Monthly Archives: March 2017

Placid day

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Well first, there were two slow-worms in the compost bin, basking under the heat-trap plastic covers.  This is the younger of the two.

Then the violets are spreading ever further about the grass at the back – fully justifying my failure to mow regularly, as evidently they are having the chance to set and distribute seed.  The camera even caught some of the colour today, instead of rendering it a mere blue.

And I settled down to a treat.  I saw a copy of this at Sarum College and became both besotted and acquisitive.  (Thank goodness for online second hand bookshops.)  Not a facsimile, of course, just a reprint; coping with all that black letter would be a challenge too far.  We owe some wonderful English to Tyndale as his work was so extensively pinched for the Authorised Version not many years later,

but the prologues are improbably fascinating in themselves, documents to the fermenting Reformation then in progress.  You can quite see why prologues, marginalia, and glosses were subsequently forbidden to be included, and are still omitted from most Bibles to this day.

I haven’t managed to catch Fluffers getting on to this perch, and I want to know how she does it.  She doesn’t have normal feathers and hardly any wings; when she gets down from the chair she falls more than flies, landing with a big dump; how does she fly up accurately and perch?

Nonetheless: there she is.  Sleep well, Fluffers.

We couldn’t see the moon

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although we knew it was there, a couple of hours ahead of the sun.

(Click a thumbnail for the gallery)

The significant custard journey

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I passed Winchester’s ancient gate (bit of a lump)

to make significant custard

and play cribbage.  Don’t think I’ve seen two players have identical hands in the same round before (though one of these got one-for-his-knob).

These simple pleasures were made possible by the NHS staff, who, with their usual aplomb, briskly excised the very nasty appendix of a nearestanddearest.  Bless them.  It’s hard to regret The Old Days, knowing that there was no NHS in them.

“Suddenly” we are GOING to *emphasise* and ‘use’ speech marks FOR no *apparent* reason as “if” we were randomly *shouting*

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Hmm.  Seems you can’t use italics in a blog post title.  Please take them as read between * and *.

See?  They are even on the cover.

It’s a long time since I was so comprehensively annoyed by typography.  The excessive use of inverted commas sometimes makes it difficult to tell if they are random noise or indicate a genuine quotation.  And then there are the italicised words plopped without apparent purpose into every sentence.  And the capitals.  Add to this the authorial voice, at once matey and preachy….  all so distracting that I found it almost impossible to grasp the content.  Whatever happened to formal prose?  I wish he had had a strong-minded editor.

I developed a technique for following the argument, in the end.  This consisted of hopping briskly from one quotation to another, like stepping from tussock to tussock in a bog.  Luckily the quotations were numerous and often full, so I read a certain amount of Buber, Tracy, Arendt, Schillebeeckx, Derrida, and such, and the merest modicum of Veling.

The prose came alive once, though.  Veling gives an account of a time when he attempted to actually apply his practical theology in a tricky social situation.  “No miracle of peace occurred”, he notes sadly.  Yep.  Ain’t that the truth.

The march of the blue labels

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They have reached W now.  Hurray!

In another vein, I found this little treasure.

I expect everyone else knows about Tan, but I didn’t.  Grandpa’s story had great charm, and Night of the turtle rescue was brief and bold (and tough).  But I think my favourite was Distant rain, about the reciprocal gravity of unread poems; close to my heart.

Equinoctial

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On a southern wall there’s a bit of equinoctial burgeoning going on; the only thing which could render mass-production brick and ageing concrete attractive.

Let’s not mention – well, yes, let’s mention the fact that on the other side of the house a harsh wind is mashing my favourite narcissi down flat.  I salvaged a few buds and brought them in to scent my work tonight.

Paper bagged

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The day was conducted in several keys.  At midday the car wheels decided for themselves and took me off to one of the other beaches, parking neatly by the greasy spoon kiosk.  Accepting the admonition, I wandered, eating chips like hot salty treasures from paper, and trying not to drop the beaker of tea.

The tide was well in;

I missed the acres of pale treacherous sand, but the combination of lilac clouds and green sea was a winner.

This beach has many shells, unlike best beach.  They are mainly cockles, periwinkles, oysters, wedge shells, and slipper limpets.  Slipper limpets are a most ungraceful shell:  nothing to be said for them

until you suddenly see one in a new light.

The lilac clouds intensified.  Drivers were turning their headlights on at half past three.