Friday, October 26, 2007

sunset over parkinglot

While waiting for my ride...


Now that I have had the luxury of one better night's sleep, I am getting sick.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


A good friend loaned me The Compleet Molesworth and I am hooked. This is not exactly a good position to be in since I have quite a stack of reading assigned from my classes that are being neglected slightly as a result. But I chalk it up to the need for some recreational reading. It also gives me a wider cultural base from which to derive my context of the culture about which I am reading. Or so I tell myself. Whatever excuse I may give I am being highly entertained with this 'journal' of a schoolboy. I wish I could include the pictures that go with the quotes here but you'll have to take my word that they are hilarious and add another dimention to the text. But even without that added advantage I think I shall quote a section or two here to give a delightful taste of what I am feasting on.
Literary Corner
A Book for the hols. 'Rob Roy' by Charles Dickens.
(Grabber & Grabber 6s.)

To judge from the first page which i happened to see by mistake this is something about a small boy who had to climb chimneys. Acktually i would hav thort this was quite super as you get black but this one seemed to be rather sorry for himself. On page 5 there is a pressed leaf and on page 77 some orange juice i spilt while the book was acting as part of a fort. There seemed to be something about some water babies or something soppy but i don't really kno. i suppose he must hav climbed the chimney to rob roy but this is only a guess.

Friday, October 19, 2007

the black tree

"A Dirge"

Rough wind, that moanest loud
Grief too sad for song;
Wild wind, when sullen cloud
Knells all the night long;

Sad storm, whose tears are vain,
Bare woods, whose branches strain,
Deep caves and dreary main--
Wail, for the world's wrong!
-P.B. Shelley

Perhaps I should have waited for November before posting this poem since the weather isn't as bad as all that and I am in a fairly good mood but it is raining outside my window so it is still slightly appropriate.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


It is easy to tell when I have work to do on the computer by the way posts appear in quick succession. This time I am limiting myself to a quick upload of a few pictures before I get down to translating the Old English for next class. I think I'm starting to get into the swing of knowing what homework I need to work on and doing it. Half-way through the term isn't too bad. That is, if I really am doing as well as I say I am...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

a diverting assembly of Grubs

More from Smollett:
'A man may be very entertaining and instructive upon paper, (said he) and exceedingly dull in common discourse. I have observed, that those who shine most in private company, are but secondary stars in the constellation of genius--A small stock of ideas is more easily managed, and sooner displayed, than a great quantity crowded together. There is very seldom any thing extraordinary in the appearance and address of a good writer; whereas a dull author generally distinguishes himself by some oddity or extravagance. For this reason, I fancy, that an assembly of Grubs must be very diverting'

In that case, I guess I must be excessivly diverting in private company.
Or perhaps it is not an either or thing in that the possibility remains that I a dull in both spheres.


I have, once again, wasted a large percentage of my day in little things that didn't need doing. Or at least should not have been a priority above homework. School is, after all, my supposed main activity at this time. It is certainly the one that I have invested the most money in and the one from which I am to expect the most benefit (although I hear it may be an asset to be good at facebook for certain jobs...). So why am I here on my blog? After all, it is another activity that falls in the category of lesser-activity or time-waster when I am faced in comparison with several things that I really should do before I enter my Latin class tomorrow (such as prepare the passage we'll be translating and maybe at least read the article that I am supposed to be presenting to the class).

I would wish that I could either get my priorities straight and buckle down to my work (in which case it would probably be done fairly quickly and easily) or I would be able to take the time I waste in stalling tactics and apply it to some fun activity during which I would have no qualms as to what I should be doing at that time instead of exactly what I am doing.

The problem is that I have accustomed myself to living with that nagging voice. In all reality, I don't have to read the textbooks in several of my classes in order to do well in the course. The readings are a waste of time when I am a stickler for going to class and taking good notes. I am not advocating not reading the readings for all classes, I find that one has to test the waters and see how much the Prof relies on the text (and if one's read such stuff before). So a certain amount of incompletion of the assigned work is quite acceptable. I don't mean to sound arrogant but I think that since different people learn differently the Prof has to put as part of the course a variety of broad helps to learning not all of which are essential. Or perhaps I just happened to have taken bird courses so far. Who knows.

I'm too tired to figure out where I was going (or if I was going) with the preceeding paragraphs except something along the lines of I really shouldn't be on the computer at this time of night, let alone not having completed my assignments for tomorrow, let along not even working on said assignments yet...

Okay, I'm going.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Monday, October 08, 2007

Quotes from Clinker

The book I was able to read part of over the weekend (while prevented from spending more time outdoors) is The Expedition of Humphrey Clinker by Tobias Smollett. I have been delighted by this book and start to realize that the reason I took on this English degree was so that I could read just such books as this. While reading it for other purposes, I was still able to glean a few quotes that I might as well share now (as I'll probably forget to if I wait).
In short, we live in a vile world of fraud and sophistication; so that I know nothing of equal value with the genuine friendship of a sensible man; a rare jewel! which I cannot help thinking myself in possession of, while I reapeat the old declaration, that I am, as usual, Dear Lewis, Your affectionate, M.B.
Not only is this a great quote but also illustrates something that, from the moment of my first encounter with it, I have always wished to emulate: the way that he ends his letter by tying it into his closing addresses. Capital in the extreme!
The truth is, his disposition and mine, which, like oil and vinegar, repelled one another at first, have now begun to mix by dint of being beat up together.

He has read a great deal; but without method or judgement, and digested nothing.
(This I merely inserted because I had been carrying on just such a conversation about the state of the school systems and how they ill-prepare their students with what they read and study when I had read this passage.)
He was scarce warm in the lodgings when he called for his nightcap, his wide shoes, and flannel; and declared himself invested with the gout in his right foot; though, I believe, it had as yet reached no farther than his imagination.

I am finding this book a delightful read. Ah, English Literature. I guess I wasn't crazy after all.


I went home this weekend. I do this most weekends but this was the first that the weather made it a cosy time. I woke to the smell of wood smoke (something I detested when I was younger when it would invade my room and give me a dry throat in the morning) and to drizzly weather one morning and one evening I partook of one of Mom's typical winter meals. I can't even remember what it was but I do remember it was warm and comforting and brought me right back to grade-school.

Each season has its own set of special sensations but one that I particularly associate with Autumn is cosiness. So while the weather outside is miserable (but not quite yet the 'frightful' of the song) I relish the thought of being able to stay indoors and read or bake or do all manner of things.

I also took the opportunity to go outside and get a little wet in search of some beautiful photos. It's been scotch misting around here and the fine water droplets really look beautiful when they cling to the leaves.

Monday, October 01, 2007

tiny home

I happened upon a fairy's home last week. Rather than disturb I took this picture.

"Chaos contracted to intricate form"

The Crab Tree
Here is the crab tree,
Firm and erect,
In spite of the thin soil,
In spite of the neglect.
The twisted root grapples
For sap with the rock,
And draws the hard juice
To the succulent top:
Here are wild apples,
Here's a tart crop!

No outlandish grafting
That ever grew soft
In a sweet air of Persia,
Or safe Roman croft;
Unsheltered by steading,
Rock-rooted and grown,
A great tree of Erin,
It stands up alone,
A forest tree spreading
Where forests are gone.

Of all who pass by it
How few in it see
A Westering remnant
Of days when Lough Neagh
Flowed up the long dingles
Its blossoms had lit,
Old days of glory
Time cannot repeat;
And therefore it mingles
The bitter and sweet.

It takes from the West Wind
The thrust of the main;
It makes from the tension
Of sky and of plain
Of what clay enacted,
Of living alarm,
A vitalized symbol
Of earth and of storm,
Of Chaos contracted
To intricate form.

Unbreakable wrestler
What sapling or herb
Has core of such sweetness
And fruit so ascerb:
So grim a transmitter
Of life through mishap,
That one wonders whether
If that in the sap,
Is sweet or is bitter
Which makes it stand up.
-Oliver St. John Gogarty