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Monday 30 December 2019

Down bucolic byways

These two posts, combined as one, are out of sequence. Never mind.

Could be DT or BJ.
Dirty work either
PROPELLED by the soporific, NightNurse, I dreamily joined Trump and a tiny sub-retinue making an improbable visit to a family in Connecticut. My ecstasy (explained in the lyric below) confused Trump and he left me alone. I asked the family for “poetic” additions to the lyric already forming in my mind. Wisely they pointed out the impossibility of defining “poetic” so I completed it without them.

Whence came the observation that
The English language is my mother-tongue?
Did I say so? Or those in subfusc suits?
My dear, I neither know nor give a damn.

What really matters, more than half a wink,
Is what I say and what I am are both
Of woman born. And that’s a small delight
To one who hates the oafish tendency.

It fits. For mothering is cherishing,
And tending to the growth of living things.
Not being soft about development
Of words that shape a self-renewing world.

And is “the mother-tongue” just girly talk
Likely to get up nostrils masculine?
Well I for one can bear the brunt of that.
You can’t? Then go and read Mickey Spillane

FROM MIDDAY Christmas Eve to late on Christmas Day grandson Zach honked explosively like a sea lion. By then he’d infected me and I was coughing so violently my chest wall hurt. My appetite departed; without food I took on an inner chill which rendered me over-sensitive to air flow. At night I fought minor delirium.

VR left for the small bedroom. I felt guilty next morning, and volunteered to adopt her quarantine. But this post isn’t about illness it’s about thermodynamics, sort of.

VR said the light duvet in the small bedroom (usually occupied by younger guests with better circulation than ours) wouldn’t keep enfeebled me warm enough.

In our own bed we operate a duvet apiece and that’s the law. The RAF kiboshed blankets – those cardboard winding sheets. Cellulars turned out to be all theory and no insulation. People whinge about duvets being unsuitable in summer but the same could be said about cotton sheets. Push the duvet aside, I say.

I added my duvet to the single bed and was warm all night even though I didn’t sleep. Subduing the pain was enough (obviously many OTC drugs had passed through my guzzard). Since duvets are mostly air they’re light and soft; this is what you want from a bed. A layered pair adds more air thus more insulation.

Youth’s resilience and a reduced coughing rate encouraged Zach to act as quizmaster in a home version of University Challenge with its near impossible questions on topological maths and ex-USSR “-stan” states. With help from daughter Professional Phlebotomist I set up my new wifi keyboard/mouse to work with the smart TV. To what end? Hey, I’ve got a hungry blog to feed.


  1. I can recommend an electric blanket. You can enhance it's usefulness with a timer switch asking it to warm your bed before you arrive there.

  2. Feel better soon! You have to be able to sing!

  3. Sir Hugh: The subject is heat retention (plus "feel") not heat generation. Besides the electric blanket (compared with central heating) does not cover those woeful excursions to the loo in the small hours. Electric blankets may have a further disadvantage though my experience of them is probably decades out of date; those lying on a switched-on blanket may undergo a capacitive or inductive transfer of power (I'm not sure of the technical terms) which causes the occupant to "fizz" alarmingly. As I say, this effect may have been engineered out of more recent blankets.

    Beth: Thanks for your good wishes. And you're right, I must sing (will do so in 2 hr 30 min).

    But one cheering discovery is that the vocal cords, once developed, may function independently of those defects the flesh is heir to in the throat region.

  4. I hope you are fully recovered soon. I thought catching colds from grandchildren happened because they were young and in school, exposed to untold numbers of viruses. Sorry to hear they never stop infecting us. Oh well, they are still worth it.

  5. Colette: The infection didn't stop with me; it incapacitated my other grandchild's partner who had to take to his bed. And yesterday it struck my elder daughter. In all instances the affliction has been intense. As to grandchildren's worth, gimme another half dozen years.