January 19th, 2003

knitting sketch

Musings on approaches to the writing of history

Really enjoyed the opening chapters of Night Watch. Pratchet is back on form. Nice glimpse of the nature of ‘respectability’ with the introduction of ‘the aunties’.

Decided against the idea of writing the seconds article for learned Historical journal: too much work involved in getting the head round the workings of phenomenological approach to writing up historical research. (i.e. I can do it but don’t understand the mechanism sufficiently to write about how I do it.)
  • Current Music
    'Men and Women' - Simply Red
knitting sketch

Thank goodness for sunshine

The sun finally decided to show itself in old Blighty today. Which is just as well as I had been revisiting the poetry of my youth earlier this morning. Boy did GM Hopkins know what he was talking about.

Carrion Comfort

No, I’ll not, carrion comfort, Despair, not feast on thee;
Not untwist – slack they may be – these last strands of man
In me, or, most weary, cry ‘I can no more’ I can ;
Can something, hope, wish day come, not choose not to be.
But, ah, but o thou terrible, why would’st thou rude on me
Thy wring-world right foot rock? Lay a lionlimb against me? Scan
With darksome devouring eyes my bruised bones? And fan,
O in turns of tempest, me heaped there, me frantic to avoid thee and flee?

Why? that my chaff might fly: my grain lie sheer and clear.
Nay in all that toil, that coil, since (seems) I kissed the rod,
Hand rather, my heart lo! Lapped strength, stole joy, would laugh, cheer
Cheer whom though? The hero whose heaven-handling flung me, foot trod
Me? Or me that fought him? O which one? Is it each one?
That night, that year
Of now done darkness I wretch lay wrestling with (My God!)
My God.
  • Current Music
    Still Crazy After All These Years - Paul Simon
knitting sketch

"Look at the stars! look, look up at the skies" GMH

Spent the afternoon preparing for house guests who arrive tomorrow, checking the French hotels for our quick trip later this month and visiting the dog-sitter to introduce him to the two mutts we will be foisting on him while we are in Paris. He lives in a great spot out in the wilds of Cambridgeshire. God I love the fens out there – all that open sky – you can really see the stars going on forever on a clear night. The boat used to be moored out there before we shipped her to France and I really miss the escape pod from RL that we had just an hour’s drive from home. Spent many a winter’s day (and night) in peaceful contemplation of the basics of life aboard our trusty NB)
  • Current Music
    Rubber Soul - Beatles
knitting sketch

Progress Report –

Chicken is defrosting nicely in the fridge.
The apple crumble is prepared, after a bitter battle with the food processor which initially refused to co-operate. (wonder should I serve custard (crème anglais) or fresh cream with the crumble?) Definitely custard. The French know nothing about making classic English puddings – they serve crumble COLD for god’s sake. And don’t get me started on their soggy pastry in what they laughingly call ‘porc en crout’ in their pathetic excuse for a good Melton Mowbray pie.
Fresh bread is just coming to fruition in the bread machine (Thank you Panasonic)
The French hotels have yet to be consistent in the prices they quote for our stay in Paris.

Why are we going to Paris I hear you ask if I am so vehemently against their cooking? Well – only their attempts at things which the English do better. There’s no doubt their bread is superior (if you can find a good baker who does the banettes) and then there is the wine (cheaper) and beer (cheaper) and cider (all round better) and the lifestyle . They certainly have their priorities sorted out. 2 hours for lunch, no Sunday trading (except in larger towns and cities) more public holidays and the work/life balance is definitely right.
  • Current Music
    One Last Love Song - Beautiful South