Archive for May, 2006


Friday, May 26th, 2006

Well, we have at least one answer to why the beastlies are so bothered — there is a feral tom cat passing through. Not a wild cat, because he made so bold as to come in and spray my study. A quite unmistakable pong. Toms tend to be very aggressive towards spayed female cats, which […]

Something Wicked

Wednesday, May 24th, 2006

Since we came back from Norway, the Northern Professor has been instituting a campaign for the Total Moominification of Everything (which has so far involved birch trees, pancakes, and cloudberry jam). I do hope that this has not conjured up some species of Groke. The animals have been as spooked as anything for a couple […]

High Life

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2006

We had guests over the last couple of days; a nice fellow who we knew 15 years ago when he was a grad student, and his new lady friend, who turned out to be a New York chef/food writer/quondam restauranteur. I cooked the first night, she cooked the second. Very interesting; we stopped at the […]

The Social Whirl

Sunday, May 21st, 2006

My Gamekeeper’s parents, very bravely I thought, let him have a party last night. They came down here & took over the sitting room with Miss T to have a quiet evening with the telly in front of the fire so that he could have a free hand. As his mum said, ‘the kids have […]

Deferred Gratification

Saturday, May 20th, 2006

We have decided that finally, the winter is over, so we have planted the dahlias at last —- this involved an exciting time roaring around looking for the damned things. We have found about thirty, I think. They are: dark red, bright red, scarlet, purple and orange. I think they are going to be […]

Equine Romance

Wednesday, May 17th, 2006

One of the beastly Shetland ponies has celebrated her arrival in this green & pleasant valley by going into season. The little minx, whose name I forget, has taken to patrolling up and down the fence of her paddock flourishing her bottom at the horse Victor who has responded by going bonkers; it seems to […]


Wednesday, May 17th, 2006

The sun was shining brightly in the middle of the afternoon, and the sky temporarily bright blue (it has clouded over again). Miss Kit, who can jump like Nijinsky, has developed a new hobby, which is leaping into the lower branches of the big cherry trees in the lawn, and going for a walk in […]

In Another World

Tuesday, May 16th, 2006

The night before last, I found myself looking at a mid- seventeenth-century book. Small quarto, scruffy brown calf binding. It was written by a member of an interesting, cultivated family with somewhat esoteric interests, and it was illustrated with a few rather good copper-engravings. There were two within a few pages, both depicting the family […]

Benefits of Sea Air

Sunday, May 14th, 2006

One of the things which went to Norway with us was my beastly Toshiba, which I have been very cross with for some time because it had become completely mute. Normally I work with the sound turned off, since I dislike Mr Gates’ triumphalist chords & so on, but I also use the thing […]

New additions to the cast

Thursday, May 11th, 2006

The affray in which my gamekeeper was involved was too important a subject to admit of sharing a blog with anything. However & meanwhile, when we returned from Norway, we found there were two new members of his family: a pair of rescued Shetland ponies. These were rescued by Houston the farrier from somewhere (it […]

Viking Virtues

Wednesday, May 10th, 2006

We saw a good deal of my Gamekeeper this evening, who has been, fairly literally, in the wars. A gang of youths set on him the other night and gave him a very severe hammering. He has bruised ribs, bruised kidneys, a possibly broken jaw, and four teeth which may be dead. Due to […]

Many happy returns

Wednesday, May 10th, 2006

We had a lovely time in Norway: first of all in Oslo, where we managed (finally) to get to the Viking ship museum, and also to the Fram — a ship which contrived the double whammy of getting nearer to 1) the North pole and 2) the South pole than any other. We […]


Tuesday, May 2nd, 2006

The Apparitional Gamekeeper and his mum came by for a final briefing on this and that before we go away. Miss T. has only just got home from school — the taxi which picks her up in the evenings had a flat tyre, and the lassie who was driving it didn’t know how to fix […]

Northward Bound

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2006

We are off to Norway for a week, as of tomorrow, so probably off line, and almost certainly off blog. Very much looking forward to it after a pretty strenuous month. Norway is so restful. Everything works, and what you see is what you get. We expect to return to a transformed NE Scotland […]


Monday, May 1st, 2006

Amazingly, the Baroque Book got drafted, to time, and to length … I really don’t quite know how. A bit of ‘translation to follow …’, inevitably, but it does exist, and was sent off to Manchester at quarter past one this morning, still warm. It may not be quite what the thing looks like when […]