Archive for June, 2004


Wednesday, June 30th, 2004

I have been suffering, ever since I acquired my new Toshiba laptop, with repetitive strain injury. The keyboard is too far away, because of making room for the mousepad and, doubtless, a great deal of inscrutable hardware. I type the way I was taught to back in the Dark Ages when there were typing schools […]

A Game of Woolly Buggers

Tuesday, June 29th, 2004

This has been a day of epic adventure. It started fairly quietly, with the Mobius breakfast so characteristic of the summer months; the earliest risers loll about the kitchen chatting and making another round of tea whenever another tardy individual emerges into the light of day. We had just about decided on a plan for […]

The Apparitional Gamekeeper

Monday, June 28th, 2004

There was a peculiarly Lawrentian moment this evening: the household consisted at that point of the Canadian Professor and two Germans, apart from ourselves, all waiting for Dr Biswell. As the assembled company enjoyed a Biedermeyer conversazione in the sitting room (opalescent rain, misty vistas, the quoting of significant monuments of world literature, discussion on […]

The art of obituary

Sunday, June 27th, 2004

The Northern and Canadian Professors have returned from an improving sojourn in a certain Benedictine abbey. The Northern Professor has a number of tales to tell which with any luck he will tell himself in due course. The Canadian Professor who is a summer bird of passage, is once more adorning and enlivening the household: […]

Animal Crackers

Thursday, June 24th, 2004

There was a very funny episode of Beastly Politics this evening. It has rained since yesterday lunchtime with steady persistence. Miss Dog and Miss Cat have spent the day in my study staring out at the curtain of falling water, emanating Ďbored, bored, boredí while I typed frenziedly, and a draft chapter emerged from whatever […]


Tuesday, June 22nd, 2004

We have had a day of the Geordie Ambassador, who tipped up at nine or so and brazened out his non-appearance at the end of last week with characteristic aplomb. There was only one point where the brass neck showed signs of wear and tear. Seeking to change the subject from his non appearance and […]

Barley and Swans

Monday, June 21st, 2004

Miss Dog looks very beguiling walloping through the barley. The barley has reached its early summer state where the whiskers have grown but the whole plant is bright green, so the field looks as if it is sown with green fur. It stands slightly taller than Miss Dog, and her approach to this is […]

Under the Bam, under the Boo…

Sunday, June 20th, 2004

Genetics can be mystifying. This evening, I found myself contemplating The Real World Consultant, who is, as it happens, my brother. We refer to him as The Real World Consultant because 1) he lives in London which as everyone knows is the Real World, and what is more, knows where to go to find everything […]

Drifting Offshore in the Gathering Darkness

Saturday, June 19th, 2004

One becomes almost resigned to Amurka doing horrid things to one. (We have just had a paradigmatically liberal citizen of that nation staying, with whom we evolved the form of words “ut dicitur President”, for a President not belived by all to have been unequivocally fairly elected. This ut dictiur, being very snarly Latin for […]

The Queen’s Flower

Monday, June 14th, 2004

That is, Strelitzia reginae, discovered in South Africa in the reign of George III, and named for Charlotte von Mecklenburg-Strelitz, then queen of England. The Real World Consultant grew two or three strelitzias from seed about eight years ago, and very kindly gave me one. It is finally about to flower, and the suspense is […]

Nature Study

Monday, June 14th, 2004

This is the time of year when harbouring a cat becomes really quite tiring. Several families of birds, from jackdaws down to sparrows, have been raising their families on the roof. There comes a point, alas, when a baby bird, trying its wings, finds it has planed down off the roof, and canít get back […]

They are all around us passing unnoticed

Wednesday, June 9th, 2004

I revert, lettori benevolenti, to the subject of pagerunners. We have established that the Prior of the Abbey at X***** is beyond doubt a pagerunner ex R.H.Benson or possibly early Waugh. I have held this morning an extended telephone conversation with his chum Lady Priesthole (not her real name). Pagerunner beyond a shadow of a […]

Ecological Reading

Tuesday, June 8th, 2004

No thinking person can live long where we live without reflecting on the philosophical question posed by our County Council. In a part of Scotland notable and noted for the general togetherness and efficiency of its inhabitants, the Council persists, quietly and consistently, in being, in local phrase no very good.
Snow seems to come to […]


Tuesday, June 8th, 2004

In the curious alternative universe of Jasper fforde, the two worlds of literature and life are strangely mutually permeable: it is possible for a real-world person to become trapped in a poem by Wordsworth, or for a work of fiction to make a bid for the dubious freedom of reality, and individuals of the second […]

Sursum Corda

Sunday, June 6th, 2004

Mark the Squaddie has two children (their names are tattooed on his forearms in gothic letters an inch high Ė one might have hazarded a guess that this was in case he forgot what they were called, but since he canít read, it canít be that, it must simply be in imitation of the Blessed […]

A conundrum for philosophers and footballers

Saturday, June 5th, 2004

A little competition: which English football team draws its motto from the Adages of Erasmus?