Rhapsodies in Sorrel

Miss Kit is being all that is wonderful. Such a brave little creature. The only black mark thus far was weeing on the duvet this morning — I think, a genuine taxonomic problem, because the texture of a feather duvet in a cover felt under her paws like her cat-litter — I rushed her off the bed, still dribbling, and into her tray so with any luck she will have got the message. But, accidents aside, she has been enchanting. We spent most of the day with me working and her in my lap, and one by one she has encountered the rest of the household. Poor Miss Dog, faced with a minute kitten wobbling towards her, said ‘O god, not another one’, and subsided, belly down, with an air of suicidal despair; Miss Kit, after, clearly, a deperate moment when she determined to sell her life dearly, deflated tail, back hair & so forth and strolled up to the dog for a forensic inspection. In fact, the possibility of being savaged seemed so low on her sense of possibilities that she was almost instantly distracted by a bluebottle banging against the window. She did cheek her good governess; Mrs Grey wandered in and jumped on the sofa (three feet from where I was sitting with Miss Kit in my lap). There was inflation, there was Big Hair, there was growling. I restrained Miss Kit and stroked her down; Mrs Grey, whose ears had remained studiously forward (in Cat, polite attention) throughout, curled up ostentatiously and ‘went to sleep’. The kitten growled for a bit, then climbed onto my shoulder for a proper look at the Giant Enemy, and conceded that the G.E. was not presently consituting itself a threat. After a bit, Mrs Grey went away discreetly. All of which suggests that the kitten is brave and capable, and that the adult animals are being all that is tactful.
Dublin, on which we have not yet reported, was wonderful. Neither of us had set foot for more than a decade, during which various rumours suggested that the place had become totally modernised and yuppified; I was more than happy to find that this was not the case. We were staying in Stoney Batter on the wrong side of the river, and it was not one cappucino bar every 50 paces. Temple Bar is like that now, but the phenomenon is containable. We were greatly struck by Guiness sponsoring a hurling competition; I immediately thought, quickest, furthest or most copious? but of course this refers to a game somewhere between hockey & lacrosse with an ancient and noble history — the posters are roughly suggestive of Cu Chulainn encountering the Great Bull of Connaught, or was it Leinster?
Otherwise, gastronomy and friendship aside, we spent much of our time amid the fantasy life of the Anglo-Irish Gentry. They were a markedly fantastical bunch — I do wonder if the mental strain of believing that you ran the country and your church was the national church &c in the face of a submerged 90% with completely different views had the same deranging effects as it did in the apartheid era in SA. We saw some absolutely extraordinary buildings; and came away with a general sense that baroque to neoclassicism was done more intensely, in a way, more weirdly, in Ireland than in almost anywhere else — certainly, than anywhere else involving the British Isles.

4 Responses to “Rhapsodies in Sorrel”

  1. Eleanor Says:

    Pictures, we must have a Miss Kit portrait!

  2. The Other German Guest Says:

    I second that notion!

  3. The Canadian Professor Says:

    I like the idea of stony batter.

  4. The Barbadian Latinist Says:

    Yes, please, photographs of Miss Kit!

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