Archive for October, 2005

The Reclamation of Twisby Island

Sunday, October 30th, 2005

It was sunny and pleasant yesterday afternoon, and the three of us spent a strenuous hour or so yesterday on Twisby Island. This was disfigured by a variety of fallen trees and so forth; and the important thing about it, its raison d’etre, in fact, is to look pretty at the far end of the […]

3 in the morning

Saturday, October 29th, 2005

Dr Biswell reminded me this evening of something so surreal I had forgotten it. He blew in out of the storm at 3 AM, an hour at which the household is frankly not at its best. The first thing he said after ‘hello’ was ‘there is a rat in the umbrella stand’. There […]


Friday, October 28th, 2005

–As Edward Burra used to say. We have had an exceedingly aesthetic evening, and indeed, week. As reported some while ago, I acquired an exquisite Japanese print of a lovely lady by Eizan, ca. 1804, and last weekend this came back from the framer’s, mounted to make a pair with another courtesan print by Utamaro […]


Saturday, October 22nd, 2005

We found the Apparitional Gamekeeper’s bonny smiling face on the doorstep this morning. ‘Right’, we said, ‘Wee Stoned Mark is coming over. And you are in charge, because we are bunking off’. We had a date with our Chinese Doctor, who has just returned from a 6 month’s sojourn in the People’s Republic. As […]


Friday, October 21st, 2005

The day started at approximately sparrowfart (by local standards) when both dogs hurtled downstairs barking their fool heads off. Peering blearily out of the window I spotted that dread sight, a grubby white van. There was a young fellow at the back door. ‘Er. Hi.’, he said, taking my forbidding expression. ‘Whit’re we daein?’ […]

Well, Dearies

Wednesday, October 19th, 2005

One of the jolliest pieces of news in the last week is that the Lady Novelist (emboldened by the recent biographic triumph of one Dr Biswell) has successfully flogged a biographic project to Jonathan Cape. She is proposing to spend the next couple of years hand in hand with the painter Edward Burra, one of […]

This Island’s Mine

Tuesday, October 18th, 2005

The wind is up, and the migrating geese are making a great deal of noise. The Met Office assures us that there are gale force winds on the plateau of the Cairngorms. Doubtless any day now the road will be closed by snow between Cock Bridge and Tomintoul. For all of which reasons, I didn’t […]

It couldn’t happen

Monday, October 17th, 2005

I f9und myself hoping that no member of HM Government reads Jasper Fforde. I ended up on his website a moment ago due to being brusque with an ageing mouse & going to the wrong place on a favourites list. I checked out ‘what’s new’ & found an article in Toad News (this being, for […]


Monday, October 17th, 2005

I am happy to say that even as I write, Mr Tonka Toy is down at the dam with a large orange digger, consolidating with a will, and installing concrete pipe. We hope, therefore, that last week’s episode can be declared over. But when I came home from work, I found that there had […]

Normality of a sort

Saturday, October 15th, 2005

The Apparitional Gamekeeper reappeared, beaming, released from his college for a week. We were particularly pleased that we still had a dam; since the dear child was largely responsible for planning the pond we felt that he would rather have taken it to heart had there not been. We are back to thinking of things […]

My God, the Levee’s Going!

Wednesday, October 12th, 2005

It didn’t in fact, but it was a close run thing. We got up this morning to find that the terrible pressure of the swollen burn had so loosened the dam thatthe run-off pipe up had been forced up at an angle, and thus, the mouth was actually above water level. Water, therefore, was […]


Tuesday, October 11th, 2005

We are so hoping that by this time tomorrow we will have a dam. Freak rain and flooding is forecast, and for anyone in charge of 500,000 cubic tons of water or whatever it is, this is a thought. The water was lipping the dam by mid-morning, and the Professor went sloshing in over his […]

The Labrador’s Dilemma

Tuesday, October 11th, 2005

Here is a philosophical conundrum which may be observed towards the end of supper in all households containing two labradors. Should one (that is if one is a labrador) pay one’s addresses (large brown eyes, the front paw faltering upward but failing through faintness due to hunger) to the nasty and sarcastic carnivore, or to […]

One of the Nicest Things Ever

Saturday, October 8th, 2005

The Martyrologist Assolutissima, knowing that term had just fallen on us like a ton of bricks, sent us the most wonxcrful care package from the West Country. Chocolate, home-made biscuits, fudge, something for Miss T, treats for the dogs, a ball for Miss Kit (which I am afraid the dogs have totalled), all wrapped up […]

The Adventures of Miss Kit

Saturday, October 8th, 2005

Miss Kit’s life has begun to get a lot more interesting. Mrs Grey has taken her education in hand. This has both an up-side and a down-side; on the one hand, Mrs G. has a marked tendency to knock her spinning across the floor on the grounds (presumably) that she has either just done something […]

Back to the chalk face

Friday, October 7th, 2005

We apologise for neglecting our old & valued clients. Put it down to the Start of Term with attendant horrors. At least things are beginning to sort out a bit. I spent a lovely botanical morning in the Manuscripts Room, reading an 18th century description of a garden in Charlestown, Carolina. The author was pulling […]


Saturday, October 1st, 2005

I have a new digital camera. This is something of an adventure. Over the last six or seven years, I learned to use an SLR and became comfortable with it. Perhaps, even probably, I will become comfortable with the new camera, but at the moment I am lost and unhappy, part of which, at least, […]