Posted by: kathandroger | December 8, 2010

Descartes and the water pipes

It hasn’t stopped raining since I last blogged on Sunday. I reckon this is the worst spell of weather we have had since we have lived here – truly awful! Needless to say we have been largely confined to barracks and Boudie is particularly fed up!Also, work on the barns has come to a bit of a halt since the snows of last Thursday. The plumber did pop round yesterday and lay the water pipes to the various toilets, bathrooms, washing machines etc…


The masons have been here all day today, but it was too wet and miserable to see what they have done! According to Evelyne on the tele it is going to be dry and sunny for a few days, so no doubt they will crack on.

Meanwhile, it has been good weather to start my ‘Descartes’ translation. Sylvie, curator of the Descartes (he of ‘I think, therefore I am’ fame of course) museum, is keen to make the museum accessible to non-French speakers, so I have agreed to help her translate a text that can then be recorded and downloaded onto MP3 players. I have to confess to knowing little about philosophy and even less about Descartes himself, so it is quite an interesting task (if a little tricky!). It turns out that Descartes wasn’t the nicest of men, even if he did have a brain the size of a planet. He thought himself superior to everyone else, discrediting their work and seemed to make enemies fairly easily. He was a mercenary, fighting for both the Catholics and the Protestants – and in fact anyone who would pay him! He was a lazy so and so too, staying in bed until midday under the pretext that that was where he did his best thinking. Good job he wasn’t married to me or that would have come to an abrupt halt! In the end, he was invited by Queen Christina of Sweden to go to Stockholm and teach her, but she made him get up early so she could study in the morning. Seems to have been enough to have killed him, though by this time his achievements were such that he became known as the ‘father of modern philosophy’. Here is the man himself …

rene descartes

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