Sunday, January 20, 2008

End of Weekend Off - Blood tomorrow

Distinctly poor record shot today. Having bemoaned the snowdrops' reluctance to appear, I noticed some this morning. And the odd aconite(near the top on the left).

The weather has been so bad one isn't inclined to search the garden. Even so I wouldn't want to be at the seaside in China. AnonymousReg forwarded some terrifying photographs of beach scenes. You literally couldn't see the sand for the umbrellas and the people. And the atmospheric 'smog' gave the pictures a grey cast. Worse than could be brightened by the digital-manipulation equivalent of good old Velvia (a type of film - remember those?) he also sent me.

We've caught up on the papers, and general reading and it was nice to have Poetry Please back on the radio. As Roger McGough's picture shows, like the rest of us, he is ageing. Doesn't seem any time at all since The Scaffold and 'Lily the Pink' does it? Are there any left-overs of the ".........medicinal compound, efficacious in every case" which she invented, I wonder? A good dollop would do me the world of good. As everyone who has had the pleasure of being with him will confirm, Roger McGough is an extremely 'good egg'. Until recently he voluntarily ran poetry courses at The Arvon Foundation to say nothing of his charity work. How strange that his Wikipedia page makes no reference to his Arvon Foundation contribution. Please open that link ! What a lovely website ? So creative. But what would you expect from such a creative place ?

A famous Rev. Sydney Smith poem (for salad dressing) was read today by Rick Stein. He read it well and pronounced the result good. Well he would, wouldn't he? But this is another Sydney Smith quote :

"Never try to reason the prejudice out of a man. It was not reasoned into him, and cannot be reasoned out"

Comments.....Lovely comments folks and thank you. The fact that people thought that the clue for 'cataloguer' was dodgy does not in anyway diminish your having got it Madeline. If anything the reverse is true.

Y thought 'Messiah' was good too. I just don't know how you telly watchers find the time. Thanks Bungus for the Bocelli info. The only 'builders' Jill who might have had a secret 'letch' for Earl Grey would of course have been Empire Builders.

Back to normal tomorrow. Blood tests (of the 'fasting' variety, ergo - no breakfast) in the morning. Then over to Joan's and we are going out for lunch. ..... Sleep tight folks. Catch you sometime.....



Madeline said...

The clue for 'cataloguer' does appear at first to be dodgy, but it isn't. I thought of the word before I considered how it fitted with the clue - 'Man a data recorder, we hear? That could be right'.
1. Man = Cat. Definition from the Addenda of the Shorter OED:
Cat. slang (orig US). An expert in, or enthusiast for, jazz; hence, a man, fellow.
Definition 2 from WordWeb:
An informal term for a youth or man.
2. A data record is a log, a data recorder produces a log.
3. The 'r' at the end comes from the last word in the clue - r = right.
4. The 'we hear' bit will be familiar to crossword enthusiasts of course, not spelt how it sounds!
RG, have you got WordWeb? I posted it in WU ages ago in 'Hints and Tips', got £25 for it too!
If you, or anyone else, would like to get it or find out about it, go to
This is for the free version. There is also a more comprehensive pro version which you have to pay for.

bungus said...

I will have to take your word about the hidden aconite (which I always think should be a young and compliant male servant to a homosexual Roman senator).

Chiness beach like Costa Not Much with fog, hey? Sounds horrendous.

Thanks Madeline for the very exact explanation of ‘cataloguer’. Hope it satisfied Jill too. I do like clues to work perfectly even though I do less than one crossword a week (The Observer, which is not quite up to Telegraph level). The jazz association did not occur to me (and I am something of an afficianado). And I am still baffled by the ‘ue’.

Hare is easily my favourite meat, Jill, closely followed by goose (which is very expensive at minimum £15 and I could almost eat a whole one myself!) I usually sort of jug the hare (ie, casserole it) but cannot bring myself to add the blood just before serving.

I am set for the conclusion of ‘Messiah’ and expect to be disappointed (as usual). Sandra (like our blogmeister I suspect) cannot bring herself to watch anything so darkly unpleasant, even when it has a different title and Robson Green is in it.

I would not trust a builder who liked Earl Grey (or Darjeeling, of which I am fond). But I very much admire RG’s comment (wish I had thought of it).