Archive for August, 2012

Solvitur Ambulando

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

We have had our Walking Festival, which was more interesting than it perhaps sounds - it featured a variety of characters who find they think better afoot, a view which, after all, has seemed quite reasonable since the days of Aristotle and the Peripatetics, and they all had interesting things to say about it. There […]

Lots going on

Monday, August 27th, 2012

I can now reveal that the Professor’s beautiful song was a Loyal Effusion and was duly performed at Balmoral last week. It was all quite an experience. By the way, the professor of early modern history, having listened to the Professor and the Maestro’s trio of Jacobite songs, which premiered at the Scottish parliament last […]


Saturday, August 18th, 2012

We woke up to a lovely sunny day — unlike yesterday when it poured — so took a quick trip out to Portsoy which was putting on a very good act of turquoise sea and blue sky. The general curiosities shop down at the harbour has very good value, French, oldfashioned liquid soap made with […]

DIY Portmerion

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

We have undertaken a renovation of our squalid sheds. Barry the Great looked at them (Barry ‘there’s only one way to do things, and that’s properly’, that is to say) and he said, basically, knock ‘em down and start again. However we also have Tony in in our repertory, and Tony, unlike Barry, is a […]


Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

Today has been almost entirely taken up by that solemn ritual of academic life, a PhD viva. As the supervisor, I spent an hour and a half on positive thinking, delivered the candidate to the appropriate office and spent the following couple of hours feeling a bit like an expectant father — that there was […]

Stones in the Rain

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

We have been out to ‘Sunday Drinks’, in a delightful house which counts as neighbours though it’s a twenty minute drive. There were quite a lot of people there, and the governing determinant was quite patently that they were ‘the quality’. Not all rich, and certainly, not all clever, but there was an almost Jane […]

Another World

Saturday, August 11th, 2012

Another of the things I did in Edinburgh was to spend evenings glued to Country Life. Formerly Tropical Godpapa has bought a run of late 50s/early 60s Country Lives, and I immersed myself in issues from the year I was born. There was all sorts of interesting stuff, and it did prompt reflections on how […]

Mafia Cakes

Friday, August 10th, 2012

I have been in Our Nation’s Capital, mostly in Our National Library, staying with the angel-tempered Formerly Tropical Godparents. Two ONL days at this time of year have been quite something. After an elegant breakfast and civilised conversation on Calton Hill I have scuttled up the Royal Mile to (see previous blog, Practically Abroad) George […]

Neighbourhood Watch

Monday, August 6th, 2012

In the last two years, crows have settled in our big beech trees. This year there were quite a lot of them. They make a great deal of noise: probably a mobius conversation about house prices, like a London cocktail party. I am now applying a solution, which some ingenious coves in the USA came […]


Sunday, August 5th, 2012

We have had our last weekend in 1912 — our friend the Edwardian Duchess, who has been keeping the lamp of the Edwardian house-party alive, is going to have to give up his August house. We can’t be seriously sorry since this is really about jumping off the corporate treadmill and nobody who actually cared […]

Un-Puritan Activities: Shakespeare, Jesuits, and pudding

Thursday, August 2nd, 2012

Presbyterians have often, and who am I to argue with this, acquired a bad name as killjoys. My recent tribulations (see last blog) were at the hands of Independents, viz., the ones that thought Presbyterians were dangerous softies, and possibly Commie Bastards to boot. I have packed the dreary nonsense in question off to its […]