Blog powered by Typepad

« Dead woman walking - in kitten shoes! | Main | Your (brief) Monday Funnies: 12.6.17 »

Sunday, 11 June 2017


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

About yer books, if young people won't listen to old people then maybe the young need to read "old books". The key to the future may very well be in those books. The young who read them may have a stable future. The rest will wander off into oblivion and be lucky if they manage to become old one day.

I used to have two old copies of Pick of Punch (pre-1950, I believe) that I had enjoyed no end, and recently noticed that now I only have one. The missing one one contained an episode, written in lurid style, of the exploits of one Bulldog van Grote, a manly adventurer. Two phrases from this have stuck in my mind since boyhood (which is getting to be quite a long time now):

"Pausing only to beat the man to a jelly..."


"His nose, amputated in a kindergarten axe-fight, gave an odd air of noselessness to his otherwise handsome features."

I've no idea what happened to it.


The key to the future may very well be in those books.

The key to understanding the present is in them as well. When the world-as-it-is is simply a brute fact, it doesn't occur to people that it might have been any other way. The past offers alternative templates for possible futures -- ways of being that are known with certainty to be possible, because they have already existed.

There is a terrible presentism abroad in the world today, and old books are the best medicine.

Don't you dare let any of them out the door until I've been down for the monthly visit on the 30th-1st. Just pile them up in the conservatory and lockup.

Or there will be trouble at mill.


SoD, that suits me very well because it means that you can lug the bloody boxes down the stairs!

Malcolm, this opening extract from one of the essays might amuse you:

I was surprised to see Sympson the other day marching along the promenade at Munton-on-Sea wearing a black hat and an overcoat with a fur collar. There was something odd too about his manner. Usually he is willing to stop and chat to people for much longer than people are willing to stop and listen to him, but on this occasion he told me he was in a great hurry.

"There's a rehearsal at ten o'clock," he said. "You know I've joined the Munton Players, don't you? Got a big part next week. Not the lead of course just yet, but the whole play rather hangs on my little bit, and I want to do it justice."

As I knew for a fact that Sympson's experience as an actor was limited to playing one of the witches in 'Macbeth' in a production at school, and dancing a fan dance at our O.C.T.U. concert in 1942, I was amazed to find that he had persuaded the Munton Players to let him join them, because they are a particularly good repertory company, and most people wonder why the best of them are not in the West End, just as people who can afford to see West End plays wonder why some of the players are not at the seaside, or, better still, in the sea."

David, A Kindle or other ebook is the answer. The books are less expensive, many classics are free on the web, and thousands can take up no more room than a flash drive.

Btw, I had terrible pain in the knees that my doctor first thought was arthritis and treated with pain killers. Some years later for other reasons she put me on a low carbohydrate diet including no processed foods, and the pain virtually ceased.


Your blog is a rare treasure in our chaotic world. You have succeeded in drawing a dedicated collection of disparate opinions held by a rather opinionated bunch of commenters who, nevertheless, discover (on rare occasion) a shared proclivity.

I am amused that Bob and I agree on the benefits of a Kindle. I never leave home without mine. Think of it as a portable attic-in-your-pocket.

Don't worry, chaps, I have a Kindle and 'I lurve it'! However, it's not so good for military history involving maps, although to be honest, it may be that I haven't got the hang of page-marking. The books I am removing have been accumulated over more years than I care to dwell on, long before this electronic age took over!

I think a Kindle is fine, with limits. I can't imagine taking one to the bathroom for a "stay". A book or magazine(s) stored near the door would be much safer.

Bob, sorry, I forgot to add that my 'twinges 'n' twangs' are definitely Rheumatoid Arthritis and one of the irritating things is that it put a stop to my early morning swim routine. Consequently, I have lost weight and muscle tone and look like a stick insect! Not that I'm complaining too hard - there's an awful lot worse that some people suffer.


A Kindle is not necessarily a replacement for traditional books or magazines, but it's a technological marvel as a portable library.

Trish and I have a large collection of hardcover books, many of which have spilled over into our garage for lack of shelf space in our living room and our separate studies. We anticipate moving in the coming year once Trish finds an academic position (she is on the verge of receiving a Ph.D. in Cognitive Science and Linguistics). I was thinking we would donate some of our "spillover" books to the local library, but I was dismayed to learn that the library no longer accepts such donations. Our only alternative is the local dump!

Blimey, Henry, I could do with a few lessons in cognitive science, and linguistics, come to that, so if your good lady has any spare time . . .

I know that trying to tell you anything won't get me far, but Bob is on to a point with the low carb.

It is worth a try.

No it won't cure arthritis, or any other inflammatory conditions, but I'm fairly sure these conditions are provoked and aggravated by modern diets.

Also, the low carb effect is almost immediate, 48-72 hours.

If carbs, and all the glutons, fructans, in wheaty stuff are provoking your condition you'll know in a couple of days of cutting them out. And your energy levels will come back simply because carbs mess with them, irrespective of any impact they may be having on inflammatory conditions and autoimmune disorders like your arthritis.

When it comes to booze, just make sure it's something where all the sugar's turned to alcohol. Err, that's not a problem, is it really!

xox SoD


I feel your pain!

I have been giving my "read only manual data storage and retrieval devices" that I will never read again to charity for years about one box a quarter, it is like throwing away old friends. But if I'm not going to reread them some one else should get pleasure.

Have SOD download Earth Google for you. More often than not you get a better map than any publisher will provide.

Henry, I know what you mean about used books. We are "downsizing" for a move in a year or so, and picked about 65 books to donate. We had to divide them between 2 libraries in smaller towns. We have more but will end up giving them to churches for their annual book sales which are pretty well known.

And that doesn't begin to touch my Cliff's Notes collection :)

Do you really think the young will actually read.
Already American universities are banning certain books because the upset the young.


Coincidentally, Trish is teaching a course this summer at UC Berkeley. Unfortunately, you missed the deadline for registering.

As for "spare time", that may be one of the very few expressions in the English language that she can not comprehend. We have been together for 15 years and for most of that time I have been retired. She is still bewildered that I can get away with reading (for pleasure), blogging, and playing bridge whenever I feel like it. I try to avoid sleeping in, however. That just wouldn't be right :)

When doing the same exercise a year ago I came across one of my first books and all time favourites that I read as a kid back in the fifties "Brown on Resoloution" by C S Forrester after glimpsing through it it went back on the shelf. It has been through six house movements two countries one divorce four of my kids have read it and I will give it to one of the grandkids.

"Brown on Resoloution" by C S Forrester

Thanks for the prompt to the memory PW. I have a copy of that tucked away in a cupboard and it deserves a re-read. As do all of Forrester's books.



Happy birthday auld yin.

Hey Jimmy!

The comments to this entry are closed.