Saturday, 14 July 2007

Plum Brandy

The apricots are finished, they have all been drunk. The peach trees have got curl - and no, I don't know why or how, or even what it is except the leaves roll up and the fruit fails. I've had to take Tuscan T's advice on the onions and get those from Lidl. Local farming standards have gone soft with all these agricultural subsidies.

The plums are looking good, though I brought those trees from the garden in England. Ha!

(Gardens are another reason why leaving is not a solution; it takes years of dithering while plants are dug up, roots wrapped in wet cotton wool and silver paper, and then driven across Europe. The final great escape, complete with a botanical gardens in the back of the Saab, drugged cats snoozing under the plants, and a Lizzy Eustace moment, still makes the co-driver go vacant-eyed).


Newmania said...

Sounds fruity HG

hatfield girl said...

Are you sure you are safe here N?
I notice that you have been outed as a trotskyite front mouthpiece on one blog, and I as stalinist on another.

It is extremely hot so, while concocting the optimum fruity/alcoholic/cold drink, I looked out the ice-picks.

lilith said...

I am sorry you were gratuitously abused HG. Mr Modo is paranoid. I shall delete him if he does it again. He can, on occasion, be charming and humorous.

I understand not being able to leave your plants behind. I hope they are all surviving. I have a gorgeous potentilla come out recently. Looks like its made of ice-cream.

Newmania said...

I doubt Stalin was as interesting as you are HG.

hatfield girl said...

Mr HG says I am not to regard Stalinist as a term of abuse L; and personally I think Stalin in a Biba dress is beyond good and evil.

What troubles Mr HG is that he now realises that he left all his potentillas behind in the great departure.

He says (bitterly) that our plantsman has never had any here.

hatfield girl said...

Mr HG has left the terrace to get his pet Stalin a Sambuca, and fume about his potentillas. I have lined up your garden piccies for his inspection on return.

Shouts from kitchen,

Tell Lilith we have two banana trees.

I think they will need rum when the fruit grows.

hatfield girl said...

He is back L and says Lilith will know that bananas would never bear fruit here; with luck, we may get some gorgeous flowers.

So its back to Lidl, along with the onions.

Nick Drew said...

Fortunately, beyond good and evil is good and bad

and I declare "Bad"

(Biba Stalin, that is)

hatfield girl said...

Stalin really was a terrifying presence. When a newly minted post graduate I met a retired chap who was in the embassy in Moscow up to and including 1953. He said the atmosphere was almost indescribably menacing and, even after he was dead, nobody dared to move, or do anything at all;complete paralysis for weeks.

Oh yes ND, Bad. Even thinking dressed in Biba doesn't really raise a smile. Perhaps we forget what was the reality of the Terror.

Newmania said...

That Mr. Hg certainly won the lottery of life didn`t he . Never mind ,with my new jogging and porridge regime , I am fast approaching a state of physical perfection.
At least I can rejoice in the Golden Appollo that smiles shyly back at me from the mirror

( as if )

I can`t see you as a bi polar dictator HG. You are always very considerate of others which is not quite the "skill set " required for crimes against humanity

lilith said...

Oh, poor Mr HG! What an oversight!

What is really worrying me is that some of the established plants think it is late august here. I have a japanese anenome starting to flower and the conkers are looking huge down the road.

Nick Drew said...

Robert Harris' Archangel has a very good device for portraying the chilling nature of Stalin's terror

hatfield girl said...

Did that really go on ND, or did Robert Harris invent it? If it is invented it's an outstanding piece of literary imagination and use of imagery - it must have really happened.

I wonder what the equivalent is - the cabinet dancing reels in the dead of night in Downing Street to drone and chanter?

There's bound to be some gesture, some acting-out of the truth that the power is held outside of our country's beliefs about its democracy, and the reality that such a small group can impose themselves with the connivance of the whole establishment. That they know they're outside of what is the public face of our democracy is obvious from the effort put in to get everyone to move along, nothing to look at here, no need for elections or mandate.

All their guff about constitutional reform and bills of rights is irrelevant now. The constitution didn't work, and the people have lost centuries of civil protections and guarantees, and control over the power of the state.

A reading of the constitution of the USSR (not something cheerfully undertaken) is, nevertheless, a journey through a wonderland of citizen's proper and orderly relations with his properly ordered and authorised, nay, wished for, state. A reading of the American Constitution (altogether a more pleasurable experience) is a series of recognitions of occasions when apposite parts of it swing into action.

Who cares what the disgraceful Straw produces for constitutional' 'reform'; our real constitution is absolute power fought over by tiny political,self-presenting elites, the whole rubber-stamped by a hereditary monarchy and sustained by a permanent establishment. Blair's legacy is to show it in all its crudity.

They must have gestures that express the holding of absolute and arbitrary power; public nose-picking perhaps, not as scary as a dancing politburo, but then it's not much of a state.

Nick Drew said...

yes, the dancing must have happened. In fact, as much as anything I was thinking of Harris' portrayal of the brute Wille zur Macht of the offspring. That and the many other insights add up to a very chilling overall picture

Gestures ? well, there's the '2p off the income tax' which is an insult to just about everyone and everything, and the whole 10 years of his Chancellorship ...

but otherwise, most McBroon nose-thumbing has been towards his own supporters thus far, in the style he learned from Blair, e.g.

> gratuitous support for Trident
> speaking of restoring Cabinet responsibility and flagrantly ignoring them at the very same instant

And towards the rest of us ? the worst is obviously yet to come, but
boasting about stealth-taxation is unpleasant.

Dance! Dance!

Prime Minister I yurrned to be
Nuclear power? the top-up fee?
War in Iraq? they're fine with me
I support them without scruples!

Now I'm in No.10 at last
Will I do what's right for the wurrking class?
They can stick a Trident up their ****
If they think that I've got scruples!

(sorry about that)

hatfield girl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hatfield girl said...

Nothing to do but try various tunes to your very fine words; this time, the words came first.

It's not ' Dance Lord' (one of my illicit favourites). My great uncle Jack used to sing 'Johnny where's your troosers' which goes remarkably well.

Harris writes of visits by his historian to the Lenin Library; I wonder if he (Harris) found all these aspects recorded there. It might not have occurred to the censors that the material was of any importance (a sufficiently desensitised mind doesn't pick up lots of interesting data).

How interesting that you do not think the notion of uncontrollable expressions of revelling in power fanciful (that is, in England, in this century.) Adopting a novelist's view of what is going on might be insightful (to borrow a word).

Nick Drew said...

Absolutely not (fanciful) - any more than dumb-insolence being a factor behind many civil-service / police / judicial actions (IMHO): nasty little ad hominem motives abound, it's the will-to-power + shamelessness, run riot when sense of duty and higher purpose no longer prevails.

[In this case the tune came first (to me!) because - as you suggest - it's an attempt at parody of Donald, Where's Yer Troosers, in 5 verses and chorus, first aired on Guido, here:

hatfield girl said...

On thinking it over, one of the 'dancing' occasions could have been the Bush/Blair praying together reports when, it was said, the Iraq war was agreed.

There are lots of institutions, and institutionalised social set-ups (clubs etc.) that have pretty weird goings on from time to time, but that's not what Harris was describing.

The scenes of Brown's rages are said to be quite something but it doesn't have that quality of pure power expression that Harris uses, either.

I wonder why Brown is going to Berlin.