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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.
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Sunday, 24 November 2013

A literary Bank Holiday

Two hymns from CofE hymnology both sung to the same tune, each containing an (unintentionally) entertaining nugget. The first,  Glory To Thee, My God, This Night,  throws up this:

Teach me to live, that I may dread
The grave as little as my bed

Are you familiar with bathos? - an English language figure-of-speech defined as "anticlimax (esp. literary)  created by an unintentional lapse in mood from the sublime to the trivial or ridiculous." Look no further for an example.

The extract from Awake, My Soul, And With The Sun, is subtler, a collector's item:

Direct, control, suggest, this day,
All I design, or do, or say.

The beginning of a text in A-level philosophy, geometry or carpentry? The French would say it presumes a dirigiste universe. Though being French they would not say who is driving.

THINGS I'M ASHAMED OF BUT WHAT THE HELL An addiction revisited. No one who can tolerate the custard in custard doughnuts can be said to have a palate.

That pungent mixture of esters, valencies and sulphides (I jest. I know nothing of these things.) rules out all informed gustatory comment. So forget my wine recommendations since I secretly relish these caky, chemical sausages. At least I do when I can find them. The nanny state has decided I need protecting from myself and is making them rarer and rarer. Soon I'll be reduced to parsnip purée from a tiny jar.

WIP Second Hand (No recent additions)
Francine smiled indulgently. “You persuaded me about the chin though I'll never quite understand how. But these bony buttresses stand out like geometry: straight lines, no dignity. They're not cheeks in any sense, they're contractions. Bits and pieces plastered in the centre; a cramped collage.”


  1. Do you eat two at once? What goes on in your mind immediately afar their consumption?

  2. That should have been "after" - predictive text is controlling me more than the maker is asked to do in your hymn.

    I'm not sure what source you are using for the hymns. I have a tattered copy of Songs of Praise with Music, inscribed with the name of the biology master at Bradford Grammar School who never taught me - first published 1926, revised 1932, and ninth impression 1944 - 703 hymns.

    You get so much delight from the hymns I can imagine you rationing yourself to one per week from whatever volume you are using so as to prolong the enjoyment. If you eat two custard doughnuts at once try leaving fifteen minutes in between each one.

  3. I've sworn off "cream puffs" since an over-consumption a couple weeks ago left my mouth with an odd tingling. "Jelly "donuts" have always required removal of the contents with a spoon. There is an Italian shop that furnishes good cannoli, about an hour away. Years ago I would drive there for a dozen, eat half in the car on the ride home, then collapse into sugar shock sleep upon arrival. You may have heard of our former NYC mayor's legislative campaigns to rid citizenry of the blight of overly large soft drinks.Now it's the Feds going after the margarine people. Being a beer and butter man, none of this bothers me much.

  4. Francine's statement in SH seems self deprecating. Second guess: she is reviewing a photo or a painting. Third guess: she is jokingly insulting her companion.

  5. Sir Hugh: What thoughts? The final couplet of the 18th sonnet:

    So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
    So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.

    There's a little misunderstanding here. I like singing, especially in the kitchen. I sing hymns because they're simple (melodically) and I know the words. When I'm in a very good mood I switch to R&H. When I'm visited by hubris, Mozart.

    You'll notice I didn't refer to a hymn book on this occasion, used hymnology instead. I'm not too sure those those two hymns appear in any one book. Often I've referred to the best-known book - Hymns Ancient & Modern - but we don't have it on the premises. Only Songs of Praise.

    MikeM: I'm not such a cake fan really (excepting VR's seed cake - only for adults). The urge to eat custard doughbuts is clearly suicidal, not too many steps away from consuming industrial waste. Something that was never understood in the US - you have to work at being an eccentric. It doesn't come naturally, even for Brits.

    Francine is talking to a painter. She doesn't regard herself as much of a catch, not knowing that she has me on her side.

  6. Wow, much useful information in a succint post.

    I'm not familiar with CofE hymns and didn't know they contain such gems of unintentional humour.

    Custard doughnuts: I know they exist because I've seen some in window displays, but eat them? Are they actually meant to be eaten?

    And a deep philosophical question: qui est-ce qui dirige l'univers?

    Well, it's the banks, innit?