Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Monday, 2 August 2010


Watched Mrs BB prepare Sticky Ginger Cake with Ginger Fudge Icing and was disturbed. I'm Virgo, needing control and tidiness, and recipes don't allow for me. This one required 87½ gm of black treacle (halved from the original) which Mrs BB table-spooned from the tin. Tolerances must have been ±50%. More precision with the butter since the paper packet had lines indicating popular fractions. Worrying work.

NOVEL Dr Plutarch has auscultated and biopsied the MS, done an MMR scan, cardiogram, endoscopy, X-rays and Rohrschach, measured blood pressure and sugar. Vital signs detected. Two months remedial.

FINE DESIGN I stuff the washing machine when I arise. The blue stuff is conditioner, function unknown. However, I approve of the bottle cap. Note the "moat" round the measure. It acts as a catchment and it's almost impossible to spill the liquid.

GOOD READ Finished Wolf Hall. An excellent primer on how to govern a country. Newspaper jokes suggest the book is an intellectual challenge. Not so, it's a good easy read. But the initial pages ominously list the characters. Stuck with the names of real people Hilary Mantel risks confusion since there are several Annes, Jos and Marys. Other than that, dive in (Most commenters to Works Well already have) and thank goodness that a free press, capable of scrutinising rulers, developed two or three hundred years later.

LINGUISTIC STIGMA (Finally it works) Recording my voice to forewarn those hearing it au nature brought unexpected reactions. I felt my accent had virtually disappeared (and good riddance). Others talked about cosy northern tones. I've recorded someone else's sonnet, rehabilitating the accent. Click here for UNCOSINESS


The Crow said...

When I click on the HERE link, I am redirected to Box and prompted to sign up for a Box account.

Do I need a password to listen to your reading?

Barrett Bonden said...

The Crow: I've tried it "behind the scenes" on my blog (ie, via the dashboard) and externally as if were a punter. Both ways take me to the MP3 file where a single click rewards the listener with a virtuoso performance of me re-enacting the voice of my youth. In fact I have improved things since the previous recording: then it took two more clicks after clicking HERE, now just one. I'll query Box.New but in the interim you might like to try the earlier recording and see if it still works.

Barrett Bonden said...

The Crow: Box.New advised me to change a couple of settings. This I have done. Perhaps you'd care to try again.

The Crow said...


Went to the earlier link, was taken straight away to your recording. However, when I tried the new link again, had the same results: sign up for an account.

Does the new recording have its own URL, like the individual vids in YouTube? Do you think, if you posted the URL, that that might work?

Barrett Bonden said...

The Crow: Just finished din-dins. I've re-set it to the two-click approach that I used on the first recording. Again it works for me either way: approaching via the web or through the dashboard. Gosh, I do sound phoney.

The Crow said...

Box still won't let me in until I register for an account. (You'll just have to call to speak Yorkish to me, luv.)


Hattie said...

I can't access it either. Dang!
Well, you would not want to be in my kitchen when I cook. I never measure things. To me, cooking is an art, not a science. Some of my art works don't turn out well, but when they do--inspired is the word!
Speaking of words, my word verification is "pompett." Definition, anyone? How about a stuck up soubrette?

Barrett Bonden said...

ALL: Thank you for bearing with me. It seems to work now.

Plutarch said...

I have a feeling that had The Bard been asked to record his sonnet, he would have sounded closer to you reading it than say Kenneth Brannagh. You ought to record more, in your present accent or the earlier one. A talent too long hidden.

Sir Hugh said...

I can't believe you subscribe to astrological beliefs.

Barrett Bonden said...

Plutarch: I once saw an extract from Julius Caesar spoken with what purported to be contemporary, regional Shakespeare-speak. To me it sounded pure Birmingham. As to my own recording it sounds simulated – a long way from the accent that gradually attaches itself to me when I’m in the West Riding for any length. Certainly it does nothing at all for the sonnet and I can’t imagine a wench or doxy responding well to it.

Sir Hugh: I don't subscribe but I find it mildly daring admitting to be a Virgo. It's not something most fellas would own up to. And, for what it's worth, Virgos are supposed to be neat and anal.

Sir Hugh said...


Occasional Lurker said...

Re astrology and star signs:

I once had a friend who was heavily (heavenly?) into it. When I told her I thought it was all crap, she replied: "That's because you're an Aquarian, and Aquarians don't believe in astrology – which just goes to prove that it works.".

Avus said...

I do so much enjoy our regional accents, which are rapidly disappearing in our bland society.
Be it deep Somerset, South Sussex or West Riding they are all wonderful and need preservation for future generations.
If "cosy" means pulling up a chair to the fireside of a traditional country pub, settling down and watching/listening to the locals passing the "crack" (speech, not drugs!), then "Cosy" fits your reading, BB (or is it "Roderick Robinson"?)
I loved it.

herhimnbryn said...

Lovely accent Bonden. It should be given more of an airing.

Barrett Bonden said...

OL: I think that's a good example of a circular argument, uttered without a break so that the lack of logic remains hidden. I take it your phrase "once had a friend" means that this friendship has been terminated. Good.

Avus/HHB: I am, as the French say, "bouleversé" and can only conclude that the comfort of distance, moderate in one case, exceptional in the other, has led you both to be kind. Try and shut down your wisteria-clad memories of "Last of the Summer Wine" and imagine opening your respective front doors on someone whining away like that. I know charity is said to begin at home but such unthinkingness as this could be very dangerous if practised in real life. Are there any accents either of you don't like?

The Crow said...

At the risk of being told - again - that my opinion is a 'cop-out' I repeat myself: your voice, in either accent, is fine.

I don't understand the problem you have with the accent of your youth. Our speech patterns change over the years, especially if you move around a lot, like we did. I like hearing all the different patterns we humans use in our speech. They are fascinating and make me wonder what part of the world originated them.

They're like threads of precious metals in the human tapestry.

You aren't the first Southerner I've encountered who puts down the accents of the Northerners. My aunt, from Alabama, used to do it all the time. She was a terrible snob.

Barrett Bonden said...

The Crow: No, no. I'm a Northerner putting down other Northerners - including (and here's the kicker) myself! But can I be snobby about myself? - an interesting teleological point. Phew, thanks Crow, I've been looking for an opportunity to misuse that adjective for ages. The point I'm trying to make (and there are undercover Southerners who support me) is that nothing noble, majestic, endearing, sympathetic, inspiring, welcoming or humane was ever communicated with a West Riding accent. You want proof? Here's the West Riding motto:

See all,
Hear all,
Say nowt.

Eat all
Sup all,
Pay nowt.

And if tha iver does owt for nowt do it for this'en.

I'll translate if you wish but I'm sure you get the drift.

herhimnbryn said...

Funnily enough, I am not keen on really strong australain accents. Known in Oz as 'Strine'.

Any uk accent variations I find entrancing, so there!

herhimnbryn said...


The gin and tonic recently consumed was obviously too strong.

Barrett Bonden said...

HHB: I can accept misspelling. What I can't accept is "Ilkla Moor bar t'at." sung with flat-toned, misplaced confidence.

Do you ever discuss this Antipodean antipathy with Ozzers?

If I've entranced you - for whatever reason, good or bad - then my living has not been in vain.

Avus said...

Unliked accents?
Estuary English (but Cockney is very OK) and nasal Birmingham.

Avus said...

As to "Wolf Hall", glad you enjoyed it. I am looking forward to her sequel.
The only intial difficulty was Mantel's device of using the third person singular to describe Cromwell, rather than his name. It made for the odd back track to confirm to whom she was referring.
(Awesome! I see my word verification for this post is "mantl" - how about that?)

Sir Hugh said...

I'm sure that cake was whole last time I saw the pic. I think you got up in the middle of the night and had some.

Barrett Bonden said...

Avus: Poor old estuarine man: disadvantaged and cast aside. We can't all drive SAABs - without him we'd have no Fords.

As to Wolf Hall I agree about Cromwell but the aim was to create a presence rather than a person and I think this happened. There was a price to be paid though.

Sir Hugh: Blame it on Photoshop.

Lucy said...

Whatever, I want some of that cake!

The Crow said...

HA! What Lucy said! Me, too.