Clifftop grass and bracken
I’M not known for taking my time over a drink but even by my standards that pint of cider barely touched the sides.
As with many things, John Steinbeck’s Doc had it best in Cannery Row – the first for thirst, the second for taste. He was talking about beer but I wouldn’t bet against him developing a taste for cider if it had been readily available in hot Monterey. Continue reading
Terry and Lieven in Velootje, Ghent. January 2016
Stroppy adjective: bad-tempered and argumentative. Origin: 1950s: perhaps an abbreviation of obstreperous. That’s from the online Oxford Dictionary. My Collins doorstop print edition also gives it as ‘awkward’, which I like more and suits this telling better. Continue reading
Filed under Drink, Travel
It was Friday, a couple of looseners in and, having just moved them to decorate, my records were all over the place. Putting them back on their shelves I started picking some out at random, playing them while hitting record. This happened.
Platforms at the old Crouch Hill station
Travels With Charley by John Steinbeck is an account of a road trip the author undertakes across the US with his pet poodle, whose name informs the title.
It begins with a description of the restless spirit – the want for wandering we feel from youth and suffer into middle age and maturity. The need to be a bum sometimes.
Having decided to hit the road, Steinbeck says the bum must settle on three things. A reason for going; the route to be taken; and the means by which it will be covered.
I like this description: the bum within us wants to leave; our higher aspect seeks the reason.
Low tide, Piel Island
We leave Piel Island as we’d arrived, crossing a deep channel from one world to another, taking some things with us, leaving others behind.
We’d been there less than 24 hours but it seems longer, as if we’d temporarily stepped out of the normal run of things, separated by sea from the clocks and the cars.
Journalist Jon Ronson has sold many thousand books. He’s also sent many thousand tweets, a good deal of which have set out to shame a person or organisation guilty of some deep social transgression.
As such, he sees Twitter as a bright new dawn of ‘democratised justice’, where the people, when acting together can bring down mighty institutions. At least, he did see it that way. Now, he’s not so sure. Continue reading