Mrs Grey Cat was successfully wormed. This took two humans, three goes, and a great deal of swearing, mostly but not all feline. Her capacity to spit out pills is not unlike that of a Maxim gun; at the third attempt I gripped her round the muzzle (the Northern Professor was controlling the FEET to say nothing of the writhing torso) till she was forced to swallow. Miss Dog was surprisingly good at the vet’s and both canines swallowed their own worm pills, gullible little creatures that they are — it helps that Drontal have chicken-flavoured ones for dogs so that they are (just) mistakable for e-number laden synthetic dog treats.

Meanwhile in another part of the empire; the latest fiction, which has just come out in the US, was featured on an mindless ‘what’s new, what’s hot’ email equivalent of a daily paper aimed at girls about town. The said work has been reviewed by every broadsheet in Britain, all but one of whom have liked it quite a lot, to little visible effect as far as sales are concerned. Being featured on or whatever it is called took me from (yesterday), no. 357,878 on’s rating to, today, 407. Tomorrow the book will be back to 400,000 doubtless — but my moment of glory is a sobering reminder of the way that real buying and selling power is shifting to the Web. Thousands of well-crafted words by intelligent people have now been written about this book, but 250 from Bubblegum/American Pie have actually done something. I don’t know if I find this interesting or depressing. A bit of both, really.

3 Responses to “Progress”

  1. the tropical godfather Says:

    I hope that all those lovely sales will make you a noticeable amount of dosh (enough to start the Burnside House Shell Temple Sinking Fund?). Celebrating by forcing pills down the unwilling thoat of Mrs Grey seems to me oddly apt. I doubt that Mrs Grey shares these sentiments.

  2. Eleanor Says:

    But the cover over here is really nice… I shall post a review on immediately which will no doubt boost sales massively.

  3. canadian professor Says:

    On my way to Gorey Central (the Gotham Book Mart, now at 16 E. 46th) to meet a friend, I opted, because I was early and there were no other options, to tilt into Barnes & Noble at the corner.

    Et voila. Fiction. Stevenson. Next to Kidnapped. I bought a copy for the friend with whom I was staying. The friend who does toiles de jouy & is persuaded that Jouy-en-Josas may do it for the Professor’s stalkabout robe.

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