Maurice, though by now clothed, and in his right mind, lay on the bed with an arm across his eyes. This really would not do.
Once was something that could happen. Twice was – cause for perturbation. It was no longer the gratification of a passing inclination.
Why had MacDonald kissed him before leaving? Lightly, affectionately, as if they were devoted lovers facing a brief parting? It made no sense at all.
He heard several fellows come up the stairs: one, from the tittering, was Chumbell, and one – oh dear, that was Basil’s great honking laugh – and that voice that had so recently been whispering in his ear, soft words that he dared say were Scots for he did not understand them, only that from the tone, they were endearments and not the filth that some fellows liked to talk at such times – saying, oh, sure they will show the things to English milords for a little recompense – what, you have never been so far as Naples –
Basil was saying something about his desire to go to Greece - though Maurice confided that Basil liked his comforts entirely too much to undertake such a journey – and MacDonald remarked upon the very notable Greek influences in the Two Sicilies.
Oh, he would become a prime favourite in the club at the rate he was going, damn his eyes.
- you have not seen the Bexbury Bequest at the Museum? Sure, 'tis not on open display, save for a chaste vase or so, but 'tis entire possible for those of the cognoscenti to go examine the late Marquess’ very fine collections.
Chumbell was quite squeaking with excitement.
And then they were standing by the large canvas on the corridor wall just outside the door, and Chumbell murmuring about accuracy and Basil making claims for the need to make a telling composition - would they never go so that he might escape?
At length he heard them – after a deal of expatiation on various paintings – go back down the stairs. He stood up, tidied himself, smoothed down his hair yet again, and peeped out of the door to ensure that there were no onlookers.
He descended the stairs and nearly ran into Sir Stockwell. Ah, Allard, he said – he always manifested the very good ton of addressing Maurice as quite his equal, and not a fellow that he had once been wont to have for a guinea a time, when they were both younger. Come and take port with me.
Maurice had been greatly looking forward to a glass of gin – port was just not the same – but did not protest.
They went into Sir Stockwell’s private office. There was port already on the table. He motioned Maurice into a chair.
Well, he said, I am most exceeding grateful that we have prevailed upon MacDonald to join our number –
Maurice sipped his port and raised his eyebrows.
- but I confide Sir Hartley was quite right that 'twould have been premature to invite him any earlier, 'twas the proper thing to respect his mourning for Lord Raxdell. I was a little concerned about how Saythingport might vote –
Not Colonel Adams?
Adams will think any fellow that can argue about Alexander’s Greeks that settled among the Afghans and discourse on Hindu religion is a fine fellow. But I brought Saythingport to see the prudence of having a fellow so noted for sounding out mysteries among us – for sometimes we have matters we should desire to investigate but can hardly employ some private inquiry agent. I was very careful to choose an occasion when Mysell-Monting could not join us.
Maurice smiled and said he was surprised that Sir Stockwell had not joined the Diplomatic rather than the Admiralty.
But indeed, went on Sir Stockwell, I had a most particular concern of my own. He cleared his throat. I daresay, he said, that my wife will be coming to be dressed by you again, following this scandal of the silly women that were beguiled by an imposter that was neither French nor even a real dressmaker –
I should naturally be delighted, said Maurice, though I confide that she will go wherever Lady Trembourne does, and she, alas, is no patron of mine.
Frightful woman, said Sir Stockwell, if she were my wife – but that fool Trembourne quite grovels at her feet – but does my wife come to your establishment –
(Surely Sir Stockwell was not leading up to being granted very favourable terms when the bills for dressing his lady were made up?)
- I am in some suspicion that she has taken a lover. While she is at least so discreet in the matter that I have no definite knowledge as yet, is it so I should very much like to know who he is. Should not like her beguiled by some seducing rogue or brought into scandal. For indeed one would very much dislike to have to come to a crim.con. action.
Does you entire credit, said Maurice. Even does she not come to me, I daresay there may be ladies in the secret that may be persuaded to a little gossip.
Excellent, my dear fellow. He clapped Maurice heartily on the shoulder. Fellows such as we are well-advized to keep beforehand of matters.
Next morn, Maurice called in Miss Coggin to ask had they ever dressed Lady Sarah Channery, for his memory failed him in the matter.
Miss Coggin gave a loud and vulgar snort, and said, I daresay you would hardly have noticed her, for she ever came with Lady Trembourne, and even though she is better-born, one would have supposed her some poor relation or hired companion. And she is somewhat of the same style of looks –
Ah yes, now I recollect. Never required use of the discreet chamber?
Indeed not. A pathetic creature.
Maurice went to look over the books to see what further information on her patronage he might glean, and was about the task when he heard somebody mounting the back stairway with the clunking of a cane.
He looked out of the doorway. Biddy! he cried, jumping up and going to extend his arm to aid her ascent. Kissing her upon the cheek when she was panting at the top, he said, but sure we did not expect a visit from you. Here, come sit down and I will send for tea.
Biddy sat wheezing for a little while, and then said, came up to lay flowers on dear Thomasina’s grave, and do a little shopping for such matters as Worthing cannot provide. And I went take tea yesterday with dear Tibby, and sure I had heard nothing down by the seaside of this trouble you had been having.
Fie, did not wish bother you with it, the imposture is discovered, we have a deal of business on hand as a result –
I see what it is, you were ever a good thoughtful boy, did not want me to worry, bore it all on your own shoulders -
Did not so, he protested, opened the matter to Lady Bexbury –
There’s my clever boy!
- that quite entirely came at the imposture. But indeed, he said, sitting down and handing her a cup of tea, know not how I might have contrived without her intervention.
Has ever been a good friend to us, said Biddy. And her kindness to dear Thomasina – why, 'twas not even, la, if you cannot work I will go find some almshouse where you may reside so that you need not go upon the parish, no, 'twas keep her in the household among familiar faces, able advize Sophy, the best of everything. She dabbed at her eyes with a lacy handkerchief. O, sure she had savings put by, but in her state of health –
She had a good friend in you, said Maurice. And now, are you here, I should desire open to you some of my thoughts for the gowns for the coming Season, and the ladies that are coming here.
Biddy protested that sure, she was quite out of Town and knowledge of the latest styles, but Maurice confided that even did she not read scandal, she read the pages in the papers on matters of fashion more religiously than her Bible.
And I finished one of the waxes for an exquisite knapped pieces of obsidian that I got on my trip. It's going to be a pendant with twisted textured silver ropes.
And the Saguaro Cactus pendant will be cast this week I hope.
Below is a cat pendant with obsidian that I made for Bayla Fine a long time ago. I photographed it when I visited her in June. It's in sterling and about 2.5" wide.
And I may have put this Irish setter pendant with Laramar up before. But it seemed right to put them up together. It's in sterling about 3" high. From the collection of Wendy Czarnecki.
It's been along day. If there are typos...oh well
We had not realized the Roman site at Vaison-la-Romaine was so enormous, so we went back. Most of the old Roman town is under contemporary construction, but a tobacco millionaire at the beginning of the 20th century invested a huge sum in buying land and excavating. Unfortunately the fashion in the period was also restoration, and much of the theater had handsome new concrete risers poured over the ancient (and probably un-sittable) stones. The section of the water feature in the first photograph is in suspiciously good shape. This, combined with the generally-less stupendous ruins available, has kept Vaison from getting that coveted Unesco or World Heritage designation.
The second photo shoes the Roman bridge over the river, leading to the medieval city on the other side. Amazingly, this is still in daily use. Cars drive merrily across (the stone pavement and zoom on away. Have a look at the quite ancient building to the left of the bridge. It too is still inhabited and has been update for modern commerce; I believe if you go round the corner it’s a gift and souvenir shop. Someone has cut into the ancient wall and installed new French doors — see the workman’s ladder. I do not doubt that a little iron balcony will follow, perhaps with a cafe table and two chairs so the tenant can enjoy a pastis while watching the river run under a bridge 2000 years old.
Finally, the obligatory cat shot. Two black cats live on the site of La Villasse. Cats are encouraged at French sites, to keep down the rats and mice; the ones in the Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris are welcome tenants and in the arena at Arles I spotted an ancient nook furnished with a dish of kibble. These two are clearly siblings, and not going to get buddy-buddy with a bunch of tourists. Instead they maintain a proper French sang-froid, refusing to be petted but willing to tolerate our adoration.. We saw similar black cats at the Pont du Gard. Does this mean that all cats at French archaeological sites are black ones?
Meanwhile Tangerine, still hungry, orders some pizza. He heads out the front door in the hope of intercepting the pizza before anyone else (Melanoma, say) can get to it. There he encounters Oliver the Paper Boy dropping off another newspaper to add to the growing mound of papers composting on the front porch. Sensing a potential audience, Tango begins a tirade on the virtues of whiteness. Oliver is not delighted by this.
Oliver is still quite young, but he's old enough to recognise bullshit when he hears it. He responds with a counter-argument as the pizza delivery person arrives with Tangerine's breakfast.
"Hey matey, do you want this pizza, or would you rather just stand there arguing with the paper boy?"
All of a sudden, the pizza is forgotten as Tangerine, Oliver and the pizza chick are overcome by an irresistable urge to perform The Dance Of Horrified Greeting for... a repair person?
Startled awake, Melanoma concedes that yes, maybe the TV could do with a tune-up or something...
Wait, what? That's not a TV repair tool!
WOOOP WOOOP WOOOP!
WOOOP SCHLOOOP SCHLUUURRRP! There goes the TV...
Tangerine bawls his eyes out, weeping for his lost TV, his lost innocence, his missing personality. Without a TV, how will he pass the time now?
He recalls his breakfast, still sitting out on the front porch.
Melanoma's response to the TV being reposessed is withering. "You idiot! You haven't got the brains God gave a pickled onion. I TOLD you to pay those bills. This is YOUR fault."
"Ah well. We'll always have
Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro
Last night I saw Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro at Century Theatres. I never tire of this masterpiece! Before the movie, a short and wonderful interview with Pixar’s John Lasseter was presented. He gushed about the art and craftsmanship of the movie – and the movie’s influence on his own career. After the movie another interview short was shown – this one featuring Monkey Punch (the original manga artist/writer) and two of the movie’s animators.
Inbetween was the movie itself – always fun, always amazing – and gorgeous on the big screen. I may never get to see this movie in a theater again. I’m so glad I have it on Blu-ray at home.
A fabulous two hours passed quickly, and I left the theater with a big smile on my face. (And tonight I’m treating myself to revisiting the soundtrack in my iTunes library.)
This is about her writing. And these are her writing: about the House Un-American Activity Committee -- and the search for "dangerous Communists" in Hollywood in the 1950s, and this is her walk-along interview with Ernest Hemingway, including his peculiar style of speaking without articles. And this is a NYTimes review of the book she wrote about her 50-year affair with her editor, who had died but whose wife was still alive. Well, you can't please everyone.
The neo-Nazis who look forward to concentration camps and Hitler on the money.
An examination of change in William Morris's The Wood Beyond the World.
Two kinds of wilderness, in Ireland.
This is weird and dangerous: government agencies suing people who file Freedom of Information Act requests for information they don't want made public.
Kremlin mouthpieces are attacking "emotional" Morgan Freeman for telling the truth in his video on Russia and Putin's KGB past. Methinks they doth protest too much.
All the Sinclair Broadcasting tv stations are being required to show Trumpist propaganda.
Ibram Kendi, a scholar of racism, says that education and love are not the answer to racism. Dismantling discriminatory politics is.
The Jesuits are returning 525 acres given to them in the 1880s to the Rosebud Sioux tribe.
West Africa's most daring designer.
Hillary looks back in anger.
A heist movie about Southern, redneck-type folks who plan and carry out a complicated robbery. Very little violence (one bar fight), little in the way of bad language, no explicit material. Pretty light, fun, and clever. Channing Tatum is the mastermind of the heist; his brother is played by Adam Driver. Daniel Craig cleary had a lot of fun playing a bomb expert with a thick Southern accent. This movie didn't have a lot of substance, but it was fun. My main irritation is that Adam Driver plays a guy with a partial arm amputation from a war wound. How much money did they spend on CGI for this, and also he took away a great opportunity for an actual disabled person to play this part. There are a couple of jokes involving the prostetic that didn't feel mean to me, but might feel mean to someone else.
Silver Linings Playbook
I loved the beginning and middle of this movie. Bradley Cooper is tremendous in it-- he takes a character that could be (and sometime is) creepy and unlikeable, and makes that character sympathetic. I liked that they showed some of the realities of mental illness. I liked the friendship between his character and Jennifer Lawrence's character. I did not like the ending, which seemed to wrap everything up in too neat of a bow-- a happily ever after sort of ending, when you know it isn't going to be so easy for anyone.
What Happened to Monday - Netflix
A dystopian film set in the near future, in an unnamed European city. People live under an oppressive government, the main crux being a strict one-child policy. Seven identical sisters live in secret, sharing one legit identity as Karen Settman. They each get to go out one day a week, the day they are named after. At the end of the day, each catches the others up on what they need to know to keep up at their high-powered job. One evening, Monday doesn't come home, and the others must find out what has happened. Noomi Rapace plays all of the sisters. It's fun to watch them being badass and fighting, but there is quite a lot of violence and mayhem. Content notes for child harm and death; violence; gore. I enjoyed this film quite a lot.
While Tangerine (who has, you may recall, claimed the only couch in the house) sleeps, Melanoma is overcome by hunger pangs and visits the local diner.
But wait! What light through yonder window breaks? Is it Juliet? No, it's a Zombie-American rising up through the footpath while Melanoma dines inside.
She finishes her meal and emerges from the diner, only to be accosted by the zombie. She is not in the mood for this shit.
"Arrrghh, mmbblgggghhhrrrr! Hey lady, those are awfully tasty looking thighs you have there!"
Melanoma snorts disdainfully, spins on her heels and heads straight back into the diner for another cuppa. Clearly it's gonna be one of those days...
It seems that the Zombie-American is still waiting for her when she's done with her second coffee. Impressed by her unbelievable body odor, the zombie tries to make friends with her. This is not easy when one's first language is groaning.
Zombie: "Okay, arrgghh, mumbbllerrggh, seeya round!"
Melanoma: "I hate my life."
Mel decides that this unpleasant encounter might as well be useful for something, so she grabs a pic of the Zombie-American as she departs, with the idea that she may post it on the blog that she's just starting up.
Unfortunately, Melanoma's photography skills are at approximately the same level as the zombie's hygiene skills. Her blog's certainly not gonna go viral this week.
What I read
Finished Boys will be Boys, which was still very familiar although it is many years since I last read it. Wonder if Turner would really have liked to be writing something a bit more serious about matters of popular culture; and would have liked to be nerdish in the archives of the publishing companies, because there are sometimes wistful asides about the mysteries that might be solved thereby. Pretty sure this is where the very youthful oursin first acquired that apprehension that each generation disses upon what the young of next are consuming (whether print or radio or more latterly other media) as A Road to Ruin (I wish I could locate my copy of his Roads to Ruin).
Also finished The Witch of Syracuse: worked well, did not have that sense one so oft has when scattered short stories on a character/s are brought together of 'fix-up', but that it worked as a narrative arc. Also thought it worked well on the historical contingencies, nature of the deities, etc. (Very unfluffy Hellenic/Punic goddesses.)
Being somewhat smitten with travel angst, read various short things, comfort re-reads, etc.
Did read the novella Suradanna and the Sea by Rebecca Fraimow (2016): very good, even though I couldn't remember why or when I'd downloaded it.
On the go
Finally began Victoria Bates, Sexual Forensics in Victorian and Edwardian England: Age, Crime and Consent in the Courts (2015) - very good so far.
Also currently in medias res, Patricia McKillip, Kingfisher (2017) - very good, but my bar for riffing on/mashing up Arthuriana is set very high with Naomi Mitchison's To the Chapel Perilous.
*Among other sights seen today, Rynek Underground.
So what will it be today? What's your task that must not be avoided? How are you going to make your life better by doing that one thing?
Are you setting a timer to make headway or is it something straightforward that can be completed if you just give it your attention?
Are you in need of a challenge for the day? My challenge to you is to give a sink of your choosing a clean. Maybe your kitchen sink needs a washing up bowl taking out and giving a clean and having a scrub at the surfaces underneath. Maybe it's the plug and drainer that need the clean. It might be the taps (faucet?) that need a little TLC. Instead you might decide to take a little time to spruce up a sink in the bathroom and check out those taps, or any subtly lingering toothpaste marks. The choice is yours!
Good luck all, with whatever you decide to tackle today. Remember you can do it!
Now, I think I was completely wrong. I think that when you put the battery in, it *always* comes on. I just assumed that it would usually be off and didn't actually check that was true. So I got the impression it was lit *sometimes* on battery-connect, and connected that to the state it had before the battery was removed.
Wow, it's really easy to manufacture evidence for something even when you think you're avoiding that.
Presumably the "power on lit" is so that loose connections don't turn it off. OTOH, that would mean if it has a loose connection when it's being carried about, it might come on and drain the battery. Or maybe no-one thought about it and this just happened to be the case. Or maybe there's a regulation? I don't know.
Hope Not Hate (Twitter: hopenothate_USA)
By way of making a dramatic entry, this seems to have been timed to co-ordinate with the announcement of their epic undercover project: Patrik Hermansson, an extremely brave young Swedish grad student, infiltrated the alt-right and lived undercover in the movement in London and the US for nearly a year, wired for sound and carrying hidden cameras. This ultimately included being at Charlottesville and witnessing the car attack that killed Heather Heyer.
The documentary is coming soon, and the comprehensive report on the international alt-right (for which the infiltration was part of the research) is here:
The International Alternative Right
New York Times: Undercover With the Alt-Right
Raw Story: ‘It’s gonna end with concentration camps’: Alt-right executive boasts of a future Europe with Hitler on their money
I love HnH; I've supported them for years and have friends who've volunteered for them. They have a long history working against fascist and far right groups in the UK, through research, infiltration, legal action, anti-racist/xenophobic education and campaigning, and their work seems to have naturally become international as the "alt-right" itself has (e.g. with the "Defend Europe" boat).
So I think their expertise (and the willingness of their reporters to put their necks on the line like this, holy fuck) is going to be a hugely valuable resource for people fighting this shit in the US too.
How Big Business Got Brazil Hooked on Junk Food
As growth slows in wealthy countries, Western food companies are aggressively expanding in developing nations, contributing to obesity and health problems.
By ANDREW JACOBS and MATT RICHTEL
Nestlé Targets High-End Coffee by Taking Majority Stake in Blue Bottle
By MICHAEL J. de la MERCED and OLIVER STRAND
The deal highlights the continued hot streak of artisanal coffee, whose rapid growth and fanatical customer base have continued to draw big business.
Nadine Malouf making kibbe in “Oh My Sweet Land,” written and directed by Amir Nizar Zuabi.
Review: In ‘Oh My Sweet Land,’ Dinner Is Served. Don’t Come Hungry.
Set in a real home, an unnamed woman cooks while she relates piercing tales about the horrors in Syria.
By ALEXIS SOLOSKI
The Food Court Matures Into the Food Hall
Food halls — typically a mix of local artisan restaurants, butcher shops and other food-oriented boutiques — are becoming popular as consumers demand more options.
By JOE GOSE
After a day spent hauling flood-soaked belongings from their home in the Nottingham Forest of Houston, Linda and Jon Fabian sit on their lawn with a few glasses of wine.
Harvey and Irma Wiped Out Our Kitchens. Still, We Cook.
America has never lost so many stoves and pantries at once, but home cooks are intent on finding a way — any way — to make meals.
By KIM SEVERSON
Yotam Ottolenghi on Creating Recipes and His Cookbook ‘Sweet’
For the British chef, author and self-described baking nerd, there is no limit to the number of times you can make a cake in order to get it right.
The world’s best chocolate cake? Maybe so.
Pistachio and Rose Water Semolina Cake
By YOTAM OTTOLENGHI
Recipes: Pistachio and Rose Water Semolina Cake | World’s Best Chocolate Cake
At her home in Tanana, Alaska, Cynthia Erickson and some young volunteers decorate a lemon-blueberry cake from a mix that she jazzes up.
In Alaska’s Far-Flung Villages, Happiness Is a Cake Mix
The store-bought box, one of the few dependable food items in a place of scarcity, is tricked out for dinners and fund-raisers by many a “cake lady.”
By JULIA O'MALLEY
Recipe: Mom’s Famous Rum Cake
These zucchini and tomato tartlets with a Cheddar crust, which call for turning up the oven to roast the vegetables, are perfectly timed for autumn’s arrival.
Roasted Summer Vegetables Tucked Into Tartlets
September’s cooler weather means it’s the perfect time to bake with late summer zucchini and tomatoes.
By MELISSA CLARK
Recipe: Zucchini and Tomato Tartlets With a Cheddar Crust
Fresh sardines, are delightful, and well worth knowing. For an extra flourish, it’s fun to cook sardines on large fig leaves.
Canned Are Grand, but Fresh Sardines Are Deliciously Simple
These small fish are healthy, sustainable and easy to grill at home, whether over hot coals or under the broiler.
By DAVID TANIS
INSIDE THE LIST
Alice Waters’s Grilled Cheese Is Not Like Yours and Mine
In her best-selling new memoir, “Coming to My Senses,” the chef recommends a French mountain cheese and homemade sauerkraut for a childhood staple.
By GREGORY COWLES
Jellyfish Seek Italy’s Warming Seas. Can’t Beat ’Em? Eat ’Em.
With climate change, jellyfish are booming in the Mediterranean, to the point that researchers say there may be little to do but to live with them.
By JASON HOROWITZ
Nathaly Nicolas-Ianniello, a former journalist covering ecological issues, opened NA/NA in the 11th Arrondissement of Paris in 2015.
A Life’s Many Acts Culminate in the Kitchen at NA/NA in Paris
The chef Nathaly Nicolas-Ianniello, a former ecological journalist, serves dishes like ganache with black sesame miso to adventurous Parisians.
By MELISSA CLARK
The Secret to Amazing Mango Kulfi Comes in a Can
Quick mango kulfi.
The idea that fresh is always better is both simple and false.
By TEJAL RAO
Recipe: Quick Mango Kulfi
The salt in the chocolate bits is the surprise, and it’s also the great reconciler.
An Ideal Sundae
Like many of life’s great things, ice cream concoctions are best when governed by rules.
By DORIE GREENSPAN
Recipe: Hot Fudge and Salted Chocolate Bits Sundae
Pinot noir grapes ripen in the Willamette Valley of Oregon.
The Oregon Trail
The latest winemakers to settle in the region are bringing new perspectives, fresh energy and heartfelt enthusiasm to the country’s most exciting wine area.
By ERIC ASIMOV