Archive for August, 2005


Tuesday, August 23rd, 2005

After a few days frantically trying to finish up various jobs large & small, the Professors are off to Dublin for a week, so unless there is a bulletin from a cybercaff in Grafton Street, we are off line till September. Have fun, everybody.

Babbling Brooks

Friday, August 19th, 2005

The last word, I trust, on the waterworks for a while. The Northern Professor and the Gamekeeper, with some assistance from me & some barrows full of rocks, attempted the scientific construction of a lilting rill with water chuckling poetically o’er the stones (white quartz) in the course of the afternoon. It may even have […]


Thursday, August 18th, 2005

The Apparitional Gamekeeper has (temporarily no doubt) achieved his hearts’ desire. In the mid-afternoon, an amusing Highlander with sticking-out ears eventuated with an extraordinary pick-up truck equipped with a sort of portable aquarium, and discharged £100 worth of middle sized trout into the lake. The boy thus has his own private fishing, and clearly he […]

the dawn of the world

Wednesday, August 17th, 2005

Trusting as we always do in the genius of the Apparitional Gamekeeper, we had hopes that the banks of the new lake could be sensibly clothed — after the departure of Anthony the Sensible Yorkshire Digger Driver, they looked like a scene from a National Geographic spread on the pre-Cambrian era, i.e. solid mud leading […]

High Drama

Tuesday, August 16th, 2005

The dam is holding, thank goodness; we now have a sizeable lake, which is to say, a canine swimming pool (once it has settled a bit we may even swim in it ourselves). But the banks continue to be muddy primeval ooze. Yesterday afternoon as the dogs rushed in after a stick, Miss […]

Bless thee Bottom, thou art translated

Saturday, August 13th, 2005

The Italian translation of the North book turned up on Friday, a satisfying box of copies, shrink-wrapped like supermarket vegetables. So I find myself suddenly to be the author of L’Idea di Nord published in the “comma” series (that’s what it says — “virgola”) by Donzelli of Rome. They have done a very decent job […]

Works of Giants

Saturday, August 13th, 2005

The dam was officially finished yesterday evening, around six: I happened to wander down in the final stages, and offered to be a Duchess of Redonda and lay the last stone – then it was a matter of wiring up to the attic tossing obsolete cushions and winter curtains to right and left in search […]

Crazed with Power

Thursday, August 11th, 2005

Yesterday the Northern Professor and I did something I have always wanted to do — we chose images for a set of postcards. How often have I gone round a gallery and subsequently sulked in the shop, wailing, ‘why do they never make postcards of the really interesting things?’ I had the most fun […]

Daft but touching

Tuesday, August 9th, 2005

Today’s post produced something so daft and touching it says a lot about living here: the ladies who made up the Sapphist toile de Jouy and camouflage duvet-cover mentioned a couple of blogs back, brought the finished product round on Saturday. The writing of a cheque (which are now printed as from Prof. […]

Stuffed Twisbies and other matters

Tuesday, August 9th, 2005

Our sponsor has suddenly remembered that about this time last year, we were all trying to get a picture of a stuffed twisby onto the web, which turned out not to be possible at that time. On the new-look website, pictures seem to be easier, so here, for your entertainment, is the first Stuffed Twisby […]

Games of Silly Buggers

Sunday, August 7th, 2005

The return of Dr Biswell, a man with a sharp eye for detail, has revealed to us that one of two young women who were with us last week was evidently not one to take an insult lying down — it was suggested to her that she might care to help with the washing-up, a […]

Ancien Regime II

Sunday, August 7th, 2005

What we have all been waiting for, of course, is Miss Dog’s response to the arrival of Mrs Grey. “Patronising delight” would more or less seem to cover it. Miss Dog clearly sees Mrs Grey as a dear old governess or nanny, retired to a couple of little rooms beside the chapel of the Villa […]

Grey Matters

Friday, August 5th, 2005

Mrs Grey is, as I write, curled up on the floor of my study in a nest of patchwork pieces. She contrived to conceal herself somewhere or other last night because she was found in the morning placidly slumbering on Dr Biswell’s bed, taking advantage of his new duvet cover made of camouflage material. We […]

Moving in

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2005

The problem of the week is, again, cats. I am short by one cat, the ever to be regretted Aphra, and the process of acquiring a brave kitten seems to be frustrating and prolonged. What I hadn’t anticipated is Mrs Cat from up the road, a perfectly nice grey and white animal, who has […]

Update on Jollity Hall

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2005

We have been dipping into a neglected copy of Silly Bitch Magazine, the only publication aimed at the female labrador of Today, which someone left stuffed under the kitchen bean bag. The serial known as The Good Old Days seems to be going from strength to strength. To remind: the heroines are three labradors […]