Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wednesday 24th August

A wasps' nest in an old mole gallery at the bottom of the garden which we have been leaving alone has been getting to be a worry.  I phoned around and found the cheapest professional to do it in Loudeac.  He was well equipped, and trudged down the garden in an all-over green body suit with matching face covering, powder gun and pickaxe, and came back with a large soggy papery mess in a bin bag, which he took away with him.  Killing anything is not beautiful, but the relief that it is done and we can sit out in the evening without being harassed, and that that our Charmless Bulb-growing Neighbour's small children can pick up their windfall apples in the autumn without being stung to bits, is a good feeling.  


A Hercules transport plane, which I could hear before I saw it, flew so low over the garden that is seemed scarcely higher than the treetops, and the reflective glass in the cockpit windows was so clearly visible that I waved at it, even though I'd no way of knowing if anyone on it saw me.  Near as it was, the deep thrum of its engines was astonishingly gentle and soft, and it had the ponderous, grey dignity of an unexpected large mammal moving through a landscape.


The prospect of reading the last section of David Lodge's Therapy before bed.  It's the first Lodge novel I've read, and I'm enjoying it very much.  Not least because I think of one or two people I've known who are great enthusiasts for him, and the new insight it seems to give me into their characters.  These include a shy but very quietly clever French woman of my acquaintance, whose eyes twinkle a little when she mentions him, and who reads the novels in translation.  I wonder how on earth some of it can successfully be translated, as his writing seems so very British, but I'm glad they are appreciated.  Comic novelists seem to inspire a particular kind of affection and sense of ownership, it seems to me.


Photo: garden collage,


 Tom was bemoaning the scruffiness of the poppy seed heads, and they do look somewhat sere and dingy, but I do like the form of them, and the fact that some of the poppies are still only just coming into flower.  The sedum are just beginning to flush red with flowers, and already the bees are trying to feed from them.  I know it's ridiculously late to have tomatoes just flowering, but these are self-seeded things, which are rompsing away all over the place in the beds; they are so lush and lusty I've not had the heart to get rid of them, and who knows, we may get a few late fruit from them yet. 


Failed to post yesterday, owing to busy-ness, no excuse really as busier folk than me manage it, but not to worry.  An extra one for today anyway.  Not sure how long to go on with this, a bit longer perhaps.


Zhoen said...

(there aren't any rules, here, you know)

Jean said...

Your first David Lodge? Oh, lucky you, sp much joy to come! His novel Deaf Sentence (geddit?) is dedicated, with apologies for the title, to his translators.

christopher said...

What? No rules?? I guess I have to fall back on my driven nature then...

Lucy, at times you are so lusciously homespun and happy saying as much and I fall for your nature again each time. It seems very right to my sense of you that you get caught up in regret at killing wasps or hornets or whatever they were. I get caught up in regret too, though of course I destroy them when I must.

I don't know David Lodge.

word ver. says eyebean


HKatz said...

I'm enjoying this series of posts.

Near as it was, the deep thrum of its engines was astonishingly gentle and soft, and it had the ponderous, grey dignity of an unexpected large mammal moving through a landscape.

Barrett Bonden said...

One way or another Colm Toibin and David Lodge have been brought together over the space of two or three posts. And, of course, as you well remember, they were brought together in real life a couple of years ago when they both wrote novels about Henry James's unfortunate attempt to write for the theatre (DL: Author! Author!; CT: The Master). DL apparently almost had a nervous breakdown about this and went on to write a work of non-fiction about the coincidence.

I too have been a DL fan (in particular, Nice Work, since it sought to make use of an unglamorous aspect of manufacturing industry - the foundry - as background) but I have to say that he was beaten in the third round by a KO, when it came to the James' square-up.

Lucy said...

Thank you.

Z - oh, I know that, it's only what I set out to do for myself really, I felt myself drifting away a bit and not wanting to be bothered with the blog, but at the same time missing it, so I wanted to apply myself a bit more rigorously.

Jean - Yes, I remembered you liked David Lodge. I meant to read Deaf Sentence when it first came out.

Christopher - thank you midear. Eyebean, that's a nice one!

Hkatz - thanks. I have always had an affection for aircraft, reservations about the military or environmental implications notwithstanding. We get a number of military jets going over, which are impressive but intrusive; the big old turbo-prop was a pleasant contrast.

BB - By further coincidence, 'Author,Author' was the other DL novel that got passed on to me with this one years ago, and I've only just thought of reading either of them. I didn't know it was about Henry James or any of the story about the two authors. But then you mentioned Toibin and 'The Master', and also Heather the poet recommended it, who normally eschews almost all novels as too insignificant and lightweight to be bothered with, rather favouring weighty tomes of French philosophy and Geoffrey Hill's poetry. So I ordered and just received 'The Master' and it was next (perhaps but one) on my 'to read' pile.

Not having read any Toibin yet and only the one Lodge, I couldn't really say, but I would imagine they might well be apples and oranges. Though I have read the odd column and article on DL and seen him on telly occasionally and get the feeling that perhaps self-doubt and deprecation might well be his strong suit, as certainly it is for the character in 'Therapy'.

earlybird said...

Beautiful photos.

BTW, I very much like the tone of your recent posts; intense reflections or observations.

YourFireAnt said...

I'm a David Lodge fan from way back. I've read just about everything he's written ( you are lucky to have all those novels to look forward to).