The Cow & Pins was a singularly squalid tavern, much frequented by human scum. Once, long ago, it had been a coaching inn, but the construction of an efficient canal system destroyed the coach trade, and bargees passing by aboard their barges upon the canal were a salubrious lot who drank tea from flasks and read improving literature. The Cow & Pins stood crumbling and forlorn on the lane parallel to the towpath of the canal, and soon only the crumbling and forlorn, the indigent and misbegotten, the violent and the psychopathic ever set foot upon its rotten sawdust-covered floor.
Bluestocking polymath Dot Tint has a new book out next month, a magisterial study of aquatic birds entitled Dot’s Ducks. There are two very curious things about this hefty hardback, and I think it right that you are made aware of them before shelling out your cash for a copy.
If you have a dinghy, be sure to maintain it properly. Like all seagoing craft, dinghies can suffer from wear and tear which, if allowed to continue unchecked, will imperil their ability to remain afloat, especially in choppy seas or when sucked into a maelstrom.
Timothy appears, & flies come-out.
There was once a woodcutter who had a burning sense of injustice. He dwelt in a cottage deep in the forest, where there was plenty of wood for him to cut. A dayâ€™s walk to the west was the cottage of a charcoal burner, and a dayâ€™s walk to the east was the hovel of a drink-soaked ex-Trotskyist popinjay.
Splat is a tiny, stricken village in Cornwall, and it was here, on a muggy summer’s day in 19–, that a peasant pushing his barrow of countryside filth along a lane was astonished to encounter a small child roaring and spitting and growling and scrabbling in the muck. Its gender was indeterminate, but its savagery was unquestionable.
Youâ€™ve got to search for the hero inside yourself, particularly if you are the sort of weedy milksop who gets sand kicked into your face by musclebound beach bullies of pronounced homoerotic tendencies. The search for the hero must be addressed with rigour, and you must not allow yourself to be distracted. That is why you should immediately head off towards the dunes and find a secluded nook where you can cogitate uninterrupted. Take your towel with you, and your picnic basket, and the piccolo you brought to the beach with you to practise upon and which was the cause of much cruel merriment to the bronzed hulks who kicked sand in your face.
If you are planning to introduce the phrase â€œlet the cat out of the bagâ€ into a conversation, you can give your words a weightier punch by having a bag with a cat in it, ready to be released at the right moment. This is a variant on the argument from demonstration, and when we are looking at methods of adding heft to what we say, it can be very effective.
It was long believed that Preen wrote the Four Last Songs in his deathbed, out on a balcony in the mountains, while in the final ravages of tuberculosis. New research shows that in fact he composed these towering pieces on horseback, while riding along various clifftop paths, and it was his horse that was tubercular.
Slow botany developed as a reaction against all those people who go galumphing about the countryside, across fields, through copses and spinneys and extensive forbidding woodland, or indeed through jungles teeming with exotica, and are forever shouting â€œOh look! See the serried ranks of campion and bladderwort dotted among the bracken over yonder!â€ or â€œGosh! If Iâ€™m not mistaken there must be thousands of snapdragons scattered along the railway cuttings!â€