#SaturdaySix September 2018: Skeletons, stand-up, introversion, aestivation

Summer’s almost gone. Time for September’s #SaturdaySix – a sextet of things that have inspired or amused me over the past month. What is floating your own metaphorical boat right now? I would love to know – please do get in touch!



I told you those things would kill you! This skeletal van dweller is perhaps not the greatest advertisement for the long-term health benefits of smoking. At least he knows to wear a seatbelt. I spotted him sitting patiently in the passenger seat of a parked camper van on one of my early morning strolls whilst on holiday in Cornwall earlier this month. On subsequent mornings, I twigged that he is a regular fixture of that particular beach-abutting carpark, and that his pose changes subtly every day. I like to think that in the pic above he has just spotted a bony buddy and is all: “Oh hai!”




Gentle reader, I defend to the death the right of others to love summer to bits. But the sunny season really is not for me. Tomorrow (Sunday 23 September 2018) marks the official end of summer*. Every day, Robert Macfarlane generously shares a tweeted word of the day. I was delighted with his offering for Friday 7 September 2018, which nails a concept for which I’d long wished there was a word (and for which it turns out there jolly well had been all along!): aestivation. Take it away, Robert!

“Word of the day: ‘aestivate’ – to pass the summer in a state of torpor, drowsiness & lowered metabolic rate (from the Latin aestas, summer); also to summer in a place. A creature or person may emerge from ‘aestivation’ in autumn as from ‘hibernation’ in spring.”

Summer, it’s been good. But the time to aestivate in 2018 is over. Didn’t Jim Morrison have a tune for such an occasion? (Spoiler: he did!)



In just a single tweet, Nick Shackleton-Jones provides an unnervingly accurate insight into the world of we introverted types:**

How most conversations sound to an introvert:
“this is lamp!”
“yes, it IS lamp!”
“I like lamp”
“I like lamp too”
“lamp, lamp”
“lamp, lamp, lamp”

If you would like to read some words I have previously written on introversion, might I please direct you to the following posts? Introversion, crunchy frogs & Quiet  and Of Twitter, tweet-ups and introversion.

But I must stress, I defend to the death the right of extroverts to extrovert.



The introvert in me (well, the introvert who is all of me) is full of admiration for the challenge my friend Helen Reynolds has set herself. I could definitely not do this! Helen has embarked on an eight-week challenge to raise funds for Cancer Research UK by going from a standing start to performing a live stand-up comedy set in Cardiff in November!

If anyone can do this, Helen can! Wish her all the best, pop down to see her live in Cardiff if you can…and definitely do please give generously! Donate here.


“Aestivate? Exterminate!” Could there be a more terrifying sight to wake you from your summer version of hibernation than to see your garden invaded by Daleks (even if they are a bit on the teeny side, and they are getting endrizzled by the weather)? I absolutely love this picture from James Goss, part of a long Twitter thread of Dalek depictions.

I have to confess that I fell out of the Doctor Who watching habit during the Peter Capaldi era. This is definitely not a criticism of Mr Capaldi himself. Rather, it is a symptom of my thinking that showrunner Mr Steven Moffat long ago ran out of both ideas and charm. Having loyally followed all of the good Doctor’s travels from Destiny of the Daleks on (I still can’t believe how lucky I was that having this as my jumping-on point meant that my second Doctor Who adventure was consequently the Douglas Adams-penned masterpiece City of Death)***, I felt very bad for losing all interest over recent years. However, I am excited to give the new series (replete with new Doctor, new showrunner and no Steven Moffat) when it starts early next month (Sunday 7 October 2018). Hop back on the Tardis!


The treasure hunt for new knowledge never ends. I was charmed by Coach George Raveling’s appearance on the Tim Ferriss podcast, and delighted at his amazing life and his undimmed thirst for learning and living at age 80 (and he has since turned 81 – many happy returns, sir!). I blogged about it at the start of this month (It can all still change). I was stunned to receive a tweet from Coach Raveling in response to the post. I was delighted that his tweet confirms that his “treasure hunt for new knowledge” is ongoing. Long may it continue, sir!

If you’ve yet to hear it, please do yourself a favour and listen to George Raveling’s chat with Tim Ferriss. You will view life differently. And you will smile.



* ONE: Wikipedia confirms that tomorrow’s September equinox marks the end of summer, at least for us northern-hemespherical types:

“The September equinox (or Southward equinox) is the moment when the Sun appears to cross the celestial equator, heading southward. […] The equinox may be taken to mark the end of summer and the beginning of autumn (autumnal equinox) in the Northern Hemisphere, while marking the end of winter and the start of spring (vernal equinox) in the Southern Hemisphere.”

** TWO: I think I detect the subtle influence of Anchorman’s Brick Tamland in Nick’s turn of phrase here…

** THREE: I definitely had no appreciation of this fact when I saw City of Death on its first transmission (39 years ago this month), but seeing it again as a grown-up, I was delighted to realise that it features a lovely little cameo from John Cleese and Eleanor Bron! Enjoy:

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