Thursday, 9 September 2010


Here is my traditional post-holiday homework, focussing on literary endeavours, but mentioning in passing that dans Haut Languedoc, nous avons visite une grotte et une gouffre et that the region is now moins beaucoup de cakes.

My wife spent the evenings discovering Nancy Mitford with great delight. Just as a monastic peace would be settling each night, and as our friend Ian and I were nodding sagely over our respective tomes, stroking our chins as our minds moved in subtle and profound meditations, she would shriek: 'This is great; why haven't I read her before?' I finished Don Juan and read Mitford's Highland Fling (published, as previously mentioned, by Capuchin Classics) with equal pleasure. Mitford is brilliant at comic set pieces, and is supremely adept at representing her characters through a shrewd but humane satirical gaze. I failed to read The Dark Horse by the reliably inventive Marcus Sedgwick (I defy you to be unimpressed by his beautiful website), but Ian did it for me.

Related activites including playing the game of 'lists' by thinking of words beginning with each letter of the alphabet in specific categories. Eerily, shortly after one of these bouts of verbal jollity, I came across a passage in 'H. Fling' describing this very pastime and, moreover, listing 'diseases' as one of these categories, the very one which I had just introduced in what I thought was a highly original moment. I also introduced my holiday chums to the structure of the vilannelle, and produced one on the subject of Ian's aquatic antics.

We came home fatigue mais heureux.


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