Sunday, December 09, 2007


The Inuit (or Australian aboriginals?) measure nocturnal temperature by the number of dogs they must bring under the covers with them to stay warm. A three dog night is a very cold one. The increments on my loaf-meter are pots of tea. This morning was a 3 pot morning - bone idle.
" December 13, 1916. Walked down the bottom of the road and hung over some wooden railings. A little village baby-girl aged not more than 3 was hovering about near me while I gazed abstractedly across the Park at the trees. Presently, she crawled through the railings into the field and picked up a few dead leaves - a baby picking up dead leaves! Then she threw them down, and kicked them. Then moved on again - rustling about intermittently like a winter Thrush in the shrubbery. At last, she had stumbled around to where I was leaning over the railings. She stood immediately in front of me and silently looked up with a steady reproachful gaze: 'Ain't you 'shamed, you lazybones?' till I could bear her inquisitorial gaze no longer, and so went and hung over some more railings further on. "
At some point while trawling through cyberspace I happened on The Journal of a Disappointed Man by W.P.N. Barbellion, 1919, serialized on Barbellionblog. And it's a good place to head to on wet grey days such as this.
" March 12, 1917. 'I used to get very muddy,' I remarked lamentably, 'in the old days when stalking birds on the mudflats.' And they rather jeered at such an occupation in such a place, just as those beautiful sights and sounds of zostera-covered mud-banks, twinkling runnels, swiftly running thin-legged waders, their whistles and cries began to steal over my memory like a delicate pain. "
Dip into 'this entry' and this rural idyll.
There. I hope I've set you off for several hours of delinquent flânerie.

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