Magic

We have two cats and a dog.  Spice, Ping-Pong and Sparky.  All summer long you can’t find them.  They’re snoozing in the breeze out on the porch, under my wife’s bed or in the case of the dog laying on the grass outside on his back like he’d been pole-axed.  But then autumn ends like it did today in snow and slush falling out of a roiling gray sky and the temperature drops to freezing.

I shiver “better start a fire” and bang around in the fireplace insert  arranging kindling and dry split pieces of oak, strike a match, the fire leaps up crackling and I warm my hands.  Then turn around.  Yeah there those three reprobates are.  Like magic.  The two cats curled up on the living room chairs closest the fireplace and the dog standing patiently waiting for me to move so he may lay down in front of it,

And there they’ll be for the next five months purring and snoring.  Bravely struggling with the rigors of winter..

As long as I keep lugging in wood and emptying the ashes.  But I love them so I do it.

sparkys-winter-sleep

Keep Pushing Trump

I can’t shake the feeling that if Trump will push the envelope just that much more – say by promising to dig up Michelle’s Obama’s newly concrete reinforced socialist victory garden at the White House and dump it far out at sea, that might do it.

Why The British Elite Hates American Conservatives

The ardour of the British elite for calling American Conservatives stupid is every day and in every way only heightened by the fact that many of their own people do – want to be more American.  Admire to no end actually – Texas.  Support capital punishment,  enjoy country music, like to keep a firearm in their home to defend their family against the increasingly thuggish British criminal class.  They like the way the American police take gangsters down and how the American courts are much quicker to throw them in the slammer. They like cheap petrol, lower taxes, the idea of an English speaking nation which stretches from the Arctic Circle to the Rio Grande, from New York to the South Sea islands.

They like all of that stupid stuff. Which is why the Left-Wing Public School boys and girls running Britain, and who regard running Britain as their natural right, are frequently driven out of their upper class accented minds in anger at the fun goings on this side of the Atlantic.

Oh! No!

JRR Tolkien belonged to a Oxford literary group along with C.S. Lewis called The Inklings.  Very distinguished fiction writers who would meet each Tuesday morning at a pub where they would read out loud from whatever it was they were working on.  One morning one year when Tolkien was about half way through composing Lord Of The Rings he began reading the latest chapter and a voice was heard from far back in the room

“Oh no! Not another f__king elf.”

I Know How The Heather Looks

bodgerA unique and very American view of the phenomena of British children’s stories is also the most frequently stolen library book in the United States – I Know How The Heather Looks by Joan Bodger.  Twenty years or so ago I had the opportunity to interview Mrs. Joan Bodger and she described writing that book as “catching a story on a wing.”  And what a lovely wing it was.

It’s the true story of what happened when her and her husband, young American parents of a boy and girl, were left a modest bequest not too long after the Second World War.  What to do with it?  What they did do was something nobody thought of before.  They decided to squander it all by taking their children on a tour of the actual locations on the other side of the Atlantic which influenced many of the great English children’s stories they were reading.

Read the book by the fire this winter.  Or take it along if you vacation somewhere warm and take it in along with the sun.  Because the story gets you wondering, as mayhaps no other will, what you yourself can do to encourage a sense of adventure and spontaneity in your own children.  Instill a love of the English language.  Of stories.

The Brooklyn Eagle

brooklyn-eagleThe Brooklyn Eagle is not, as the Global Warming crowd believes a famous native American raptor made extinct through over-hunting.  It is the name of one of the most famous native American newspapers made extinct in 1955 by over-demanding unions.

I remember when it went under.  It was a shock to adult residents of Brooklyn and I vividly recall them talking about it.

Next on the agenda of course was the Brooklyn Dodgers moving to L.A.

Cabbages and Kings

walrus

“The time has come,” the Walrus said, “To talk of many things: Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax– Of cabbages–and kings– And why the sea is boiling hot– And whether pigs have wings.”    Lewis Carroll

 

Perhaps the most quoted snippet from Through The Looking Glass after the Queen’s “off with their heads” the Cabbages and Kings stanza from chapter four has been used by generations of grandparents as a signal that it’s okay for a child to talk about something.

No matter how or outlandish it might seem.

And while it might have a child rolling their eyes, “grandpa be serious” it also sends a message of trust and unconditional love – “hey this is me short-stuff. You can say anything to me.  Me.”

“And by the way Honeybunch you and I are going to have a lot of fun together.”

 

 

Paint And Plaid

We are told Indians painted themselves in certain colors associated with war, death, happiness, revenge etc.  With certain exceptions this is not true.  They painted themselves with whatever colors pleased them at the moment sometimes in the most bizarre manner.  And so garishly made up that way when on the warpath against White settlers they were the original creepy clowns trying to decoy people into the woods.

highland-gentlemanNeither did Highland clans  wear tartans identifying their clan,  Instead they wore whatever plaid pleased them.  The whole idea of clan tartans came about when two Italian brothers toured the Highlands after Culloden, visited each clan leader in and asked him to choose a plaid.  Sometime he did and sometimes he wouldn’t so the brothers chose one for him. Then the two published a book they promoted as the authoritative listing of clan “clan tartans.”   And so today if your name is MacNab and you wish to have a kilt made for a formal affair you go on-line and buy three yards of the “official MacNab” plaid at $28.53 per yard then proudly wear a design at your wedding or son’s Bar Mitzvah that was most likely chosen for you by some Italian guy in the 1700s.

 

The Shake Out

The uproar over Donald Trump’s locker room language in the past will end in one of two ways.  Either Trump will stumble, as he stumbled during the first debate and lose the presidency or he’ll parlay it into many more votes than he started with.

How the latter might occur I know but will not discuss in this blog. Instead I simply want to get my prediction on the record that it will.