Archive for July, 2004

Travels, Travails and Tannhauser

Tuesday, July 27th, 2004

We are back in the Deep North after a strenuous but interesting week in the Beautiful South (hence lapse in transmission), mostly in the enlivening company of the Canadian Professor to whom, sadly, we have said goodbye for the year. But she is going to Finland, lucky her. We both took advantage of our […]

The Turriff Marijuana Festival

Sunday, July 18th, 2004

Nobody has told us that there is a Turriff Marijuana Festival, this is merely a secondary deduction from available evidence. A midday foray into Safeways for the papers, ordinary tobacco for Dr Biswell to smoke, cheese, onions, etc. found the car-park full of beaten-up caravans, and Safeways itself full of strange, brightly coloured and picturesque […]

At a loss for words

Saturday, July 17th, 2004

One curious feature of the sheep which we have had ample opportunity to observe of late is that they move in a mysterious way. So mysterious, in fact, that even I don’t know a word for it and there’s not a lot of things you can say that of. They walk, of course, or rather […]

Saturday, July 17th, 2004

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A second attempt to upload Twisbeius Heidelbergensis, the first female twisby in captivity …

The Fathomless Inventiveness of Dr Biswell

Friday, July 16th, 2004

Dr Biswell’s verbal inventiveness is an unending source of delight. The sheep — a subject so dull as hardly to bear mention — elicited from him yesterday, as we added yet another strand of wire to the defences around their paddock, a refinement of his Great Escape monologue. To the numerous personae who share Dr […]


Friday, July 16th, 2004

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We have been sent documentary evidence of the first known German Twisby (twisbeius Heidelbergensis). A more colourful animal than the Scottish Twisby, which is a dolorous grey: the German specimen is believed to be female. Note the alert ears. quite distinct from the drooping, hopeless ears of Twisbeius turrifienensis, the type-specimen of which is […]

Thursday, July 15th, 2004

‘The rain fell heavily, drearily’ (Vide Little Dorrit). We had a day of sunshine yesterday; it was almost a question of ‘Mummy, what’s that funny glowing thing up in the sky?’. But the Geordie Ambassador and Mark the Squaddie have between them contrived to complete our rehabilitation of the ghastly sheds, which look more and […]


Tuesday, July 13th, 2004

We inherited a quintessentially farmery back-of-house when we came here, two derelict-looking sheds of rusting corrugated iron roofs, a plastic oiltank perched on some old railway sleepers. Transformation is now almost complete: we now appear to have two little wooden temples with pediments, in shades of stone and a soft greenish-grey, equipped with pilasters: Mark […]

Revenons à nos moutons

Friday, July 9th, 2004

WE WILL STOP WRITING BLOGS ABOUT BLOODY SHEEP HONEST. But for now they are preoccupying us somewhat. Moreover, today’s first, second, and third escapes have prompted me to think that this whole business of ‘I am the good shepherd’, and other sheep-related statements, parables, etc. in the New Testament deserves reconsideration. One envisages, basically, a […]

Olympic Sports

Thursday, July 8th, 2004

Here hopefully is an introduction to Sheep Hurling for beginners. Note good body line and textbook control of sheep.
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Napoleon the Sheep

Wednesday, July 7th, 2004

We seem to have acquired, as Monty Python once put it, ‘that most dangerous of creatures, a clever sheep’. Presumably the one who organised the ‘King of the Castle’ game on the roof of their lovely straw igloo which caused them to go through it, and reduce the thing to a battered-looking haystack. We drove […]

The Portsoy Boat Festival

Sunday, July 4th, 2004

Yesterday, with great regret, we said goodbye to the German Guests, and almost immediately wished we’d got them back again. We had intended to go along to Portsoy anyway because there is a shop there the Canadian Professor wished to visit, but we had fixed on yesterday in particular for this excursion because we knew […]

Stuffed Twisbys

Thursday, July 1st, 2004

There is an uncollected work of Edward Gorey’s called The Other Statue, which entered the household as a present from the Papyrologist last year. It features, among its complex and various cast, a little boy called Augustus and his familiar, or bed-companion, a stuffed twisby. The twisby seemed, on collating the three drawings in which […]

Holy Body Parts (again) also Priestly Cenacles

Thursday, July 1st, 2004

My wholesome interest in relics and reliquaries is well known to readers of this journal.
A pleasing vignette on the subject, from the conference at the abbey of ******** which we attended (nay, organised) last week.
Dame Margaret was in the middle of a lucid exposition of the collections of a venerable house of Dames Anglaises, delivered […]

Smoke and Mirrors

Thursday, July 1st, 2004

The Canadian Professor, in the course of a lunchtime discussion of this and that, vouchsafed that a common acquaintance, a Canadian interested in bedding-plants, had once asked about the way we live (rather rudely we all thought), demanding bluntly that he be told how we afforded it.
“All done with smoke and mirrors, ” I remarked […]