Why this Blog?

A place where I can lament the changing times; for eccentric comments on current affairs and for unfashionable views, expressed I hope, in cogent style; also occasional cris de coeur largely concerned, I regret to say, with myself.


I welcome your comments, so do please write. Please note however that all comments are moderated prior to publication. Whilst I fully appreciate that life can be frustrating, nevertheless, abuse, SMS language and illiteracy will not be tolerated!

Tuesday 29 May 2012



Books are a life-saver for me - a means of escape from what one might call self-contemplation; therefore I am a regular at the charity bookshops.

I especially love certain 20th-century English writers - Evelyn Waugh, Anthony Powell, Lytton Strachey, Rosamond Lehmann, Rose Macaulay amongst others.   One of my recent acquisitions is an excellent biography of Miss Macaulay, A Writer's Life by Jane Emery.  This penetrating work really seems to me to capture Rose Macaulay's nature - at least insofar as any biography can achieve this daunting objective.

The reason for my mentioning this here is a quote from a letter Miss Macaulay wrote to Rosamond Lehmann (they were good friends).

[Background: Rose Macaulay had a twenty-year love affair - and working relationship with a married man Gerald O' Donovan, which lasted until his death from cancer in 1942.  Rosamond Lehmann had a number of affairs and in particular one of nine years' duration (nine years!! just imagine!!}with writer Cecil Day-Lewis  that ended when he left her for a young actress].

Referring to her novel Towers of Trebiziond, Miss Macaulay writes:

"It's a book I have had in mind to write for a long time and writing it - like that, at a remove from myself, in an idiom not normally my own, and in a lot of circumstances that I enjoyed making up, but still the heart of the matter being my own story - writing it did sublimate and clarify life life for me a little.  I never, thank God, killed my lover; I don't have that to bear; I only watched him die of cancer. and couldn't often be with him during his illness.  And for years after he died, I felt starved - a ghost as Laurie [in the novel] did. But less hard than what happened to you; death is not a poison, only a knock-out blow."

As my title reads COINCIDENCE - I wrote this here  in March with regard to the same idea, but sadly without Miss Macaulay's elegance of feeling and sympathy expressed.

She is of course absolutely correct.

Until the next time.

Thursday 24 May 2012

Eighteen and Seventeen


Yet another week.

Here's something from Arvo Part that I love very much; I recall listening to it at her house back in January,

Happy days.

Until the next time (if of course there is one)

Friday 18 May 2012

Just in Time

To mark four calendar months - at 15:20 this afternoon...

Of course time has not done anything very much in this case despite popular sentiment to the contrary.


Until the next time

Monday 14 May 2012

Anthony Powell and Hart Crane


Powell quotes Hart Crane in the opening of the first chapter of Faces in My Time, the third volume of his memoirs collectively entitled To Keep the Ball Rolling.

The quotation (from The Tunnel, part of The Bridge) strikes me, as did the excerpt of Powell's own writing I included the other day, as peculiarly apposite:

...it's half-past six she said - if
you don't like my gate why did you 
swing on it, why didja
swing on it

Until the next time...

Thursday 10 May 2012

And a Word from Noel Coward

Good words from a great man:

"It's discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit."

Until the next time 


Sixteen & Fifteen - & Anthony Powell



Here's an interesting quote from Anthony Powell's first novel, Afternoon Men, published in 1931.

As it happened, no one would go along to Mr Scheigan's place, but it was a long time before it was possible to make this clear to Mr Scheigan himself.  Then they had to explain to him that Harriet had gone away without him.  This he would not believe at all.  He said:
'But she said she was coming right back to wish me good night.'
Barlow said: 'But life is like that, Mr Scheigan.  You must have learnt that by this time.'

But Mr Scheigan had not learned it and he was very, very angry.


Atwater looked round the room and noticed that Susan Nunnery seemed to have disappeared.  He heard Barlow say to Mr Scheigan: 'Take my advice in future and steer clear of women.'

Until the next time