Archive for April, 2011

Football on the lawn

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

It has been another day of bright blue skies and pink cherry-blossom. There has been quite a lot of lying about on the lawn, or kicking footballs, according to taste. The Infant Hercules was fully recovered from yesterday’s fall and fright, and (whew) doesn’t have a black eye to take home to his loving […]

All kinds of stuff

Friday, April 29th, 2011

We are going to have to confess to the Composer that we did not hear his moment of glory. We have been very busy. The house presently contains Dr Brennan the Artist, his offspring the Huntly Two, now nine and twelve, and their half-brother, currently one. So there has been vast activity. The […]

We have finally become excited about the Royal Wedding

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

No, dearies. Believe it, we have. Nobody has laid in boxes of tissues, bunting, or patriotic flags, but our somewhat relaxed attitude to the whole set-out changed when we discovered that the composer the Professor has been working with for quite a while has a commissioned piece which will come just after the sermon, or […]

I too am a terrorist, it seems.

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

I have discovered from the BBC that possession of a black plastic Casio watch is highly dubious: ‘this unassuming, black, plastic, digital timepiece has found itself in the news for a different reason. Leaked US documents reportedly advised interrogators at Guantanamo Bay that possession of the F-91W could be a link to bombing by al-Qaeda.’ […]


Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

We had the most amazing light effect this evening. It rained for most of the afternoon, but at about 8 pm, the sun was still above the horizon, but shining horizontally. The hill above the house is a long, shallow curve, broken only by a line of fenceposts. Surreally bright, there was a line halfway […]

Decisions, decisions

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

We need to repaint the exterior woodwork, and we thought that perhaps we wouldn’t do the carriage green and off-white again, but would find a nice blue-grey. We found a nice blue-grey, but though it does well with the windows, it really didn’t work for all the trellises and that — there’s so much, […]

Dirty Protests also Low Cunning

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

Miss Best Friend is not taking the Head in Lampshade outrage lying down. The Lampshade of course has to come off so she can eat. Yesterday morning, she went out for her ablutions, ate lots of grass, came back and was sick. Later, we had the Bibliographer to lunch, we carried our coffee into the […]

Empire of Stuff

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

My views on house related shopping are roughly those of Lady Macbeth (”If it were done when ’tis done, then ’twere well it were done quickly”). There are so many things I would rather think about. But we have lived here for more than ten years, hence the current round of tidying and sorting out. […]

Triumphs and disasters

Monday, April 18th, 2011

Last night we had a much looked forward to visit from the composer the Professor has worked with in the past, and is plotting further outrages with in the future. Also of the party was one of Cambria’s current gifts to the world, an absolutely first-class baritone, again by long arrangement. He sang the lead […]


Friday, April 15th, 2011

I have had a wearing day. A PhD candidate finally advanced to his viva. From the POV of a supervisor, you, also, have lived with this project for a long time, and there is a considerable investment. I dispensed advice roughly along the lines of Polonius for an hour, sent the candidate off to meet […]

Welcome return

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

First things first, though she has not been wholly good about pulling the bandage off, down, whatever, we have mostly kept Miss BF from harrassing her ulcer, which is healing nicely. The welcome return is the chair in my study, a really very nice 18th century tub chair of which I am fond. It used […]

Better now

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Miss Best Friend has been back to the vet. The pink sock was removed, and revealed, hurrah, that the fistula was completely healed. The ulcer on the shoulder is proving a bit more obdurate. But it’s quite a bit better, skinned over, and seems to be bothering her a lot less. She’s got a pink […]

Springing Back

Monday, April 11th, 2011

After a weekend of celestial weather, it’s once again cold, rainy and uncertain. Never mind. Everything has had a huge boost. I was wandering over the lawn today and observed that it is sprinkled with cute little jade green elves’ parasols — the offspring of the giant beech tree at their very earliest stage of […]

Flying the Flag

Saturday, April 9th, 2011

We had lunch in a castle today, invited by a dear and kind member of the local great and good. I put on my pearls, the Professor had his Tom Kitten blue jacket, and all in all, we were doing our best. It was a very fine castle, equipped with Rapunzelish turrets, and set amid […]

Tricks of Perspective

Friday, April 8th, 2011

Since the grass is growing and the sun is shining, the neat little black lambs are a-skipping and -a-playing in traditional style. We can see them from the kitchen window and a pretty spectacle they are. The whole thing is lent a certain comedy by the fact that the Rough Cats, after they have had […]

If you have tears prepare to shed them now

Thursday, April 7th, 2011

Miss Best Friend has been to the vet. She has come back, smiling bravely, wearing a bright pink sock on the left front paw, and a bandage on the right front elbow. She looks as if she’s been in a traffic accident. These are what, in the Labrador book of rules, are known as ’sympathy […]

Sometimes things work out

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

I was wakened, for once, by something other than the dog. On the absolute outer verge of hearing, a deep, remote rumble, almost imperceptible. A bit like the grain-drier, but nobody would be drying grain in the first week of April. In the otherwise total silence of the night, it was puzzling enough to tip […]

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

The Professor is in Edinburgh with our Ambassadorial friend. I have been rejoicing in grass-widowhood by getting a great deal of work done, of the most boring kind (working through the list of books printed in Scotland from end to end). Utterly boring but with a sort of slow burn fascination, as you start seeing […]

Ginkgos, Goethe and Dendrophilia

Sunday, April 3rd, 2011

I discovered in the course of a lengthy and discursive Sunday breakfast that Goethe had a thing about ginkgos. Apparently, there’s a poem about the ways that the leaves are two-in-one which frequently appears at German weddings (German Guests, any comment here?). It prompted me to go out and check on the ginkgo which my […]


Saturday, April 2nd, 2011

Today was the first day of spring. Before one of you cleverclogs writes and tells me ‘that was last week’, I intend to get my blow in first and say, on the one hand, there are calendars, and they can say what they please, but there is, on the other hand, Aberdeenshire, which is not […]