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

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Hard stuff precedes indulgence

It’s that time of year. Last weekend the Hay Festival (sponsored now by The Telegraph instead of The Guardian – what an intellectual, moral and political crisis that wrought), this coming weekend the start of the St Jean de la Blaquière quinzaine.

Hay provided an agonising dilemma for those who espouse literature at the expense of science. In “Darwin and Milton – Two Views of Creation” by the British Nobel-Prize-winning biologist, Paul Nurse compared “the vision of two of the Greatest Britons of all time.” Could anyone who honours me by reading Works Well have turned away from that?

Our fifth consecutive holiday at SJDLB will focus, as usual, on grandson Zach (seen here unseasonably opening a Christmas present). His first year at primary school ends and his reading is now good enough to absorb The Guardian sports section and to dispute critical opinion on various soccer teams. In my own mind I am preparing him for our visit to the bakery (which he calls The Windmill Shop). There he will discard simple felicitation and utter: Bonjour M. le Boulanger. Je suis en vacances.

SJDLB comes at a price: I am separated from you all. Such sweet sorrow.

IDEAL FOR BURGLARS Last week the house was surveyed for the PV cell installation on the roof. Kevin the surveyor brought his own collapsible ladder – compact enough to go on the back seat of a car, extendable to reach the roof comfortably. Made of aluminium but reassuringly heavy. A compass app on his smart phone told him which way my roof faces.


Rouchswalwe said...

Bon Voyage! Looking forward to hearing all about Zachster adventures and his linguistic forays into French.

Occasional Speeder said...

Kevin looks like this may be the first time he's been grilled about his ladder. He seems proud but shy...
For the record, words that have been memorised already include "Des bonbons" and "Une glace"......

The Crow said...

Hope you have a grand time away, and that Mr. Baker will be so impressed that he will give Zach something extra - for lagniappe, as the shop owners in New Orleans used to do.

The Crow said...

PS: I am now on the hunt for a collapsible, easily hidden ladder such as Kevin displayed for your blogging audience.

Let my burglars try to take that one, I dare them!

Plutarch said...

The Telegraph indeed! Was there a dilemma about remaining faithful to the festival in view of its new sponsor?

herhimnbryn said...

The Torygraph and Hay? Quelle horreur!

I have no doubt you and yours will have a grand holiday BB. Travel well.

Hattie said...

Have a wonderful time. I wish we could go to France this year, but well we have a few nice things planned.
Lovely grandson, and I'm glad you are going solar.

Lucy said...

Parting is such sweet sorrow, I think I'll part again tomorrow.

As we used to say. Just as well you posted something else or there may have been no end to the clothes peg dialogue.

I have a friend, yes I suppose I shall continue to call her that, one's friends being not necessarily the people one likes the most but simply the ones who got there first, who kept bringing me back copies of the Sunday Telegraph from the ferry port every time she went to England. Trouble was I always read it and was thenceforward plunged into deep despond and my will to live became scant. I have begged her to desist and have not had one for a while, so now feel much better.

Actually I grew up in a Torygraph household (though for some reason it changed hue on Sundays when it took the Observer and pre-Murdoch Sunday Times). I was inured early on the seamier side of life by reading page 2, otherwise known as The Hang-em-and-flog-em Brigade newsletter.

Have a lovely time,if you haven't gone already, in which case I hope you had a lovely time.

DuchessOmnium said...

Oh, I have a soft spot for the Telegraph. Their own version of page 3 (where naughty vicars stand in the stead of the Sun's semi-clad teenagers) is particularly amusant. Bon vacances!

tristan said...

life is passing me by ... i'd always been told that gazza was the greatest englishman

The Crow said...

For Family Bonden, in honor of the new word I learned from this post:

A Summer's Quinzaine

Glad you went on holiday.
Was your retreat fun?
Are you back?

(Didn't fool myself about the quality of the poem, just wanted to try my hand at it.)


Barrett Bonden said...

RW (sZ): You are credited in the most recent post.

OS: Kevin maintains he isn't a salesman but a surveyor. Hence his shyness

The Crow: You were prescient on lagniappe as a subsequent post will show.

Plutarch: There was a good deal of of heart-searching expecially since the couple we went to Hay with were an unreconstructed Trotskyist (husband) and an unsuccessful Communist candidate in the local elections in Lewisham (wife).

HHB: Since there was a powerful residue of Guardianistas among this year's attendance the DT turned out to be rather timid.

Lucy: Just thank God it wasn't The Daily Mail, you'd now be in a pitiable state. Time for a first-time admission: I come from a Daily Mail family though in those days (forties, fifties) it was marginally less rabid My enthusiasm L'Equipe has now infected the whole family (except Mrs BB) and I now listen to them recounting sporting nuggets to each other.From tiny acorns are great linguistic oaks grown.

DO: And allso po-faced.

Tristan: he is but beatification will have to wait awhile.

the Crow: The implications of what you have written go on and on.