Archive for December, 2006

Beyond the Fields We Know

Monday, December 25th, 2006

Happy Christmas, everybody. We hope you had a nice day, in your several ways. Hereabouts, after a certain amount of religion, followed by a lateish and somewhat improvised lunch, ourselves — me and the Professor, the Real World Consultant and the Nottingham Correspondent, Miss Best Friend and Miss Kit — went […]

a-scrumping we will go

Sunday, December 24th, 2006

We have had a very strange day. Our neighbour the Laird of Towie rang up a little while ago, to say, ‘You know that vegetable garden at F— Castle? They just leave the produce to rot in the ground. It’s a bloody disgrace. We’re going to steal some. You coming?’ What can one […]


Saturday, December 23rd, 2006

We were out over the hills in the general direction of Inverurie this afternoon, as the light was starting to go. It was beautiful almost beyond description: a gentle landscape of folding hills, grey-green in the last of the light; stands of leafless trees black lace against the clear, almost cloudless sky. The sky […]


Thursday, December 21st, 2006

I have spent three days in London working through papers connected with Edward Burra which the Lefevre Gallery put at my disposal — an interesting experience in all sorts of ways. A whole lot of material had washed up there by way of his friend Billy Chappell, including a box file full of photographs. They […]

Bah humbug

Saturday, December 16th, 2006

Ed had quite a lot to say about the traditional Christmas experience — so here are some moments, to amuse anyone who is feeling ever so slightly worn. ‘A tin of wienies & some french ginger & chips would be my ideal Christmas dinner… This house has become a firetrap owing to about 1000 […]

Midwinter spring

Thursday, December 14th, 2006

Due in part to Miss Best Friend, mumping outside the door (she has a sort of upper-servant set of shibboleths, most acutely, — ‘in properly run households the Master is never in bed after 8.30′ … when impatience to start the day gets too much for her, she sits on the landing making a […]

Strangely appropriate

Wednesday, December 13th, 2006

A world-class contender, I feel, for the ‘man with the right name for the job’: the director of the HIV/Aids department of the World Health Organization is Dr Kevin De Cock. What can one say.

Enough, already

Tuesday, December 12th, 2006

I have said goodbye, with I trust adequately concealed relief, to two absolutely ghastly seminar groups. I think their brains have been full since about week 5. These are groups, that is to say, where I can put up entirely new material on the wall via powerpoint, and half of them do not even look […]

Finishing Tape

Sunday, December 10th, 2006

The dominant thought in the household’s collective mind is, ‘End of Week Eleven’. One more week, and that’s it. I ended up forgetting to go to a jolly good party last week because, by the time I had finished teaching at 6, I trudged off to the bus thinking about the following day’s work, totally […]


Monday, December 4th, 2006

We were planting bulbs this weekend. With the usual imprecations: ‘O God, why did we order so many bulbs?’, etc. etc. But I had a definite plan: the bank along the side of the lake is white with snowdrops in the spring, while the bank along the side of the driveway (the […]