Archive for October, 2006

Chocolate coated sunshine

Sunday, October 29th, 2006

We frequently have cause to reflect that we are lucky in our friends: the most recent of the many who have provoked this thought is the Lady Palaeographer, who greeted the incipient going back of the clocks by sending us some real Italian torrone (qualita e tradizione dal 1860) in a nice old-fashioned box, which […]

Miracles do happen

Saturday, October 28th, 2006

The Professor and I are having a very exciting time. We have just broached the unspeakable carboy in the back sitting room; which had grey slimy stuff on the top and some kind of yellow slimy stuff at the bottom. With great care, the stuff in between has been successfully siphoned out; and it is, […]

It was a dark and stormy night

Friday, October 27th, 2006

Last night was most peculiar. The Met. Office was promising Apocalypse Now, and the Professor, who had not one but two dates in Edinburgh, was none too happy about it. There was supposed to be torrential rains and gale force winds … I spent the afternoon’s teaching glancing apprehensively out of the window periodically to […]

The Professor at Work

Tuesday, October 24th, 2006

The promised pictures of the Professor at work, which do not, alas, show the two stalwart chaps in tricornes with the two maces of the university. In the seventeenth century, you see, Aberdeen, like England, had two universities, and we have the silverware to prove it.


Sunday, October 22nd, 2006

We have friends staying, and made tentative plans to visit Cromarty (a three hour drive) yesterday. It poured with rain for most of the night, and when we got up, it was overcast and unhelpful. After a bit of shilly-shallying, we decided to go anyway. The Black Isle does tend to have its own peculiar […]

A Challenge

Monday, October 16th, 2006

Here’s a challenge for cinéaste readers of The Deep North: I discovered recently that Burra had a brief episode of working for J. Arthur Rank at Highbury Studios in Islington: ‘Well dearie’, he says, ‘here lies a mere hulk of poor Edward Burra the darling of our crew. As what with designing the death […]

Reflections on Mature Students

Monday, October 16th, 2006

I have got involved with the Aberdeen Access course this year; an experience which was leading me to reflect that in all such groups I have ever encountered, there is a majority of sterling souls who are almost alarmingly grateful for being taken seriously (suggesting dark things about their earlier educational experience), but at the […]


Thursday, October 12th, 2006

The visit of the Papal Nuncio, for such he was, went off very well. The rain held off, just, though it was a grey, damp, lowering day, with the yellow and white Papal flag standing almost horizontal outside the Catholic chaplaincy in a stiff breeze. The chapel was lined with old Ampleforth and Downside boys, […]

Wounded Hero

Tuesday, October 10th, 2006

Miss Kit is in the wars again. She wouldn’t come in and wouldn’t come in last night. Finally I found the poor little thing inching up the hall like a damaged moth. Goodness knows how long it took her; she had a nasty bite on her right foreleg, and I think she must have […]

Proustian Moments

Monday, October 9th, 2006

We have neglected the Blog for a few days, because things have been so complicated: the Northern Professor has ended up as a sort of Universal master of ceremonies, at least for difficult clients. And since on Wednesday a vision in fuchsia silk will descend from its fairy chariot to be greeted with a speech […]


Thursday, October 5th, 2006

Devotees of the Demon Kitten might like to know that although she was rather subdued yesterday evening and hid herself away for the first half of the night, she announced a full recovery in the small hours. She was mightily indignant when I said I did not propose to leave her out all […]

Close Encounters

Wednesday, October 4th, 2006

I heard the most unearthly screech from outside: Miss Kit, I thought, fighting with the Rough Cats, so I rushed out calling for her. No sign, but some minutes later she galloped in, looking most peculiar; there was a curved line of fur maybe an inch wide from rump to ribs which was stickig […]

Džejn Stivenson

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2006

I heard today that one of the novels has come out in Serbian: I took a look at the publisher’s website, and there it was, Astrea, by Džejn Stivenson. Under (I presume) ‘you might also enjoy …’ is an enterprising list of works by strangely almost-familiar names, Penelopi Lajvli, Rouz Tremejn, and […]


Tuesday, October 3rd, 2006


Sunday, October 1st, 2006

The demijohn of grape juice fermented like billy-oh overnight, and blew its cork out. So far, so good. Dr Biswell has departed, alas, but there are two interesting new arrivals; the horse Sam has been joined by a palomino, and the fat pony is apparently leaving us. Miss T has a dog of […]