Saturday 31 July 2010


As Gibbon points out in Chapter XV of his majestic History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, there must have been a certain period when the miraculous powers of the Early Church ceased, and the afflicted in health, who heretofore had sought out the most devout of the early Christians, were now left to apply to members of the medical profession. The increased workload must have been burdensome, but each doctor had the patience of a saint.

Thursday 15 July 2010

Lakes and Pains

Wordsworth, Coleridge and Southey were – at their best – Lake Poets.
(At their worst, they were Mere Poets.)
(And when no inspiration came, they all just desponded.)

Oh, how I regretted bringing my great uncle, the nineteenth century ethnologist, to the School Sports Day, when he started to make all sorts of embarrassing generalisations about the Egg and Spoon Race, the Sack Race, the Three-Legged Race ...

Gudmund entered two events at the village games. In the arm-wrestling event he was bested by his old enemy Sigmund. And in the spinning-yarn-from-wool event he was worsted.

“I know you,” I interrupted. “You’re a drum! I hit you along to the music.”
“I was going to say that,” the drum replied. “You beat me to it.”
(I picked up a flute and I said: “I bet I know how to play you too!”
“Well, I’m blowed!” said the flute.)