… while I had the chance.
… while I had the chance.
Sitting on the shingle, I washed my hands of a responsibility.
As predicted, I had a lighter journey home.
In the back of my mind for a long time, and fortuitously spotted on a library shelf.
Diaries are so moreish, especially when the author is a writer of any talent. The more personal sections of these diaries have been pruned, largely in consideration for persons still living at the time of this publication, but Channon was the man who knew “everybody”, knew the gossip, knew the workings of politics, was the ultimate worldling of his small world of society and parliament in the 1930s and 40s, so his insider view is of considerable interest.
At the same time, the sheer variety and humour keep the format refreshed: Channon’s misadventures with royal chamber pots are irresistible (p 21), as is the tendency of Queen Mary to look like the Jungfrau (p 133). My favourite absurdity, however, occurs in November 1940, during the Blitz, when Channon’s house received a direct hit while he was holding a dinner party: ... there was an immense crash and a flash like lightning. … we all rushed into the hall, and were at once half-blinded by dust and smoke … out of the darkness sprang an ARP warden, whom I recognised as, of all people, the Archduke Robert [of Austria] … I led them into the morning room, gave them drinks, and rang the bell (p 274).
Yesterday I went bounding off – well, stepping out – and once past the industrial estate the walking was pleasant: a beautiful September day. I was more interested in terraces than in tourism, and the itinerary did not include the pilgrimage destination, the Big House, or the italianate church looking bizarre among chalk and flint cottages.
It did, however, include the local garden centre as a possible watering hole. This was fortunate. I reached the junction named baldly (but exactly) Park Wall, and fell flat on my face, taking the knee out of my favourite walking trousers and myself. The garden centre supplied running water, tea, teacake, and plasters, and the excursion turned into a jigsaw hunt instead.
Found in a charity shop. Once you look, it is amusing to note the subtext of the image: apparently Manhattan residents are even more insular than other island dwellers. 🙂
The image also contains, of course, a great many ghosts.
This gallery contains 9 photos.
The seeing was terrible: darkness barely falls, and the sky is thick with heat, cloud and muck. Nonetheless the new refractor let me peer out.
First there was Venus, dropping into the trees but showing a fattish phase; then Jupiter, which graciously allowed me to watch Europa being occulted behind it; then Saturn, rings wide open, with Titan just visible; and at last Mars, almost at opposition but so low it was just a big orange fuzzball.
I’ve seen them all better; but this is a moment to enjoy seeing them at all.
After significant wrestling with rugs, curtains, windows, tables, books, boxes, bargains, shoes, and incoming parcels, we got to the serious stuff.
This included corporate creativity in order to adjust the fascinator with two pairs of heavy duty pliers and superglue (a treasurable experience)
and discovering that we female rellies from far-flung places had instinctively colour-co-ordinated ourselves.
The view from the back of the portaloos was the best I have ever seen from a lavatory (the other aspects were good too) and strop didn’t seem to break out until later. All good.
Meantime, writing a level 7 assignment with the other foot … yes, that worked. Writing is agony, but here is a keeper (especially since I discovered that St Menas may have won the Battle of El Alamein):
It was lonely without the sky so in a heavily symbolic act … I may have overbought. It came today,
and I have been using the cathedral spire to align the red dot finder. Can’t see the spire? The scope can. In fact it can count each red warning light and the knobs on the cross on top.
But can it see anything else? Naturally, the moon is rising behind a band of high cloud and has turned itself into a gigantic fuzzball. Isn’t astronomy wonderful?
Yesterday began with being towed backwards across Wiltshire. Then some intensive looking.
Best seen across a vacant lot:
The fullness required many hours, which we were unable to give.
There was something appropriate about the power socket handy for St. Barbara. In case her father needed it?
Finding Dewi Sant was like meeting an old friend…
It was a mistake to take an audio book. The tunnels must be the noisiest on the network: growl, roar, whistle and rattle in one excruciating go.
And there we were again: being towed backwards across Wiltshire.
It isn’t a word really. But a scrubulous weekend is what I had.
I returned to muggy days and sea mists
and scrubbed ten windows, three double sets of glass doors, and a conservatory. Both sides.
The seagulls were eyeing up the gleaming panes, sniggering to themselves. So it seemed a good idea to get in first.
I was a bit surprised by these lacy ones.
Now I am back in the attic nest with a lot of books about icons.