Archive for June, 2006

odd researches

Friday, June 30th, 2006

I was in the rare books collection today, with the specific agenda of looking for illustrative material for a pamphlet on our law holdings. This involved looking at some very odd things. One obvious point of recourse was the two gigantic scrapbooks which an anonymous individual created in about 1900, of engravings of Scottish […]

Busman’s Holiday

Thursday, June 29th, 2006

One thing which I failed to report on about the expedition of yesterday was a sudden moment of impromptu scholarship. We had called upon the Antiquarian of Dufftown, a charming individual who sells things that interest him (fossils, silver, old books and for some reason, Beanie Bears). He is always pleased to see us, but […]

Northern summer

Wednesday, June 28th, 2006

Sorry to be neglecting you all. After a couple of months without writing any reviews, three, like buses, came along simultaneously. Two out of the three were of books rather vulgarly long, in my view, especially the one on the double life of Lloyd George: having established by about page 3 that LG was a […]

Primitive Cunning

Friday, June 23rd, 2006

There are times when one realises that Mrs Grey Cat’s wiliness has its limitations. She is shut in the back kitchen at night lest she beat up Miss Kit; apart from feeling that Miss Kit is entitled to a restful night’s sleep, we feel that we might legitimately look for one ourselves, and outbreaks of […]

A Joyful Noise

Friday, June 23rd, 2006

We were in the University today with the Canadian Professor, and fell in with the Master of Music. Taking advantage of a 15-minute lull between one wedding rehearsal and another (the chapel is continually in requisition for smart weddings in the summer) he took us up the tiny narrow winding stair, a bit like climbing […]


Tuesday, June 20th, 2006

The Apparitional Gamekeeper arrived last night at the wheel of his own car. This it may be said is an ancient Jeep, the vehicular equivalent of Rosinante. A freebie from the farrier for whom he works, it is absolutely unroadworthy and in any case the AG is under 17. It hadn’t been budgeable for […]


Monday, June 19th, 2006

We were getting through various matutinal tasks before heading into the Uni when something whizzed past me at speed. When it fetched up on the kitchen windowsill I realised it was Miss Kit looking most unfamiliar. In fact, soaking wet. Not waterlogged; the downy underfur was okay, but her proper fur, i.e. the bit you […]

Horrid Little Beautee Spottes

Saturday, June 17th, 2006

That is Ed’s dismissive term for Rye in particular and most of the South coast, passim. After two and a half days of it all, we see what he meant. Rye is as calculatedly winsome as Shirley Temple. It felt, after nothern Scotland, absolutely a different country, deep, green, lush and secretive. And quite incredibly […]

Storms and calms

Sunday, June 11th, 2006

We had a small crisis on Thursday night: Bill the Gardener in conjunction with Barnyards the big farmer came up with a theory for controlling the algae in the pond. This involved a large and unsightly white plastic builder’s bag full of barley straw. The Apparitional Gamekeeper came home from his work towards five and […]

Dreams & Visions

Thursday, June 8th, 2006

Whenever we have had a laptop at our disposal for the last two or three weeks, we have ended our days by taking it up to bed and watching an episode of Les Vampires. This was a series directed by Louis Feuillade, and made for Gaumont in the middle of World War I […]

Lovely Present

Tuesday, June 6th, 2006

We found a square box at the door this morning, which turned out to have in it a cut-glass chandelier bob, a very nice one, and an envelope containing five pounds in cash. We are extremely pleased with said bob, which is now ornamenting one of the chandeliers in the drawing room, but there is […]

Lots of things flatter than they were

Sunday, June 4th, 2006

There has been another day of sorting out: the Tonka Toy was still with us, and its mission, whether it chose to accept it or not, was to tidy up the compost-heap area, and to flatten the walk by the lake sufficiently for it to be mown with a ride-on (the ride-on has just […]

At the end of the day

Saturday, June 3rd, 2006

At the end of the day, I was left reflecting that leaving aside miracles, there is no operation performable within a day which can smarten a house up as much as new gravel. Spruce paintwork, cut lawns, and careful edging of flowerbeds are not to be underestimated, should spiffing be in order, but nothing yields […]

Tonka Toys again

Saturday, June 3rd, 2006

The Apparitional Gamekeeper has been equipped with a Tonka Toy, and is spreading gravel on the back drive. It is a very large Tonka Toy. The last time we hired one for him (from the garden centre at the end of the track, who are sporting about letting machinery off-site for the weekend) it was […]

Catching up

Thursday, June 1st, 2006

We have been off line for a few days, because on Sunday afternoon we were struck by lightning. This has happened before & will happen again: it is due to overhead power cables marching across the brow of the hill. The strike totalled my computer, and killed the Professor’s modem. I now have a […]