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From the Macmillan Papers.... - Wemyss's Appalling Hobby:
From the Party Guilty of Committing 'Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn'
From the Macmillan Papers....

From the papers of the right Hon. the Lord Macmillan of Moorbrock and Craigengillan, OM (3d), KCB, CVO, PC (Fellow of Paracelsus; late Master of Thomas Aquinas College in the University of Domdaniel; governor, Hogwarts School; late Secretary to the Cabinet and Head of the Home Sibylline Service):

Pensieve document 1276093/e/45/a6 (Claudius Collection, Bay 12)

The Macmillan Centre, Thomas Aquinas College, University of Domdaniel


Immediately upon the Restoration Settlement’s taking effect, Kingsley Shacklebolt[1] asked me to consider putting up for a Ministry position.  He was newly Minister in his own right, having acted as such at HM command[2] from the day of the last battle, and thereafter under the terms of the Declaration of Bredon and acclamation of the plenary Moot, the Convention Moot – I never cared for the term ‘Phoenix Moot’ that was coined for it – until a general election under the new settlement could be called.  Naturally, he’d won that first election resoundingly.  As it was Kingsley who’d seen to my OM – a gong I still don’t really feel I earnt, even in the Third Class – it was difficult to refuse him.  Had I fully realised what was in his mind, of course, I should have coupled a politely-worded refusal with swift flight to Australia or St Kitts.


But of course one doesn’t see these things coming: not, at any rate, when Kingsley Shacklebolt’s fine, Italian hand[3] is pulling the wires.  He was at all times and in all places – and I mean this in what is largely a laudatory sense – one of the ten or so craftiest persons I’ve ever dealt with, not excluding David Cameron,[4] Harry Potter,[5] Boris Johnson,[6] Hermione Weasley,[7] Peter Mandelson,[8] Draco Malfoy,[9] and Albus Dumbledore.[10]  He was also one of the most dangerous, of course, although I here must exclude Boris Johnson, Harry Potter, and Laura Madley.[11]  (David, Peter, Malfoy, Hermione, Dumbledore, and indeed Tom Riddle[12] simply weren’t in it for dangerousness when considered beside Kingsley and Boris, let alone Harry Potter and Laura Madley.)  I was very young: we all were: newly down from the resurrected Domdaniel (I was up at Tam’s,[13] naturally) and wholly innocent of the least suspicion that Kingsley meant the Ministry to become what is nowadays.  I didn’t anticipate that a Ministry post should be a sinecure, I’d not have taken it had I done, but I assuredly hadn’t an inkling that Kingsley meant to reform the place root and branch, or that I should be one of the first intake of the new, independent, and, I’m very glad to say, incorruptible Sibylline Service.


What time Kingsley’s third ministry fell, I was, at an absurdly young age, Cabinet Secretary, and had my quite undeserved K.  That transition, the first post-War transition under the Settlement, was the assay-potion test, and I’m very gratified to be able to say that the Service I had the honour of heading proved wholly fine and sound.  We served the new ministry of the day, that had but yesterday been the Opposition, as loyally, as professionally, and as correctly as we had served the former ministry that had overnight become the Opposition.


Naturally enough, we had our moments of peril.  As Harry is wont to say, in speaking of his intake of Aurors, he, and Ron,[14] and Neville,[15] for that matter, were at all times acutely aware that their every blunder might set a precedent: for everything they did was to become a precedent.  And this was specially so for them so soon as Kingsley – and Harry – had effected the proper division of the MLE into proper policemen and the Aurors into a proper military force.  Well, so it was for us, as well, in creating the new Sibylline Service.


I should say that the most vexing moments in my service must be that first change of government after the War; the arduous negotiations with the Muggles that – in keeping with the Restoration Settlement – led in the end to our integrating the Wizarding and Muggle honours systems (you’d not think reasonable, senior Witches, Wizards, and Muggles could very nearly come to blows over post-nominals and order of wear, but they damned nearly did do, you know: poor old Harry should have preferred the project to die, I imagine, given his rather bolshie attitude towards honours); that inconclusive general election that led to a brief coalition back in the Twenties; the rise, I suppose, of a third party – for a time – that caused that general election to be inconclusive (Hedgers, Ditchers, and Diggers, I ask you: I was Cabinet Secretary, not Minister for Ag, damn it all); the usual tightrope all Cabinet Secretaries must walk in serving the Cabinet and the Minister for Magic with impartial dutifulness when, quite half the time, the Minister is preparing to sack half of them and the Cabinet are waiting for a chance to pull the Minister down and fight over who shall take his place; and, of course, Cabinet appointments.  No matter how one protests getting too near the pitch that is political decision-making, some of it does spatter upon one and stain one’s robes, and in duty to one’s Minister, one really must get rather near the tar-barrel from time to time, after all.


On balance, I should say that it’s in Cabinet-forming – to vary the metaphor, I must say it does rather make one sound rather a joiner and carpenter than a member of the permanent secretariat – that’s the dodgiest task of the lot.  Naturally, it’s rather maddening when there’s a coalition, or one must assist one’s Minister in replacing a colleague, but even when a Shadow Cabinet that thought itself prepared for government comes in, there are unforeseen and rather vexing adjustments to be made.  And what you must realise is, I worked with very dangerous people.


I’m not, actually, referring to that very tiresome incident where the incoming government were found to be secretly bent upon a coup in the old, Tom Riddle manner, nor yet to the simple and obvious fact that ours is a society in which everyone over the age of eleven years is armed and everyone over the age of sixteen years or so is capable of using deadly force.  Nor do I have in mind that, for example, Harry, bless the man, had struck down the worst dark lord of our time with a simple disarming spell, and was, for all his intermittent attempts to bear himself meekly, approximately as innocuous as a bolt of lightning, or that I was continually holding the balance between any number of ambitious war heroes of remarkable power.


No, the truly dangerous people with whom I had the honour of assisting in the orderly government of the realm were such as Harry and Laura Madley, not because of their magical prowess, but, rather, because they were sea-green incorruptibles.  Hermione was dangerous enough: she had, has, very strong principles, you know, and little time for fools or for the necessary compromises of democratic governance.  Yet, on the whole, her principles were sufficiently liberal – not to say, Wet; not, indeed, to say, soggy – that she was somewhat less dangerous than she might have been; and – although she was always rather better as an administrator and researcher than as a tutor – years of working with children and young people (including her own children, amongst whom one might well in some sense count the good Ronald) had bred more patience and sympathy in her than her principles might otherwise have led one to fear.  Without that, she’d have been far too like Minerva[16] for anyone’s comfort.  Malfoy, bless the little man, wanted an eye kept on him, not because he’d not reformed, but because he was our Mandelson, and would bugger things up quite comprehensively in a misguided attempt to do good in such a way as to be visibly clever – which often resulted in his doing ill without meaning to do.  I don’t, on balance, consider it terribly clever to wish one’s cleverness to be noticeable, actually, a lesson Malfoy’s yet to grasp.  And Kingsley, also, had gone from war hero and Auror to statesman without any intervening political apprenticeship, yet, fortunately, had picked up enough in the way of political instinct over the years not to be unmanageable, wholly; he quite soon learnt the limits of the possible.  Sans that, he’d have made the running as being the third most dangerous of the lot.


Harry, however ... well.  Harry never learnt the limits of the possible, quite likely because nothing was impossible for him.  It’s remarkable, really, that he was as biddable as he was, and no more an over-mighty subject than he was.  The terror attacks, as such, and the response to them, hadn’t anything to do with me in my role as Cabinet Secretary, terrible though they were: there’s a reason I didn’t include them as one of the more tedious moments in my service, as I restricted that category to issues and events that were within my brief as Cabinet Secretary.  They were of course momentous nonetheless.  They pointed again a moral we had already taken to heart, the problem of law and of order.


None of us who were old enough to recall the days of the Secrecy Regime, and the pre-Restoration Ministry, wished to return to them.  Yet we were forced to confront, as a society, for all Hermione’s principled whinging about civil liberties, that a balance must be struck: the Ministry mustn’t be so deeply intrusive, yet it must be wider in its scope, however shallow it became.  Too much had been left outwith the remit of any law at all.


You must remember, also, that we were very few in those days.  The Secrecy Regime, a succession of intestine wars, all had left us diminished.  At some moments it rather seemed as if we hadn’t numbers enough to govern ourselves, unless we were all of us in government.  And the Royal Corps of Aurors then was smaller than one of its regiments nowadays.


I imagine that, had Harry taken to schoolmastering as Dumbledore had done, he should have remained the rather Wet sort of chap he was as a youth, even through the Great Rebellion.  But of course years at the sharp end, in roiled times, as one of far too few guardians of order, put paid to that.  And one does rather suspect that the side of his personality that had been suppressed in peacetime was always the stronger.  Like Hermione, Harry had and has yet a strong streak of self-righteousness to go with his self-sacrificing habit: which is in large measure just why he’s so dangerous.


If Harry represented order, Laura Madley represented law.  Even before Theo Nott[17] had done, although his years gave him the start of her, Laura had resolved to pursue the law.  She was in my old house at school, you know, and I regret to say I really never noticed her until she became a part of the Resistance.  Even then, she was a mousy little creature – quite usefully so: very stealthy she was with it, and led the thrice-damned Carrows a shocking dance – very different to what she blossomed into.  Because, of course, when she came back after her Muggle and Wizarding legal training, she was quite the stunner, you know: rather too much so for a good many people.  Hermione was furious, for one: it appalled her that a truly learned ‘learned friend’ should resort to such seductive methods and play upon her, quite extraordinary, sexual allure (there were always suspicions it was a glamour, but we do check these things as a matter of security, you know).  No one, I may add, mentioned that episode with Viktor Krum[18] to Hermione – not even Ron.  Nevertheless, Hermione was by no means the only person of consequence to be taken aback by Laura’s makeover, as I believe the term is, or to feel it degrading (if, as always, alas, effective) that she chose to play to what is, in fact, regrettably a stereotype.


My own view was rather different.


I don’t know that one can say that Harry was an ambitious man.  I don’t know that one can say he wasn’t, either: whether before or after Ginny’s[19] death.  I can say that, had Harry ever recognised personal ambition in himself (and he is not, perhaps fortunately, notorious for self-examination or indeed self-knowledge), he should have despised it – and himself for it.  Nevertheless, in pursuit of his principles and the interests of the Royal Corps of Aurors, his ambition was and is, I think, incomprehensibly vast.  In the same way, although he never failed to mourn, and to toast the memory of, old comrades fallen in the service of Crown and country, he expected, not his Aurors only, but the whole of Wizardom, to sacrifice themselves, as he would do and had done, to his ends.  It is no coincidence that he was more than once played – or piped – off after relinquishing a command, in his rise, by the band’s playing ‘The Parting Glass’, I confide.


I rather think I should have disapproved Madley’s tactics quite as loudly as did Hermione had I not realised, firstly, that Laura herself loathed every minute of it and persevered nonetheless, and, secondly, that she endured the degrading necessity for the sake of putting her principles into action.


Equally, I shouldn’t have feared her at all as I did had I not realised that she, like Harry, burnt with a wholly impersonal ambition.


It is at once the greatest tribute to and the gravest condemnation of Harry that he is absolutely single-minded – not to say, bloody-minded – in his determination to execute, handsomely and comprehensively, the full measure (and it may be a little over) of any and every lawful mission with which he may be tasked.  In pursuit of those ends, and his overarching principles (which are perfectly sound ones, I remind you), he is willing to undertake any measure that is – mark this – either lawful or justifiable, just as he is willing to make any endeavour, endure any discomfort, and submit to any necessary indignity or hardship.


This is a laudable thing, you may well consider, in a senior Auror.  The difficulty I regularly faced as Cabinet Secretary was that, although Harry by no means wished a cabinet position, it was necessary that he be very much involved at that level in making the decisions that want making in any government, even whilst being wholly unsuitable as a minister or secretary of State.  He is – when in mufti – a delightful chap; as a colleague, he is intolerable to many, and intolerant of most of us lesser, lazier, compromised mortals devoid of heroic virtue.  And he simply will not grasp the principle of political compromise.  He was therefore at once impossible and indispensable in government.  And he was dangerous well beyond that: any man with utterly uncompromising principles, great power, and absolute single-mindedness of purpose, who is not overly fussed about ends to his means, is highly dangerous.  It had never occurred to Harry to set up a dictatorship, and, had he done, it had been a benevolent one insofar as any dictatorship can be, but even without his volition it could very easily have been the sort of thing into which he simply stumbled in the pursuit of greater aims.  In fact, for a few months after the terror attacks, it was touch and go.  Harry at the best of times had (and has) a slight tendency to furnish rather more aid to the civil power than the civil power can bear, and ends by taking over the operation wholly.


If arranging the delicate balance of having Harry of but not in successive cabinets was daunting, the issue of what to do with Laura Madley was responsible for most of my grey hairs.  The fact of the matter is, Laura in many ways incarnates the Hufflepuff virtues: which is terrifying.  As Harry stands for order, she stands for law.  She knew that we were engaged in restoring and reforming, root and branch, a legal system whilst yet emerging from the rubble of our former world, with too few to give a hand to the work and too many less than eager to see any law restored, let alone a new system of law (or, to be fair, the recreation of an older one that had prevailed before the Secrecy Regime).  In consequence, she was absolutely single-minded – not to say, bloody-minded – in her determination to reach her impersonal ends: some marmoreal conception of absolute justice: and, in pursuit of those ends, and her overarching principles (which are perfectly sound ones, I remind you), she was willing to undertake any measure that was – mark this – either lawful or justifiable, just as she was willing to make any endeavour, endure any discomfort, and submit to any necessary indignity or hardship.  Far more so than any man, any woman with utterly uncompromising principles, great power, and absolute single-mindedness of purpose, who is not overly fussed about ends to her means, is highly dangerous; and when her means include the unrelished but grimly and dutifully undertaken deployment of her own sexuality, she is terrifying.  Of such are Robespierres and Catherines of Russia made.


She was, then, obviously, a far more delicate problem in Cabinet issues even than was Harry – and, if anything, still more indispensable in government.  And, they being two of a fortunately rare kind, she, like Harry, was absolutely terrifying.  So, when you ask, who were the two most dangerous Wizards or Witches I ever encountered, I don’t mention Tom Riddle, or Lucius Malfoy, or the Carrows, or the Lestrange woman.  It is rather those absolutely virtuous ones, sure in their own righteousness and willing to suffer anything to erect the perfect society, who put the wind up me: and of these, more even than Dumbledore, I must give a joint first in placement to Harry and to Laura Madley.  As between two people, bent utterly upon uncompromising virtue, who are great and good – and know it – and a basilisk, I’ll take the latter.


[1] The right Hon. the Earl Shacklebolt of Frenchay, KG, OM (1st), PC.

[2] At the behest of Her Majesty the Queen, Elizabeth 2d.

[3] A phrase, initially Muggle, referring to craftiness and subtlety.

[4] A Muggle politician with whom Lord Macmillan dealt.

[5] Field-Auror Marshal the right Hon. the Marquess of Evelake, BC and bar, GCB, OM (1st), KCVO, DSSO, PC, &c; commonly known simply as Harry Potter.  In full, Field-Auror Marshal the Right Honourable HJ Potter, Marquess of Evelake, Earl Avelyn, Viscount Aveline, Baron Potter of Godric’s Hollow, Baron Peverell, Boudicca Cross and bar, Knight Grand Cross of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath, Knight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order, Order of Merlin (1st Class), KCVO, Distinguished Sorcerous Service Order, Mentioned in Despatches, Privy Councillor, Grand Sorcerer, late Chief of the Magical General Staff, Chancellor of the University of Domdaniel, Governor of Azkaban and Constable of the Black Tower, Ranger of Savernake Forest, Warden of the Sept Ports, Lord Warden of the Alchemical Stannaries, Magical Lord Lieutenant of Devon (and Muggle Deputy Lieutenant thereof).  Lord Macmillan has noted, in Pensieve document 891493/k/119/b7 (Claudius Collection, Bay 12), that ‘Harry kicked up the most appalling fuss over his K, and was damned stroppy over his being a hereditary of the Moot even as a Lord of the Moot with no peerage title, simply as Potter of Evelake.  In the same way, of course, he refused to stand for the Moot, although every constituency in the land was prepared to return him whether he stood or not: which is why cunning old Kingsley made him a hereditary in the first instance, of course, in order that he not be able to evade the thing.  Jamie of course wasn’t at all eager to be Avelyn, either.  I really do believe it was Lily and only Lily, with her farsighted Old Slytherin craft, who finally wore him down, no one else could have done – and a good thing she did, too’ (a reference to later events in the 2040s).

[6] A Muggle politician with whom Lord Macmillan dealt.

[7] The right Hon. Hermione, Lady Weasley, OM (1st), PC, MW, DMag (Domd), Mistress of Paracelsus, Rector of Merlin College in the University of Domdaniel, governor of Hogwarts School, late Headmistress of Hogwarts School.

[8] A Muggle politician with whom Lord Macmillan dealt.

[9] The right Hon. Mr Draco Malfoy Queen’s Serjeant (Wizarding), PC, MW, governor of Hogwarts School, of whom Lord Macmillan has noted, in Pensieve document 912887/c/3/e13 (Claudius Collection, Bay 12), that ‘Malfoy worked very hard to overcome his past, and we rather felt he was by way of being our own Peter Mandelson, really’ (a reference to the Muggle politician).

[10] The right Hon. Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, OM (1st), MW, Grand Sorcerer, DMag (Domd), headmaster, Hogwarts School, Supreme Mugwump of the International Confederation of Wizards, Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot.

[11] Laura Madley Queen’s Serjeant (Wizarding), late Director of Public Denunciations and subsequently Madam Justice Madley.

[12] Thos Marvolo Riddle, who called himself ‘Lord Voldemort’, a rebel and traitor who was defeated at the head of an insurrection.

[13] Thomas Aquinas College, Domdaniel, whose students are commonly known as ‘Oxen’.

[14] Brigadier-Legate the right Hon. Sir Ronald Weasley, Royal Corps of Aurors, GGC and bar, KB, OM (1st), PC, MW.

[15] Professor the right Hon. Neville Longbottom, BC, GGC, late Captain, the Royal Corps of Aurors, OM (1st), PC, MW, DMag (Domd), DPhil (Oxon), Fellow of Paracelsus, President of Albertus Magnus College in the University of Domdaniel, governor of Hogwarts School, late Headmaster of Hogwarts School.

[16] Professor Minerva McGonagall, MMA (Domd), OM (2d), Fellow of Paracelsus, governor of Hogwarts School, late Headmistress of Hogwarts School.

[17] At various points a High Court judge, Lord Chief Justice, and Lord Enchantellor.

[18] The Quidditch international.

[19] Ginevra (Mrs Harry) Potter, OM (2d), later Lady Potter after his knighthood, although never so called, as the appointment was not revealed until after her death.  She was a Weasley before her marriage.

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35 comments or Leave a comment
sgt_majorette From: sgt_majorette Date: May 15th, 2010 01:16 am (UTC) (Link)

Laura Madley?

Oh, boy! She's practically a new character!
wemyss From: wemyss Date: May 16th, 2010 03:28 pm (UTC) (Link)


Lots of scope.
wren_chan From: wren_chan Date: May 15th, 2010 01:55 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh squee. *hugs you tight* Darling Wemyss, it is so good to have TIME again! I've missed so much of your work lately with being head down in Academe--(though now I get the Aga Khan joke at last, and I read Kim with FAR more interest and comprehension now, and I even instructed my Brahmin professor in some of the Kipling poems about Afghanistan)--but now it's Summer, and I can read again.

My gods, that's so scarily apt with the complete righteousness, though... a friend of mine was reminded of C.S. Lewis on why someone who torments you for your own good is worse than an evil man who does it for his own pleasure. After all, the evil one will eventually stop...

I particularly loved the bits on rendering more power than was good for it, and very, very definitely, the bit about Robespierres.

Aha, I still have your favourite icon!
wemyss From: wemyss Date: May 16th, 2010 03:30 pm (UTC) (Link)

So you do. I'm greatly obliged.

Thank you, very much, for sharing your joy. I'm gratified: you're always so very kind. And yes, Jack Lewis was in my mind, rather, here. Well spotted.
blamebrampton From: blamebrampton Date: May 15th, 2010 08:21 am (UTC) (Link)
I do love the world building you are creating here, and the certainty that the only thing worse than an evil man who believes wholly in his own evil is a good one who is certain of what is good. Would that ears in Rome (as but the first example) were open to the message ...

I hope we soon hear more from Ernie, and Laura, of whom I am already enamoured. Indeed, more from you!
wemyss From: wemyss Date: May 16th, 2010 03:31 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thankee, lass.

And so we shall, to just this moral.
femmequixotic From: femmequixotic Date: May 15th, 2010 06:20 pm (UTC) (Link)

You, my dear, are awesomecakes.

Ernie! As always I love your Ernie so very much. And the more I immerse myself in your universe, the more I utterly adore it. I especially love how you develop the government and make it so very, very believable, as well as canon- (and real world) compliant. (Please. More Government fic. I will beg pathetically, if that helps. Really. I mean that.)

Also, Malfoy worked very hard to overcome his past, and we rather felt he was by way of being our own Peter Mandelson, really is utterly and completely brilliant. Oh, Draco. Oh, Mandy. <3

Your proposal that even the best of intentions has the possibility of wreaking unexpected havoc--oh, so very true in so many ways, and one that quite a few people in this day and age might do well in remembering.

And your fleshing out of Laura here makes me really quite like her now, I have to say. The fact that she's distasteful of her own actions in regard to using her sexuality to further what she thinks is best gives her a great deal of depth and emotional resonance, and I quite adore the idea of a smart, sexy woman who's rather dangerous to the Establishment. (Laura, you go, girl.)

I had to smile at Hermione--I suspect she reflects a certain someone we both know. :D (And I'm sure she'll be quite pleased as long as she's yours and not JKR's. *G*)

In short, wonderful as always, dearest. I could lose myself in your writing any day.
femmequixotic From: femmequixotic Date: May 15th, 2010 10:18 pm (UTC) (Link)

And another thing...

P.S. Thank you for Viktor. He's awesome. :D
wemyss From: wemyss Date: May 16th, 2010 03:35 pm (UTC) (Link)

You're too kind.

I think I was too obscure in limning Laura the first time 'round: wherefore this. And yes, you're quite welcome for Viktor.
femmequixotic From: femmequixotic Date: May 16th, 2010 08:30 pm (UTC) (Link)

Not kind, honest. :)

The basics for Laura were definitely there; she just needed a bit more tweaking for her to become clear and jump out. Which she now does, and quite brilliantly.

BTW, dear sir, despite our recent extensive, ah, reading of the Daily Mail (oh God), I have yet to understand votes of confidence. *attempts to look innocent*
noeon From: noeon Date: May 16th, 2010 08:03 pm (UTC) (Link)
Have had exciting obstacles to my comment, notably a bishop's visit and a just-occurred fender bender. Apologies for lateness!

I love your Ernie MacMillan. Love. His point of view, his ability to see the sides of the issue, the papers format: just brilliant. Would absolutely treasure more of this archival perspective.

The sides of human nature and purpose you present here are absorbing - it's remarkable how much you have packed into the space and format available. As others have noted, Laura Madley is a fascinating, and multilayered character. The additional information on her motivations and willingness to pursue whatever means necessary is quite welcome, as is the assessment of the dangerousness of such impersonal ambition. The piece on the possibilities of Harry's dictatorial assumptions is also chillingly apt.

I hope we shall be hearing more of her both through Ernie and from you soon.

PS *\0/* Evelake (crossed a bit with GOIGOH, which I've almost finished)
femmequixotic From: femmequixotic Date: May 16th, 2010 08:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
*brews you a strong cup of tea*

Stupid fender-bender.
noeon From: noeon Date: May 16th, 2010 08:49 pm (UTC) (Link)


Ty, darling. The nerves are returning to this planet, but yes, *shakes fist, sips tea*
wemyss From: wemyss Date: May 16th, 2010 09:31 pm (UTC) (Link)

Bishops are bad luck.

(Here, have a new icon, just for you.)

Thank you (and I trust you're safe and well?). I have ad interim committed yet more fic that may be related (see my new three-parter, 'The captains and the kings depart'). It rather gives Harry a chance to speak in refutation: like Ernie, I believe in looking at all sides.

Now you settle in with tea and biscuits, dear, it's the only cure for alarums and excursions.

(I may add I am rather uneasy that you are reading Gate: it was an early effort.)
noeon From: noeon Date: May 16th, 2010 09:49 pm (UTC) (Link)

Aren't they just?

I'm quite well, thank you, as is my unfortunate passenger (femme) and the distracted bint who pulled her car into the apex of my turn as I was reversing. The tea and biscuits and, most of all, the settling are helping. Nothing badly damaged, just a bit of inconvenience and a few flutters of excitement and annoyance.

I've started reading the new, lovely three-parter and have been felled by the first sentence paragraph lush and lambent landscape limning.

I've been reading GOIGOH a bit ficklely since March (other things WOULD intervene). All things start somewhere and I think it's an interesting and useful prerequisite to the rest. I'm quite enjoying it.

Oh, and ta for the icon and the laugh. I'm sure femmequixotic would be happy to offer you further Clameron pieces. She informs me she's made 13. Damn the Mail!
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