Archive for March, 2007

Enemies visible & invisible

Saturday, March 31st, 2007

It has been a gardening sort of afternoon, with the animals wandering in and out. The Man from Maryport is here, accompanied by a very handsome Cumbrian trailhound called Bendigo, who is rather a sweetheart in his way. Miss Best Friend took to him at once. She seems positively to be enjoying having a visitor, […]


Friday, March 30th, 2007

This has been a curious, if jolly day, spent transforming a corner of our local museum into a space suitable for an exhibition of eighteenth-century queer virtuosi. Some dark-red panels were ‘panelled’ in the fictitious sense with the aid of miles of masking tape: below the dado, a black stripe bordered with ochre, were panels […]

Kindness to animals

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

The old dog’s living conditions have been improved. For some time, due to diligent habits of canine bedmaking, her super-duper dog bed has ceased to resemble, in its general proportions, a doughnut, and has gradually come to evoke something more in the way of a superannuated Scotch pancake. Fortunately, the design of the thing involves […]

Industrial espionage

Wednesday, March 28th, 2007

A few posts back, you will find one entitled ‘A Grand Day Out’. It has attracted a certain amount of comment: one such was unwise enough to mention Pakeman, Catto & Carter, who, though they sound implausible, are a real firm. Moreover, when we lived in the South the Northern Professor used to buy […]

Decease, Release

Tuesday, March 27th, 2007

What I did to celebrate End of Ed, as things turned out, was to go to a funeral in Lancashire — since the deceased had been given three months to live two years ago, and had since receiving her sentence, managed to complete and publish a splendid book and see it get good reviews, there […]

Farewell & Adieu

Saturday, March 24th, 2007

Last night, I put the 21 files and 45 pictures which make up the Story of Ed onto a pen-drive, and this morning, I posted it. It seemed quite the most rational way of sending it all — many of the illustration scans are big enough to crash my Yahoo account, whereas with the involvement […]

Asbos all round

Friday, March 23rd, 2007

I saw quite a lot of the Apparitional Gamekeeper this afternoon, since he enlisted me in the three-ring-circus which was entailed by trying to insure himself to drive. Not for the first time I ended up reflecting that the way things are at the moment, being seventeen and male practically constitutes an indictable offence in […]

Nothing Much

Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

I was out this afternoon to take Miss Best Friend for her walk: after a perfectly horrible few days, the afternoon was mild and sunny. We went off down the burn, which is squishy underfoot, but nice — there is a long area of young trees which is wonderfully peaceful with grass underfoot which always […]


Tuesday, March 20th, 2007

I have had a most peculiar hour or so: one of the ongoing projects now afoot requires, or may require, filming a young chap in a 1930s swimming costume in the fairly near future. And just how does one find a 1930s swimming costume? I thought I would try and help, and have been strolling […]

Then & Now

Monday, March 19th, 2007

I had an odd sort of encounter this morning re. World of Ed: by complicated means, I discovered that the widow of a very good friend of his who died in the early sixties was still among us. I have a whole sequence of letters which between them make it clear that the friend’s […]

After-dinner adventures

Sunday, March 18th, 2007

The Laird and his missus came for supper last night, which is always very pleasant, but it was clear that he had something on his mind. This turned out to be the gale which was, by then, tearing across Aberdeenshire. Would it be possible, he asked, for the party to repair for their after-dinner coffee […]

‘The Labrador’ Revisited

Saturday, March 17th, 2007

We have been privileged, of late, by a glimpse of the Editorial and Letters page of The Labrador. You will please call to mind double columns, set in Baskerville (inevitably) with a high degree of typographic accuracy.
Pernicious Innovation
Our readers, being sensible persons, set their faces against Innovation. Opposition […]

Highly disturbing

Friday, March 16th, 2007

Some time ago we cruised what must be one of the nastiest ‘antique shops’ on the island: the proprietors, a singularly dodgy pair, the male of whom seems to spend his entire time on the phone doing deals about used cars, have no eye for anything whatsoever. A more fearsome pile of old crud has […]

Grand Day Out

Wednesday, March 14th, 2007

In the last 24 hours, the Northern Professor has begun to feel that he is finally winning free of the frightful octopus embrace of this season’s cold. So we reckoned it was now or never: we were going to go out for my birthday lunch (the actual birthday happened quite some time ago; I was […]

Light the blue touchpaper. . .

Tuesday, March 13th, 2007

Our readers may be aware that there exists an opinion that Shakespeare was a left-footer, a view promulgated by various academics and by trusting chaps who make programmes for the electric television. Thrilling assertions are made about the Shakespeare family’s association with various heroes of the undercover Catholic mission to England, about bits of significant […]

Horse Holidays

Sunday, March 11th, 2007

In the course of the morning, the horses Holly and Sam were persuaded into boxes, and driven away. We have Barley for another week because he’s going on his holidays somewhere else. The poor little creature was quite bewildered, and stood whinnying for his friends for ages. I am relieved to see them go. The […]

blue primroses

Saturday, March 10th, 2007

It was a very fine day today, and I went out in the afternoon to do a bit of sorting out. The great leaf-clearing enterprise seems to have had an almost instant effect. Things are bursting into flower all over the garden. Last year, I had several relays of house primulas, and as they started […]

A response from the Society

Friday, March 9th, 2007

Readers familiar with Twisby Island, a Study in Failure, may be pleased to hear that a mere six months or so after the series of unfortunate events described therein, we have finally received a reply from the Secretary of the North-East Section of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland:
‘Thank you for your Report to the […]

Spring is Here

Thursday, March 8th, 2007

Spring is here; and how do I know? Because a significant seasonal migrant has reappeared, Guglielmus hortulanus, aka Bill the Gardener, and is mowing the grass outside my study. I had no idea he was here till I heard the roar of the mower. It is the hand-mower, and thereby, unfortunately, hangs a tale. At […]


Tuesday, March 6th, 2007

There has been something on our minds for the last month or so: Sam the Horse in the back field has morphed, so to say, into Sam, Barley and Holly the Horses. We have nothing against these amiable beasties other than that one of them bit Miss Kit on one occasion, but we have come […]