Temporary victory over inanimate objects

The Real World Consultant and Arts Consultant came by for an Easter visit, discombobulating us mildly since we’ve entered a phase of things where one day is really much the same as the next, viz. locked in combat with a book, or rather, our respective books, and haven’t been paying attention. Not to say it wasn’t nice to see them, but they turned up with all kinds of lovely stuff, dried deer hearts for the dog (and, as it turned out, cat), a cake, nice pasta, and the prettiest little rococo chocolate eggs I’ve ever seen — we hadn’t managed so much as an ordinary supermarket egg full of Smarties, and I felt a bit bad. I made a torta di ricotta, which contained eggs, almonds, lemon and of course, ricotta, which was at least a sort of compliment to the season. The RWC also achieved a remarkable strategic feat, which was redistributing the tarpaulin over the failed back-kitchen ceiling. We tried this on the British Army yesterday, in the person of my ex-gamekeeper, and he said it wasn’t possible. It certainly didn’t look possible. The gales of winter rolled the tarpaulin into a sort of horrible blue cocoon, and it seemed impossible to do anything about it by poking at it from below rather than going onto the roof and pulling — the latter course being something to be avoided, since the joists are now rotten. But by some mysterious means of his own, the RWC contrived to unroll the thing and get it back into position, with occasional sudden deluges of trapped water. It’s a strictly temporary measure till the builder can get around to us, but with a showery spring in prospect, it’s a very welcome one.

3 Responses to “Temporary victory over inanimate objects”

  1. jan foster Says:

    One of the Amazonian tribes used to contact their main deity by snuffing up the dried and powdered leaf of a certain hallucinogenic, and apparently caustic, plant. This procedure caused such pain that battle-hardened warriors wept aloud and as a result their noses ran. But not your ordinary playground-variety mucus, no. Fat three-foot-long streams of phlegm, grey-green and rubbery as bungee cord, swung from their nostrils as they ran around seeking surcease. The sight of this ritual so distressed the first missionaries that films of it were firmly suppressed; Episcopalians can stand penis-piercing but not snot, apparently. Sorta makes you wonder.

  2. Jane Says:

    What a wonderful description. The whole issue of the hierarchy of bodily effluviae is such an odd one. Tears, ordinary blood and milk are fit subjects for European poets, sweat is marginal, snot, semen, and menstrual blood are taboo. I’d havet hought vomit came into group B. But there’s an odd shift in perceptions which makes ‘I think I’m going to throw up’ a statement of nervous refinement. I think the first place I encountered it was the film ‘Cabaret’, but the principle has been much extended.

  3. The Man From Maryport Says:

    There’s an anecdote lurking somewhere here regarding the vomitory aspects of my experiencing bronchitis as a 15-year-old, but the world (you will be relieved to hear) is almost certainly not yet ready for it . . .

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