructed in my head go horribly wrong once I put cue to ball. I now understand that my perfect shot has happened but just not in the same dimension that I am in. I am now studying quantum theory to try to work out how I can be in the same dimension at the same time as my perfect shot. If only my perfect brain were in the same dimension, it would be so much easier!

So moving on to string theory I find that the definition is that String theory posits that the elementary particles (i.e., electrons and quarks) within an atom are not 0-dimensional objects, but rather 1-dimensional oscillating lines ("strings"). It has been described as a theory for everything. So I decided to try this out on my cats as well and found that the kittens try to catch anything that looks remotely like a string, this includes shoelaces, apron strings and even apparently bare toes, which Moggie has a special penchant for pouncing on with very sharp claws. It can be very disconcerting going to visit the bathroom in the middle of the night and having bare toes attacked by a kitten that crouches behind things and then jumps out. He could possibly be hiding in another dimension.

Chaos theory studies the behavior of dynamical systems that are highly sensitive to initial conditions, an effect which is popularly referred to as the butterfly effect; a theoretical example of a hurricane's formation being contingent on whether or not a distant butterfly had flapped its wings several weeks before. The cats have beaten me to it on this theory by experimenting on me and imposing a state of constant chaos. Minou has taken to leaping onto my back at any moment, usually when I am cooking or ironing, she then takes up a position on my shoulder. She could be in a dimension where she thinks she is the parrot Captain Flint to my Long John Silver. The kittens rampage around the house, creating chaos and mayhem where ever they go. Mrs Parish and I have our hands, legs and now toes covered in scratches courtesy of Moggie and his razor sharp claws. He injects chaos by running up our legs and digging his claws in to gain a grip.

This afternoon Mrs Parish took them outside for supervised outdoor play. Moggie spent most of the time climbing virtually all the trees in the orchard. After an hour of chasing around outside and being chased by Mrs Parish, when they tried to escape our grounds, they are now fast asleep (maybe dead and alive!! They are not moving much). Talking of chaos, a very large Archie has just come in and is now sat in front of my computer obscuring it completely. He is trying to trick me into forgetting that he has already had his tea, at least in this dimension.

Enough of all this theorising and down to practical matters. This week I have started the decorating of the Games Stable. I started with painting the ceiling and immediately needed to make clear that this was not painting the ceiling in the style of the Sistine Palace but more a white out at the last supper as the ceiling is being covered in white paint. I soon realised that there is over 50 square metres of ceiling requiring at least two coats of paint. My first attempt using a plank and two up turned dustbins was not a great success so I have now invested in a pair of adjustable trestles with 3 planks between. This is brilliant as I can get close enough to the ceiling to make it a lot easier. I think I will now be tucked away in the stable until the spring as there is a load of painting and other work to be done.

During the week we managed to finally get rid of all the empty beer and wine bottles consumed during Ian and Emma’s visit. The weather has been pretty awful but we also needed to visit the recycling centre under cover of darkness, such was the evidence of a week of high indulgence, we didn’t want the neighbors to think that Mrs Parish and I had consumed that much alcohol.

We made Emile very happy this week. Mrs Parish had the good idea of using the computer to produce some labels for Emile’s calvados. When we have received bottles, they usually have the word Calva written in rather streaky felt tip pen on the label of what had previously been in the bottle. We thought that a more professional approach was required to mark the quality of the product. So Mrs Parish has produced labels which state “Calvados D’Emile, appellation controlee, le Petit Rousseau with a nice picture of a cider tree. We gave them to Emile who was very impressed and rather moved by the tribute.

No news yet re the car registration, we remain with baited breath.

Time to start the recycling process again by opening a bottle of wine, the first one this week - at least in one dimension!

Bon weekend