Archive for October, 2003

Yet more Ravilious

Thursday, October 30th, 2003

Readers less remote than ourselves, readers who are not in the Mountains of the Moon, should really try to see this exhibition It has wonderful things in it which may not be seen again in public for some time.

More Ravilious

Thursday, October 30th, 2003

Regular readers will realise that we are living at the moment in the zone of a small war between Barnyards the big farmer and the Geordie Ambassador, which has involved so far Barnyards ploughing all round the Geordie Embassy to within inches of the track and the GA doing Viking things to Barnyards his back […]

Noah’s Ark

Sunday, October 26th, 2003

We have been seeing a great deal of the sheep. There was an idea tabled some while ago, shortly after they took up escapology (one of those ideas that women are supposed not to remind people about, which is called nagging) that the Geordie Ambassador was going to see to the defences this weekend but […]

Vides ut alte

Thursday, October 23rd, 2003

This afternoon there was a lull in the wind (and a nice sky with Tiepolo clouds violet-gray over pink and azure) so I took myself and the foolish little labrador up to the Geordie Embassy to present the GA with one of Dr Biswell’s “dogs” as he fondly calls his less prepossessing review copies. […]


Saturday, October 18th, 2003

We were asked to lunch today by friends who live in a deeply Jacobite valley up in the highlands – its Jacobitism having more than nothing, one suspects, to do with the fact that none of the redcoats could find it, which was wonderful for all the usual reasons (they being civilisation incarnate) and also […]

Pastoral interlude

Sunday, October 12th, 2003

I was parked in front of the computer fooling about with the British Library online catalogue earlier in the evening, which is roughly what I had been doing all day, when there was a sudden outbreak of effing, blinding and barking from the garden. I stuck my head out: ‘ah, Ambassador. To what do we […]


Saturday, October 11th, 2003

Gardening, yes. You plant stuff, and you have to weed it, maybe prune it, fuss about it generally. Grass has to be cut … I didn’t consider myself that naïve about the vegetable kingdom in short, but so help me, I never really understood the extent that trees had to have stuff done about […]

Feuding For Beginners

Friday, October 10th, 2003

We were from home today: I was in my place of detention teaching Latin, and the Northern Professor was comparing watercolours in the local art gallery, so we met up and came home together. We went up the road to pick up Miss Dog only to discover that we had missed a major drama –– […]

Visiting a Sacred Spring

Sunday, October 5th, 2003

This particular Sacred Spring was immediately by the side of a B-road on the Black Isle. We had not intended to visit it, it was merely that we had been driving along beside an undistinguished fringe of unmaintained deciduous wood, heading for Cromarty through the dusty golden end of the harvest, when the trees suddenly […]

Religion and the Modern World

Friday, October 3rd, 2003

One of the Professor’s Godfather’s most appealing ideas came out of a discussion of building tempietti: ‘If you built a little temple’, who would it be of?’ –The Goddess of Solvency, I thought, and we elaborated the notion between us: the Goddess of Solvency is a deity with almost universal appeal. In fact, she might […]


Thursday, October 2nd, 2003

The various this and thats of the day have included an encounter so silly it needs to be noted. The background is that the Lady Novelist collects intaglios, i.e. seal-stones from the ancient world. Two such, variously acquired, made an agreeable pair; a willowy and rather pervy goddess wearing boots and nothing else (those Romans. […]

Some Fascinating News about Ghosts

Thursday, October 2nd, 2003

The Northern Professor’s Godfather has been visiting from Malaysia, and has taught the household the Malay for the following essential words and concepts: ‘darling’, ‘let’s go,’(even Miss Dog has grasped that this is the Malay for ‘walk’), ‘ghost’,’fish’,’fare passagiata‘. ‘do nothing but lean on something and smoke’, ‘anchovy’, ‘rice cooked in coconut milk’ and, crucially, […]