Log in

No account? Create an account
entries friends calendar profile AT: Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn Previous Previous Next Next
A rural report, and Christmas - Wemyss's Appalling Hobby:
From the Party Guilty of Committing 'Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn'
A rural report, and Christmas

I should begin by saying that I have not been getting – or, rather, have not been getting all of, which really queers the pitch, as one thinks one is getting all – my LJ notices. For over a fortnight. I make quite certain that I owe a number of replies; I apologise that I have not been aware of that.

It has been, for some of you at least, too long since my last report from the rural fastnesses (or half-fastnesses). Others of you, no doubt, have been getting on perfectly well without being confronted with bucolic bletherings that you pass by with clenched teeth. You have been duly warned, then….

I don’t know that I have mentioned heretofore Our Martin, the hearty who runs the palais du sport and academy of physical jerks in a nearby village. He is a large, sweet-natured rugger-bugger sort, who has been to all appearances mildly concussed for many, many years. It is his habit to go through the warmer months clean-shaven, and to acquire a beard – no, that’s not what I mean, you dirty-minded lot – when it waxes cold. Of late, he has taken to pairing that seasonal hirsuteness with a knitted cap of Canadian pattern that he clearly treasures as a sentimental reminder of what was evidently a very happy trip to that freezing and Frog-infested Dominion.

Fortunately, thanks to the ubiquity and lyrical memorability of Monty Python’s lumberjack sketch, we have broken him of the habit. I like to think of this as village beautification.

A glance at the calendar – and several graphs of data before they were ‘rationalised’ by the CRU at the University of Easy Access – suffices to tell one that the Christmas season is very nearly upon us. Those of you – both of you – who are not shockingly unchurched will have twigged to that when Advent started, of course. And the Christmas season, of course, means the Christmas luncheon of my subset of my club, gathered under the auspices of Robin Goodfellow of Pook’s Hill.

In this year’s invitation-cum-reminder, the savage Landor, as secretary, has surpassed himself. Addressing himself to ‘all you Disturbed Individuals, Candidates for Sectioning, and Usual Suspects’, the truly savage Landor begs to suggest that ‘those who can delay their jetting off to Copenhagen, Davos, or Gstaad’ attend, and let him know that they are attending ‘so that he can arrange bail or private clinics as may severally be wanted’; he further wishes to remind ‘those who were up [at university] in the 1970s’ that ‘these are the people you lunch with every Christmas, and isn’t it time you left off the coke and the skunk, really, at your age’: savage even for Landor, who fancies himself the Swift de nos jours.

Mind, Landor may be on to something. Moody, for example, is expected to rejoin us after a few years’ absence; and as he is reputed to have cropped his head in a pointless attempt to disguise his baldness, whilst maintaining his Rabelaisian ‘great, black, buggerly beard’, he’ll be damned lucky if the Met don’t shoot him on sight as a Salafist terror-imam, really.

In fact, though, I rather expect this year’s gathering to be rather bittersweet. Dodson’s in hospital and unlikely ever to leave it alive; Ogbourne’s gone blind in one eye (Landor, typically, noted that it would have been infinitely more tragic if Ogbourne had been, actually, literate: this sort of savage barracking is very much the club tradition, you understand); my Lambs will be absent and indeed no longer are in want of my push as my protégés; and, most sadly, dear old Edwin Savernake, who was made a widower just before last year’s luncheon, has declined terribly, as widowers will, and has now had two heart attacks and a diagnosis of incurable cancer.

And yet we Keep Buggering On, sneering at the Fates in the approved Club fashion. It’s really all that one can do. And so I shall go up to town for the luncheon on the 18th instant, a Country Member, and potter about after, and be ready for a quiet Christmas at home the week after – and then, ah, then, on Boxing Day, it’s off once more to my beloved Vienna for the New Year, with Strauss ringing in the year in the Goldener Saal, and a chance, however brief, to forget that one is now a man without a church and without a country, in the Age of Intellectual Dishonesty, betrayed on every side.

It’s a surprisingly orthodox Christmas moral, really: Keep Buggering On, and wait for an uncovenanted grace to unstick things.

Tags: , , ,

5 comments or Leave a comment
fpb From: fpb Date: December 8th, 2009 05:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
Check your e-mail account. I failed to get notifications for more than a year, and then it turned out that for some reason the e-mail account had put Livejournal among the blocked accounts together with Nigerian gentlemen with money to move and ladies who are interested in growing my tools.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: December 8th, 2009 05:36 pm (UTC) (Link)

I assure you, it's LJ.

They admit it - wh is more than Hadley do.
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: December 8th, 2009 05:52 pm (UTC) (Link)
oooh, bucolic bletherings, my fave!

Sounds like a Merry (as opposed to merely Happy) Christmas indeed.
noeon From: noeon Date: December 8th, 2009 06:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
The Strauss sounds lovely, your club report is Waugh redivivus, and I'm in stitches over the women's clothing lumberjack allusions. Oh, and the beard of course.

And yes, it is LJ.
magic_at_mungos From: magic_at_mungos Date: December 8th, 2009 09:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
I am indeed dead jealous of you swanning off to Vienna for New Year.
5 comments or Leave a comment