5th july 2004

Because there isn't Room


Having been impressed by the quality of this one by Striatic, I got myself a keychain camera and hied me to Bunhill Fields to play among the graves.
From top to bottom: detritus on the tomb of John Bunyan; the fig tree which overhangs Blake's tombstone, and the ding an sich.
Presumably whoever planted the fig (it's not that old) was thinking along the lines of trees filled with angels, Edenic aprons and Blake and his wife's Lambeth capers in their garden.
Later in fashionable Hoxton, dinner with embleton in a Now Why Didn't I Think Of That restaurant which used the Silk Road as its premise: if it's On the Road, they cook it. The Uzbek tomato salad was excellent, and the wheat beer? Dutch monks, they must have done it overland. The Dutch get everywhere.

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6th july 2004

delighted us long enough

Manilov's wife . . . had been gently brought up, and gentle nurture, as we
know, is to be acquired only in boarding schools, and boarding
schools, as we know, hold the three principal subjects which
constitute the basis of human virtue to be the French language (a
thing indispensable to the happiness of married life), piano-playing
(a thing wherewith to beguile a husband's leisure moments), and that
particular department of housewifery which is comprised in the
knitting of purses and other "surprises." Nevertheless changes and
improvements have begun to take place, since things now are governed
more by the personal inclinations and idiosyncracies of the headmistresses of such establishments. For instance, in some schools the regimen places piano-playing first, and the French language second, and then the above department of housewifery; while in other seminaries the knitting of "surprises" heads the list, and then the French language, and then the playing of pianos. There are all sorts of methods.

- Gogol, Dead Souls

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20th july 2004


Great moment of the week: driving past our local Reverend, who was shambling vaguely along the street. As I passed, he shook his head sadly to himself, obviously plagued by an insurmountable Doubt.

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26th july 2004

womad nomad

Sitting on the ground near the main stage, I gradually became aware that the man drinking coffee next to me was David Byrne. Wondered whether he'd like to autograph a dot-to-dot book in orange felt-tip; came to the conclusion that he would, but by that time he'd wandered off.

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28th july 2004

verklärte nacht

Driving home in the dark, slightly drunk and with the biggest and fattest of summer moons dodging among the trees and the saddest of sad Bach violin sonatas playing, it was difficult not to imagine oneself like the midsummer tramp in the ditch, rich and happy and perhaps a little beautiful.

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29th july 2004

* * *   bhikku is off to carouse by the briny; back mid-August maybe  * * *

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You can't see anything from a car; you've got to get out of the goddamn contraption and walk, better yet crawl, on hands and knees.

- Edward Abbey