I am moved by Lady Percy 's expression of love. CLICK HERE - see if you agree.
Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
responses, apologies. I hold posts to 300 words* having found less is better than more.
I re-comment on comments and re-re-re-comment on re-re-comments.
* One exception: short stories.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Why are clogs thought to be clever?

My life has been driven by ambition, most of which I've achieved. Here's the metaphorical stepladder:

To be a hack (ie, a bottom-feeding journalist). Defined by the ability to type a 1000-word original article in one hour. Skill acquired in two years.

To be a sportsman manqué. Thus: a rock climber who fears heights, a cyclist too overweight to ride uphill, a clumsy skier, a swimmer with an irrational fear of suffocation.  All goals reached quickly and effortlessly.

To be middle class. A 1930s semi in Kingston-upon-Thames almost confirmed this; a four-bedroom house in Hereford with three toilets ensured it.

To be thought foreign. Instantly achieved in Pittsburgh, Pa. More meritoriously when I was diagnosed as German while speaking French in France.

To be regarded as sexually desirable. By women if possible; by fellas and animals if not. Project stalled as researchers look for ever more sensitive equipment capable of measuring tiny amounts of data.

To be labelled intellectual. For me, the ability - and the desire - to analyse and discuss abstract rather than material matters. Thus the serial killer, instead of talking about guns, rope, knives and victims, alludes to the rewards of his art form.

This appears problematic. Having read Robert Muesil, heard Elliott Carter, tiled the bathroom with Rothko colours and eschewed Strictly Come Dancing I was mildly optimistic. However lack of formal education is holding me back. I cannot easily recall the date of the 1832 Reform Act, I suffer dreadfully from long A vs. short A discrimination, and have only eaten meat loaf, never having expected it to issue from a loudspeaker.

I will, however, persist. I am buying a bust of Goethe (death mask left) and I intend to add analects (sparingly) to stews. 


  1. I am not sure what Goethe looked like but I wonder if I am alone in thinking that the bust resembles General de Gaule.

  2. Joe: It is de Gaulle, the intellectual primus inter pares of European statesman unti David Cameron got himself semi-elected.

    How about Goethe's death mask?

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  4. The Crow said...
    Is that a death mask at the end of your post, and is it Goethe?

    More's the point, why Goethe?

  5. I think it's a dead face of a person still alive. What happened to the bush of hair?

  6. The Crow. Yes it is Goethe. Goethe to inspire me to become an intellectual. Why G? Because he was a German cleverclogs - and they're the best kind.

    Ellena: OK I sought to mystify you and now you're mystifying me. Let's announce what the French call Match null and start being much much clearer.

  7. If someone was to write your biography what aspect of your life would you like them to concentrate on and deconstruct the most?Who would you trust the most to write this tome?

  8. Anon: If I read between the lines I am almost able to convince myself you are offering to become my personal Boswell. The fact is the lives of writers (by which I include journalists) are, by definition, uninteresting. Guy has an idea, sits down at typewriter/word processor, hammers keyboard, that's it.

    If however I were allowed to step into fantasy-land in which there were no physical or intellectual restrictions I would really enjoy reading an account of my progress as a skier between 1978 and 2006. It is my impression I did improve, especially over the last decade, although the rate would have been imperceptible to an outsider. And that's why I mention "fantasy". I was the only person aware of these improvements and thus any info I provided to my biographer would hardly be objective.

    Were you hoping for something more gruesome? Sex? Physical decay?

  9. Anon: Writer I'd trust most: Michael Holroyd.

  10. I was thinking of RR.
    My daughter has two such forms made of gauze and plaster.