Sunday 11 July

No guesses as to why I am writing tonight’s blog entry early. I am not the world’s most avid football fan, but this seems like history in the making so I will be watching tonight. Also members of my extended family are football crazy and I would never be able to live it down if I missed it. I also saw quite a bit of the men’s Wimbledon final. I used to watch a great deal more, and also used to go the Wimbledon courts and queue for an evening ticket. People leaving would hand over their tickets too, especially if I had Emma and Richard with me. It was tremendous fun. It is all much more strictly controlled now I believe, and no doubt horrendous with pandemic measures in place.

I picked raspberries and dug up a few potatoes, but I have to say, so far they do not seem to have been successful. Very diminutive. Raspberries on the other hand are prolific and also red currants are nearly there. I think I will have to make some jam. Snails flourish in these parts. I found one had crawled up to the hanging basket, and another halfway up the front door. We are developing a good line in slugs too. Since my African friends probably have to contend with plagues of locusts, I suppose I should think myself lucky.

I wanted to report that I have at last finished my lockdown tome of “Middlemarch.” I had downloaded it to my Kindle, and it has been my on/off book for 16 months. I really enjoyed it. George Eliot is amazingly witty. She has a sly dig at the village gossips: Mrs So and So, told Mrs So and So, who then felt obliged to make a call on Mrs So and So, who just happened to be taking tea that afternoon with Mrs So and So. The description is very tongue in cheek and made me laugh. She is very good at deflating pretentiousness. I am now moving on to Hemingway “A Farewell to Arms,” as I have become so intrigued by the latest TV programmes about him.

We had lunch with a couple of friends from my uni days. My goodness, we have maintained friendship from the age of 18. We are in an ad hoc group with 4 other couples, most of our recent contact has been on Zoom or by email, but the pandemic has brought us all closer together I feel, not least because one couple lives in France and another in Germany, so we are comparing notes. It would be so lovely to actually all meet up together, but in the present climate, I think it is dream on.

I have been trying to think of some sufficiently urgent music to urge the England team on. I heard this yesterday, the Dick Barton theme, and it seems adequately fast and furious. It reminds me of the late lamented Warehouse Theatre in Croydon, but more of that anon.

4 thoughts on “Sunday 11 July

  1. Dick Barton? Surely we need a bit if Henry V to …….

    Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
    Disguise fair nature with hard-favoured rage.
    Then lend the eye a terrible aspect,
    . . .
    Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide,
    Hold hard the breath, and bend up every spirit
    To his full height. On, on, you noblest English,
    Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof,


  2. I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
    Straining upon the start. The game’s afoot:
    Follow your spirit; and upon this charge,
    Cry ‘God for Harry! England! and Saint George!’


    1. The English, the English, the English are best, I wouldn’t give tuppence for all of the rest! (Song of Patriotic Prejudice by Flanders and Swann)


  3. Jenny, I am wondering how you got on with A Farewell to Arms.Did Jill tell you the Ken Burns documentary inspired her to read EH for the first time? I recommended A Moveable Feast, a memoir but probably highly fictionalized. EH loved to paint himself larger than life. Jill was not at all taken with it but, having read a bit about how his writing style was innovative for the time, she decided she should give another go. This time I recommended The Sun Also Rises, his first novel and one I had enjoyed a couple of times. Truthfully, I mainly recommended it because it is quite a bit shorter than For Whom the Bell Tolls, which is considered his masterpiece. That way if the writing was still objectionable to her, at least it would be shorter! She did like The Sun Also Rises very much. How was A Farewell to Arms?


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