Tuesday, September 30, 2008

It really is quite amazing (have I mentioned this before?) how often one can read text and still miss typos. Have just reread my penultimate blog and noticed in my quote from Under World that sprung has been typed as spring. In Under World at one point Pedley is spelt Padley and how many editors and proof readers went through the manuscript before it finally went to press and how many thousands of readers have spotted it or passed it by? A gentle rap on the knuckles from Andy Norman who tells me his English master admonished him to make himself familiar with every word he didn’t know plus the preceding and following ones. Okay, Andy, just as well I know what an odalisque is, hey? For anyone reading my blog and not knowing what an odalisque is, look it up, though I’m sure everyone does know.

I meant last time to remark on the passing of Paul Newman at 83. We certainly do live longer (here they die in the nineties) but I wonder how many of my generation; old school fellows, friends and acquaintances are no longer with us and, as the song has it, I’m still here. It’s difficult for the younger members of the household to understand that at an age fast approaching 78, thoughts of death naturally creep into one’s consciousness., not in any morbid way, but he sits on your shoulder smiling cannily and every now and again he tickles your ear and you know he’s saying I’m waiting for you, especially when the medicine chest starts sprouting all sorts of weird and wonderful man-made concoctions in a vain attempt to ward him off. Having no belief in an afterlife, death is not a frightening prospect although I think the Catholics came up with the perfect prayer in “grant me a peaceful death.” But nuff of that, except lots of condolences from friends outside the country and from Greeks and Cretans themselves who say they cannot understand the medieval minds of the poisoners and, as our friend and neighbour Xanthippi says, don’t believe that animals can give love. Perhaps the younger generation will change things for the better.

Footnote: Ian Dean has put me right as far as pudder is concerned – “Johnson 1755 a pother, tumult, confused noise, turmoil, bustle.” So there you have it. Thanks Ian.

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