Sorry if this is not up to the usual standard, we arrived back from a hiking trip at 4am yesterday morning and this was written then. Posts and awesome photos will soon follow.
When Bertie Wooster goes to Totleigh Towers to pour oil on the troubled waters of a lovers’ breach between Madeline Bassett and Gussie Fink-Nottle, he isn’t expecting to see Aunt Dahlia there – nor to be instructed by her to steal some silver. But purloining the antique cow creamer from under the baleful nose of Sir Watkyn Bassett is the least of Bertie’s tasks. He has to restore true love to both Madeline and Gussie and to the Revd ‘Stinker’ Pinker and Stiffy Byng – and confound the insane ambitions of would-be Dictator Roderick Spode and his Black Shorts. It’s a situation that only Jeeves can unravel. Writing at the very height of his powers, in The Code of the Woosters, P.G. Wodehouse delivers what might be the most delightfully funny book ever committed to paper.
It’s been a long time since I last picked up one of Wodehouse’s books and within a few pages, it reinforced the idea that it was a terribly long overdue decision that needed putting right. Coming across the word hornswoggle was the icing on the cake.
It was a silver cow, but when I say ‘cow’, don’t go running away with the idea of some decent, self-respecting cudster such as you may observe loading grass into itself in the nearest meadow. This was a sinister, learing, Underworld sort of animal, the kind that would spit out of the side of its mouth for two pence.
Wodehouse’s uniquely written style is just brilliant, the language is the best part of the book, which is saying a lot as the book is an exceedingly witty study in comedy. This offsets the characters, who don’t have much depth but that is fine as it is all about the elaborate plotting. The phrasing of each sentence is a delight, and raised many a smile with the whimsical nature with which it presents itself. Perhaps it is a bit stereotypical of Englishness but that is also one of the novel’s many charms.
Before we go any further please apply yourself to puzzling out some of the most humorous jokes you will ever come across. Ever. Answers will be provided at the end but don’t skip the rest of the post though, let the anticipation build and then feel the buzz drain away from you as the answers are revealed at the end:
On which side to most chickens have their feathers?
What goes up and wobbles?
What type of dog has no tail?
What is green and goes to a summer camp?
What’s a Grecian Urn?
After pushing back the plates of Christmas dinner, my thoughts naturally turned to blogging and it was then that I remembered a much lamented missed opportunity from last year which was to talk about Christmas crackers and the contents therein. As is tradition around these parts, the pulling of the cracker has been an integral part of Christmas since 1847 and features a wealth of goodies to delight even the most Scroogiest of Scrooges at Christmas.
Nothing beats the smell of gunpowder of a lazy Christmas Day afternoon as is attested by the thousands of crackers that go off each year. It is the ultimate family diversion, of little consequence but always strangely enjoyable and something not to be done without. Those who fork out lots of money for the so-called luxury crackers with prizes worth ‘winning’ miss the point, it’s the tackiness of the whole ordeal that is so beloved of households everywhere. For those of you not familiar with this particular treat, here’s a brief and fairly passable explanation of what it all consists of. Continue reading “Cracking Up Over Christmas”
I’m sat on my bed as I like to do when getting read to lie down in it and I feel inclined to reach for my laptop. Well I say reach, it’s more of that keep-your-legs-on-the-bed-whilst-dragging-the-rest-of-your-body-across-the-room effort, in an overly strenuous and needless attempt stay on bed, admit it we all do it! The reason I’ve picked up the laptop instead of winding down is because I just realised how incredibly lucky I am.
There are many reasons for this, family, friends and all the rest of it but the thing that did it for me today was actually seeing my bookcases. They aren’t subtle or anything, I look at them all the time but today I have actually seen them. Like most people I’ve spent years accumulating books but I’ve been taking them for granted of late because I have them near me, they seem to almost become almost less special for a time..
That is until they come back into my sphere of attention and now they have and I see the absolute awesomeness of having my own personal library. That hoarded collection is not only words – words of wonder and magic – timeless words but also memories or the promise of memories for those books not yet gotten around to yet. What I love most about having an accumulated amount of paper is the accidental placement and combinations of books. Having memoirs of life next to sci-fi flights of fancy or staunch atheistic existentialists next to a history of the church is such a whimsical by-product of stacking. Continue reading “Shelving That Idea”
It begins, as it always does. A sudden recognition of my situation, this time sitting outside on a bench in the sun. The bench is one of those metal ones that retains its coldness despite how long you sit there and has a lattice back, it’s also blue but the paint is flaking. At right angles from me is another bench and a man sits there, he has long blonde hair and for some reason I know he is Australian.
Looking at my surroundings, there are plenty of shops lining the thoroughfare, it’s quiet here despite that, perhaps it is not one of the main arteries of the town. There are trees at regimental intervals with lush green leaves which seem to revel in the sunshine they bask in. I have a book naturally, and it rests on my knees open, the ideas of page leafs and tree leaves amuses me.
I hear a bang above me and look up, the buildings rise three stories and one of the windows opening has startled the peaceful scene. There is a lady there with dark hair, she waves at me, well I assume its me but in these situations you never know, so that mortified do-I-acknowledge-said-person-or-not worry kicks in. After waving back like a reckless fool, a bit of paper is thrown from the window which flutters towards me which I expertly snatch out of the air. Continue reading “Town Encounter”
I find I am at my most alone in the company of other people and it is worst when queueing. I hate standing there, feeling awkward, it’s not worth reading a book and there is little else to do but people watch. Naturally my thoughts turn inward, which is an interesting concept if you think about it. Inward would imply outside boundaries yet my thoughts can conjure up anything I wish and are therefore infinite so I have to assume that if the universe is also infinite and I am in the universe but have no boundaries, then logically it follows that my mind must actually be inside out in order for this to be accommodated. Just a thought but I believe I explains a lot.
The other day – Saturday to be precise – I was sat in Nottingham at about half four in the afternoon having a bag of chips, it was my first meal of the day and allowed me to sit and contemplate stuff as the traffic flowed by. The people on the buses were very inquisitive about my feast in paper and I made a great show of overly enjoying it because sometimes its the only thing to do.
Animals in zoos should try it, make us all crave some bizarre food, the gift shops would make a killing. Anyway, settled on a slowly warming metal bench, I considered my place in life. Chips are of course the food of thought, with plenty of salt and vinegar lavished on them, and I started my thoughts off with my physical place in the world.
Being still whilst everybody bustles around you is always a good thing, unless you are tying your shoelaces of course. I am always unsure of whether I feel incredibly small in this moving world or at the centre of it, thereby attaining some sort of omnipotence. Far be it for me to elevate myself so sitting on Hera’s lap or anything but I have written about that sort of thing awhile back somewhere on these pages. Continue reading “Chippy Ste”
It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a man in possession of a good pint must be susceptible to interesting thoughts.
As I sat in the pub quaffing a pint of Abbot Ale the other day, I realised that this blog would have been less substantial and probably less inventive, if not more coherent without the intake of the ‘smooth, dark stuff’.
Traversing yet another journey of the imagination and learning (in this case reading The Wine of Solitude by Irene Nemirovsky), I stumbled upon a break in parts. It happens to me regularly of course but this time I was struck by something new. Perhaps it was the pint, or perhaps something more tangible yet out of reach of the right words but something made me stop and stare into the above pages.
There was a quality to these leafs, they felt smooth yet had those wrinkles that seem to be caught in the very fabric of its being. I like blank pages, I used to just see them as a waste of paper but I was wrong in this assumption and now see them as part of the experience of reading, the canvas of thought. Continue reading “Pause for Thought”