2nd july 2003
brekekex koax koax
Journal, 18th April 1858
[ Sir Froggy (for it is he) writes: Ay ay is rite is rite we bees werry werry strainch
One would describe them as peculiarly wary and timid, another equally bold and imperturbable.
[ Sir F: rubbage to firs one is poor judgmint
All that is required in studying them is patience. You will sometimes walk a long way along a ditch and hear twenty or more leap in one after another before you, and see where they rippled the water, without getting sight of one of them. Sometimes, as this afternoon, when you approach a pool or spring a frog hops in and buries itself at the bottom. You sit down on the brink and wait patiently for his reappearance. After a quarter of an hour or more he is sure to rise to the surface and put out his nose quietly without making a ripple, eyeing you steadily.
[ Sir F: is you soprizd wy wdlnt it bee so
At length he becomes as curious about you as you can be about him. He suddenly hops straight toward you, pausing within a foot, and takes a near and leisurely view of you. Perchance you may now scratch its nose with your finger and examine it to your heart's content, for it is become as imperturbable as it was shy before.
[ Sir F: you wanta wotchit busta this is jus carm befor sturm orl meri hel wil soon be brakin loos if yous pots a fut rong
You conquer them by superior patience and immovableness; not by quickness, but by slowness; not by heat, but by coldness. You see only a pair of heels disappearing in the weedy bottom, and, saving a few insects, the pool becomes as smooth as a mirror and apparently as uninhabited. At length, after half an hour, you detect a frog's snout and a pair of eyes above the green slime, turned toward you.
[ Sir F: git an stay out go on gway
altho wen Sir Henry has gon home fer his tea it get a bit lonly here wiv only the newts
3rd july 2003
text for an undrawn cartoon
Man (to pianist in bar): D'you do requests?
5th july 2003
jamais de la vie
In the train, the guy opposite is wearing blue suede shoes. I've never seen any before, at least not that I can remember. In the jostle on the way out onto the platform, I'm careful where I put my feet.
8th july 2003
planet as lava lamp
On the Library of Congress website, one of the exhibitions is entitled Earth as Art, a collection of interesting or peculiar satellite photographs. There's a long list of other stuff they have online, of which I most enjoyed the Timbuktu manuscripts and the rather Family-of-Mannish When We Were Young, photos of children.
10th july 2003
from H.G.Wells' wastebasket
The machine was at last ready for use, and he settled into its padded seat and passed his hands over the controls.
11th july 2003
Cut grass lies frail:
It dies in the white hours
White lilac bowed,
- Philip Larkin
14th july 2003
As a veteran of umpteen rock'n'roll tours, visits to Avebury and Stonehenge always have me screaming, 'But who did the catering?'
- Julian Cope
15th july 2003
* * *
Regarding today's date: Swithun or Swithin was an early Bishop of Winchester, who died in the year 862. On his deathbed he asked to be buried outside the north wall of his cathedral where passers-by would walk over his grave, and raindrops from the eaves fall upon it in benediction. This wish was granted, but for less than a century: they dug him up in 931 and put him in a flashy shrine inside the building, where rain never falls unless the Roof Appeal isn't doing very well.
17th july 2003
a bosom for a pillow
Thoreau made a camping trip in July 1858, to the mountains of New Hampshire. Here's his still-useful luggage list:
Three strong check shirts.
Two pairs socks.
Neck ribbon and handkerchief.
One thick waistcoat.
One thin (or half-thick) coat.
One thick coat (for mountain).
A large, broad india-rubber knapsack, with a broad flap.
A flannel shirt.
Three bosoms (to go and come in).
Pins, needles, thread.
A cap to lie in at night.
Tent (or a large simple piece of india-rubber cloth for the mountain tops?).
Veil and gloves (or enough millinet to cover all at night).
Map and compass.
Plant book and paper.
Paper and stamps.
Botany, spy-glass, microscope.
Jack-knife and clasp-knife.
Fish-line and hooks.
Soap and dish-cloths.
Waste-paper and twine.
Pint dipper with a pail-handle added (not to put out the fire), and perhaps a bag to carry water in.
Frying-pan, only if you ride.
Hatchet (sharp), if you ride, and perhaps in any case on mountain, with a sheath to it.
Hard-bread (sweet crackers good); a moist, sweet plum cake very good and lasting; pork, corned beef or tongue, sugar, tea or coffee, and a little salt.
That plum cake: I want some. Very good with the tea.
23rd july 2003
The wider world sometimes worms its way into the Bible: here's one of the results. The simple language lulls us into a false sense of reportage, but the details of the chariot (was it waiting for horses? for the light to change?) and the book produce a rich mimesis.
Variations of an Air
24th july 2003
after Lord Tennyson
Cole, that unwearied prince of Colchester,
Of an old King in a story
As soon as the moon was silver
And three tall shadows were with him
And he died in the young summer
- G.K. Chesterton
28th july 2003
The (Indonesian) puppet Chepot was chasing the dangerous Red Worm around the stage, twisting and racing in pursuit. From the dark audience came the crass sound of the Nokia Tune. Chepot stopped dead and whipped around to glare at us.
31st july 2003
bhikku will be away until towards the end of August. Have fun and be good.