We have just experienced a country house weekend. No aunts or cow-creamers were harmed during the duration of our stay, though otherwise, there were overtones of P.G. Wodehouse. The scale of things may be indicated by the fact that it was possible to overlook an eight-foot-high Van Dyck in the hall due to the 23 other paintings that were jostling for attention. The Northern Professor had encountered such things in his younger days; and I, at least, did sufficient time as a Cambridge College Fellow to have a rough sense of how things went. I remembered that after tea you had time off for good behaviour till dinner; I had forgotten, however, that a housekeeper comes and turns down your bed and shuts curtains. I had spent the two hours in question, for reasons of my own, reading a book called Spiritual and Demonic Magic, which I found removed firmly to a side table, and shut. What can one do. Lunch was a return-match with some of the people of the previous night, and struck me as quite extraordinarily Buchanesque: the host was vastly distinguished and very much in the forefront of the Scottish great & good, and, in his younger days, used to poach his own land in a spirit of experiment. Richard Hannay, so to say, while another character, a formidably bright and multi-lingual military attaché, is as near Sandy Clanroyden as makes no odds aside from the arrested development. I enjoyed it enormously, but personally, I would hate to live with all the burglar alarms. One of the survivors of the World of Ed simply sold all the pictures she inherited from her considerably older girlfriend, because otherwise they would rule her life. We can barely remember to lock the back door, and though it was beautiful, wonderful and fantastic, I was so glad, coming home, to feel that if someone had to live like that, it wasn’t me.