Archive for January, 2005

Pollarding and Phormiums

Monday, January 31st, 2005

I spent quite a lot of this weekend up a tree with my gamekeeper. That is to say, the Apparitional One, temporarily parted from his air rifle (which incidentally, I found lovingly cradled on the sawhorse in the woodshed, just in case it came in handy for dispatching a wood-boring beetle, no doubt), was the […]

For North American Readers

Monday, January 31st, 2005

My adored Godfather is convinced with an absolute conviction that Amazon is a dear Lady in an apartment in Brighton (he specifies Doxiadis Mansions as the address) who is assisted in her bookselling cottage industry by Colin and Jason, the dear, quiet boys in the apartment below hers. Her American cousin appears to be having […]


Friday, January 28th, 2005

The Apparitional Gamekeeper eventuated out of the dark and the rain last night while I was making supper with a sort of bouquet of pheasants. ‘I thought you were at school today’, I said, which is the kind of boring tactless thing grownups do. But he took it in good part; it turned out […]


Tuesday, January 25th, 2005

One of the Northern Professor’s oldest friends (from the age of 3 months, now, that is an old friend …) has, like ourselves, pitched up in the North-East. He has married a sensible & charming Dutchwoman, and they have just had a second baby — we are going to go and see them in a […]

A Taste of the Tropics

Sunday, January 23rd, 2005

The Real World Consultant has issued a challenge, or, as Bairite nits insist on calling it, an ‘opportunity’. He sent me a couple of dozen seeds of giant bamboo, of two different varieties: this is what you need to know about them to get the picture.
Phyllostachys pubescens: This bamboo commonly known as moso is one […]

Gorey and points West

Saturday, January 22nd, 2005

As readers of the Blog may remember, we perpetrated, last summer, a Gorey Garden in memoriam the late Edward, which looks quite as if he were buried there; it has a sinister white urn more than 3 feet high, a box edging, two box pyramids, and Mr Gorey’s signature.You cannot imagine our delight when Kingstown, […]

Imaginary Indices

Friday, January 21st, 2005

I have perpetrated an imaginary index to an unwritten book: this can be found at It is up to you to work out what it is indexing … Anyone who wants to play is cordially invited; it is entirely up to you whether your Index explicitly indexes, let us say, The Sword of […]

The Art of Sinking

Thursday, January 20th, 2005

Miss Cat has formed the view that we are experiencing nasty cold nights, contrary to the interests of cats. By and large, she counters this effectively by tucking herself underneath a mohair blanket at the foot of our bed. We have a goosefeather duvet some twenty per cent of which was bought for […]

End of an old song

Tuesday, January 18th, 2005

Women Latin Poets is finally leaving the Deep North, and shuffling off to Oxford to be born, after unspeakable labours — finally the index is indexed (the start of the fictitious index obsession), the text proofread, reproofread by the Professor, neurotically spot checked — it’s no use, there will be things wrong with it. There […]

Pumas We Have Known

Monday, January 17th, 2005

The Apparitional Gamekeeper appeared out of the dark this evening, disposed for chat. He was telling us that while padding about in the woods at peculiar hours, he has been seeing a good deal of Miss Cat. She is, it would seem, rather more arboreal than we had realised; he has more than once encountered […]

Unwritten Books

Sunday, January 16th, 2005

Anyone who is minded to write the index to an unwritten book is welcome to contribute it via which the Rogue Semiotician has set up as a clearing house for the purpose. Come all ye.
Meanwhile, for conoisseurs of the fictitious, here is a deeply worrying passage for all users or future users of the […]

Bridget Dog’s Diary

Friday, January 14th, 2005

We had occasion to disturb the fetid little nest which Miss Dog calls home. When Dr Biswell is in the North, her quarters move down to the other end of the house. The process of Moving Miss Dog is no job for the faint hearted. Flattened beneath the Danish Dog Duvet were, inevitably, forgotten bits […]

Tropical Palladianism

Thursday, January 13th, 2005

Our Malaysian Godfather and Godmama have announced their intention building of a Palladian-Tropical villa, which they have kindly thrown open to us, once it enters the realm of the actual:
‘Deeply moved by your doldrums, we have rushed out and looked at some land that we may perhaps buy, so that we can build […]

Fortsas Catalogue

Wednesday, January 12th, 2005

I seem to have started something with this Index idea. As we all turn into Readers in Invisible Writings, I’d like to pass on something which I just found via, the Fortsas Catalogue. Look it up for yourselves; a fiendishly complete literary hoax. I am reminded of one which the Northern Professor, […]

Work, & Plenty Of It

Friday, January 7th, 2005

What I have been doing with the festive season, apart from the obvious (writing Christmas cards, shooting rats…) is getting on top of a crisis handknitted by Oxford University Press, who required me to proofread and index my book for them by December 17th. The book in question, all 627 pp of it, turned up, […]

Blood Sports

Thursday, January 6th, 2005

The morning started rather energetically for us. ‘Brrr, Brrr.’ (shamble to phone) ‘Urrr?’ Neighbour’s voice. ‘Can you come up? There’s a rat in the kitchen and I’m standing on the table…’ Some hastily assumed garments later, the Northern Professor and I steamed up the hill to impersonate the US Cavalry. Rattus rattus turned out […]