Thursday, September 22, 2016

Every cloud has a silver lining ...

... today's announcement that Mary Berry will hand in the oven gloves & resign from TGBBO is sad as such - someone who seems to be genuinely decent, knowledgable & not some overnight one-trick wonder - but more than compensated by hearing that Paul Hollywood will follow the sticky dough to Channel 4 where (surely) the show will sink like an under-heated Yorkshire pudding.

(Truly the Son of Clarkson. Vroom-vroom! Await the obscene salary & spin-off deals. Then the behind the camera tantrums ... )

Not forgetting the welcome news that the pun in the arse sisters - Mel & Sue - will stand down. The icing on the cake.

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While still in posting mode ... I had the misfortune to hear the resurrected Radio Active 'comedy' (sic) on Radio 4. Embarrassing from start to finish. Thirty years ago that kind of Edinburgh fringe-sub Python-John Cleese asperity still had some edge. Today ... er ... Who, I wonder, gave it the nod?

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Whereas ... in preparation for a series of classes on Beckett I watched The Music Box on the e-board - a Laurel & Hardy short from (I'm guessing) the 40s?

Pure joy.

The way Stan lifts his leg with his hand - as if communication with this limb has broken down ... How Oliver reproaches Stan for being stupid trying to lift the piano off the carriage on his own only to insist on kneeling down for it to slide over his back ... The constant twang of piano strings implying the instrument must be falling to bits inside the box ...

A student who happens by watches entranced.

This kind of comedy has no sell by date.





Saturday, September 17, 2016

Apologies for the rather lengthy silence. Things are still ticking along.

Expect a post or two on the Turin Calligraphy Experience ...

Sunday, August 07, 2016


Lobster tonight - thanks once again to Bob's Seafood on the harbour front at Folkestone.

A pleasure tempered, however, by witnessing - as in slow motion - a van reverse into the side of my car, parked in front of the Captain's Table cafe, as I sat enjoying my post M25 early morning coffee. A strange dream-like sensation as the two vehicles come into contact while you look on powerless to intervene.

While, as such, it has left only a dent a few inches away from the petrol tank cover the design of the Clio will probably entail replacing the entire right flank panel.

Tomorrow will be a day of phone calls.



Friday, August 05, 2016

& as if it had been waiting for me ... the Bloodaxe Denise Levertov Selected sitting on a shelf in the Reading Oxfam bookshop (£3:49). A quotation from Arthur Schnitzler on the fly leaf & a few biro markings against certain poems. Otherwise clean.

That'll do nicely.

Wednesday, August 03, 2016



While the others splashed about in the lake I made an Anthony Gormley rip-off.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

I picked up the New Directions edition of Denise Levertov's 'The Poet In The World' when I was last over in the UK. It was one of several volumes inscribed 'David Holloway' in a modest careful hand. Given two of the others were by Zukofsky, I wonder whether this is the same David Holloway who figures in one or two lists of correspondence relating to the Charles Olson Society?

Whatever ... it's been a day of unrelieved rain here in post-Brexit Brussels. What better way to spend such a day than reading one after another of Levertov's essays? Sipping them might be a better phrase. For they are rich & subtle & deserve to be turned around in the mind.

I will admit to having seen DL as very much in the shadow of Robert Duncan - in fact, I realised today that I have not a single volume of her actual poems. (This will be remedied). However these essays are some of the most clearly articulated & perceptive writings upon the real nitty gritty stuff of poetic making that I have read.

It's been a very well spent day.

Monday, August 01, 2016


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Back from our trip down to Burgundy. 

Here's a section of a wall from Noyers.