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Bloggish personal maunderings. - Wemyss's Appalling Hobby:
From the Party Guilty of Committing 'Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn'
Bloggish personal maunderings.

And now, some purely personal blogging.  Now, now.  It will help you to sleep.


S’n’Andrrrrrrrrrrrrrrew’s Dee.


The unfortunate coincidence of the same with the stay-awake-to-all-hours-for-the-Antipodean-feed-from-the-Ashes had the expected result.  Imagine something that was disposed of after being wrung out at Ladybank and has now washed ashore in a draggled condition on the strand at Islay.




Uniformly awful, hasn’t it been.  The true imminence of winter is evident.


I, as you might imagine, LOVE it.


Food and local goings-on.


I want to have a word with the johnny in the feathered hat.  Fennel and anise in the last batch of sausages?  We’re not sodding Italians.


Also, I’m getting quite bored with the fad of prawns year-’round.  Scallops, however….


I’m going through clementines at an appalling rate.  Pears and apples, of course, as well, but particularly clementines.


Brill and turbot alike cook well in cider, you know.


The baker’s daughter, all twenty scone stone of her, is going great guns since her FE course in the Art of Nosh.  Sage and onion bread is the latest New Thing, I believe.


I have been forced to the conclusion that there are two classes of people who patronise organic-food shops, or parts of shops that have the goods that bear the sacred stamp and seal.  One class is fanatical, drawn of face and hard of eye, thin of mouth and vaguely constipated-looking, folk for whom organic living is at once a political act and a substitute for religion.  The other lot are there because they are happily wandering about exclaiming, ‘I say!  Duck sausage!  And – oi!  Is that Cerney Pepper goat’s cheese?’ and the like.  Imagine to which set I belong.


You’ll be pleased to know that the Wilton Fly Fishing Club have a grant to keep up their work as conservators of the River Wylye.


In the interim, the Wilts Mammal Group / Wilts Wildlife Trust are, I believe, beginning to wind down their census of dormice.  If you should happen upon a hazelnut chewed upon in a rather characteristic way….


Of the unveiling of a regimental (RGBW) memorial plaque at the Wardrobe, I feel unable to speak. 


The less said of Farepak, the better.


One keeps seeing such stories as, ‘Village lit up for Christmas season’.  Judging by the traffic down the local, I’d say that was evident.


The Whites and the Foresters try again on Tuesday.


It’s December.  Do you know where your pheasants are?  Your partridges, as well?


It’s been, of course, showtime for some time, my friend-and-neighbour Jos H (names have been changed to protect the rural) has been working on the livestock showing organising committee since, it seems, midsummer.  Moving the Royal Smithfield turns out to have been a superb idea.


My grandfather.


I have written before that my father’s father was rather a formal man.


I was caused to muse upon this, as I was prompted to post something I wrote in October about one of Cousin David’s funerals (cremation, apparently, means that one can now be buried several times over, bit by bit.  What was that line of Donne’s?  ‘… still God knows in what cabinet every seed-pearl lies, in what part of the world every grain of every man’s dust lies.... He whispers, he hisses, and he beckons for the bodies of his saints, and in the twinkling of an eye that body that was scattered all over the elements is set down at the right hand of God in a glorious resurrection’) – I was prompted to this reflection by one of shezan’s fascinating family reminiscences, and by a similar story from another LJ friend.  I should note that I mean that shezan’s family stories are fascinating to read, and to read of; they would be dreadful, quite often, to have lived.  It is not only the Balkans, it is in fact the whole of the Continent, that ‘produce more history than they can consume locally’.  The English-speaking nations have had a remarkably quiet life for a damned long time, as set against the rest of the world, and it has left the denizens of those nations correspondingly less furnished with Family Tales of High Adventure.  The famous Stiff Upper Lip may have been shown to advantage in the more jungle-like portions of Empire, but it was developed At Home in Blighty through sheer boredom and a lack of interesting adventure.


In fact, however, I do reflect that there were special reasons why my father’s father was so unbending.  He was born in the year after the old queen, Victoria, died.  When he was born, his father was 34 years in age, his mother, but 23; a year after my grandfather’s birth, his brother came along. 


The rather exaggerated rectitude of my paternal grandfather, in fact, his refusal to allow even an appearance of favouritism and All That, derives from what happened after.  At a time when it was still difficult, expensive, scandalous, and, usually, tabloid fodder (and very uncomfortable at Ascot afterwards, if you cared for that sort of thing at all), his parents, whilst he was still a boy, divorced.  It turned my grandfather into something of a martinet.  Its effect upon his younger brother seems to have been rather worse, exacerbating any weaknesses he had; he blotted his copybook quite thoroughly and severely – in fact, one might today say, apparently feloniously – and departed, precipitously and disgracefully, for … was it BC in Canada, or the state of Washington in the United States?  Somewhere of that sort.


One would think that there was a good, sententious moral in that cautionary story, something to point the moral and adorn the tale, but I’m damned if I can see it.  I’ll take Free Will (and character, to be sure, and indeed, temperament) over Destiny, every time.


Well.  I’ll take that, and a couple of clementines, and some roasted chestnuts.


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6 comments or Leave a comment
serriadh From: serriadh Date: December 5th, 2006 11:53 am (UTC) (Link)
The other lot are there because they are happily wandering about exclaiming, ‘I say! Duck sausage! And – oi! Is that Cerney Pepper goat’s cheese?’ and the like.

This made my mouth water. I've been stuck on students' rations since the end of August, and I'm not going 'home' to my parents until Dec. 18th. It's Tesco value mince (meat content approx. 1%), Tesco jam, no pate, no chutney, nasty nasty pork sausages, with the very occasional flavoursome treat. I know you can cook tasty dishes on a budget, and we do, but the quality of the ingredients does show through eventually.
When I get home, it will farmers' markets, local beef, rich sauces and everything unhealthy and gout-inducing my mother can find! She is an organic shopper of your kind, I think, though she does feel like she should support the local farmers, so there is perhaps a hint of morality amongst the gluttony!

I went out for dinner with friends the other night, as a treat to ourselves for making it through the term, and it was only as I devoured the rocquefort souffle that I realised quite how unused to very strong rich flavours I've become!

The weather is crap here, too. When travel is necessary and your options are a) walking, which results in your umbrella being blown inside-out and all the townies giggling or b) cycling, which is a near-death experience and leaves you cold, wet and scared, I wish the bloody rain would hold off at least for a day or two.

Looking at what I've written, I see it's rather a whinge. Oh well!

My great-aunt ran off with a Norwegian sailor, to whom she is still happily married. She has been re-admitted into the bosom of the family (despite marrying a foreigner, and - which is worse for a family of strict baptists of the most boring sort - a non-Christian), but my sister and I discovered at an early age that no one would talk about it. How they met, where they met, where they married, ANYTHING. This means that my sister and I have since concocted a hair-raising tale of adventure on the High Seas, involving (unfortunately, I know now this to be chronologically impossible, but it was fun at the time) the Nazi invasion and spying missions.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: December 9th, 2006 03:51 pm (UTC) (Link)

The Shetland Bus, no doubt.

And if this keeps on as weather, you'll be punting down the High.
themolesmother From: themolesmother Date: December 5th, 2006 04:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
One class is fanatical, drawn of face and hard of eye, thin of mouth and vaguely constipated-looking, folk for whom organic living is at once a political act and a substitute for religion.The other lot ...

There's a similar group among vegetarians. Hubby and I, who are definitely the complete antithesis of That Sort, find cooking for them rather a chore. We're of the opinion that food should be fun. Our favourite customer this year was the Italian foodie vegan. His praise, we felt, was well worth earning as he obviously knew what he was talking about and would spend ages discussing the minutae of every dish.

Hubby's grandfather was divorced from his first wife and remarried, Hubby's grandma being the second wife. The details are still rather shrouded in mystery. I'll have to ply my Father-in-Law with strong liquor this Xmas and see if I can get to the bottom of it.

wemyss From: wemyss Date: December 9th, 2006 04:01 pm (UTC) (Link)

Oh, do. It's for research.

And I will never understand vegetarians, frankly, love some of them as one may.
woman_ironing From: woman_ironing Date: December 9th, 2006 01:03 am (UTC) (Link)
I loved reading this! But winter is still taking his time getting here. I'm not sure which season tornadoes belong to - the silly, perhaps? It must have been terrifying down Chamberlayne Road when it happened, but it made awesomely dull tv.
wemyss From: wemyss Date: December 9th, 2006 04:02 pm (UTC) (Link)

Glug. Glug. Blurble.

Floods are bad enough, thanks.

And thank you - as ever - for being so faithful and so forgiving a reader.
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