I received a rather nice gift from my in-laws today:
Looking out of the window at present, I am reminded of a verse I learned in my childhood:
The rain, it raineth on the just
And also on the unjust fella.
But chiefly on the just, because
The unjust’s pinched the just’s umbrella.
It’s rather pleasing to discover, investigating it now, that the verse comes from Lord Bowen, a notable lawyer of the mid-19th century. (There are a few variations on the precise wording of the last line, but I still like my mother’s version above.)
Bowen had many achievements in his life, both professional and literary, and I hope he won’t mind that I remember him for this rather than his translations of Virgil.
I’m so impressed with spiders. How can it be that, after I’ve used a high-power pressure-washer to blast away the grime from the car — removing dirt, bird poop, tar, and grease — foaming, jetting, brushing and hosing — the thing I always notice as I drive away is the delicate spider’s web still attached to the wing mirror?
Anyway, thinking about spiders puts me in mind of the Iron Man song that was circulating on Twitter a while ago. Sorry, I don’t know the originator, but you will know the tune.
Iron Man, Iron Man,
Does whatever an iron can!
Takes your clothes, makes them flat
Rubs out creases just like that!
Look out! Here comes the Iron Man!
You can learn a lot from the wisdom of Hobbits.
I’ve discovered, for example, that it’s important not to neglect Second Breakfast, because to do so can lead to increased snacking between meals.
I remember, from childhood, a parody of Longfellow’s verse, which always amused me:
‘Lives of Great Men’ all remind us
As we through their pages turn
That we too may leave behind us
Letters that we ought to burn.
Some years ago I was trying to come up with a version for the modern age, and I stumbled across it this morning:
As you scoff at simple errors
In some ‘Great Man’’s last spreadsheet,
Lurk within your email backups
Attachments you too should delete!
Mmm. Perhaps that was best consigned to the digital flames as well.
I had to explain this to a friend recently.
Computers work on binary, which means the only states they really understand are ‘on’ and ‘off’.
And that, my friends, is why so many computer problems can be solved with ‘Try turning it off and on again’.
All that is gold does not glisten
Not all those who wander are lost.
Renewed shall be blade that was broken?
I dread to think what that’ll cost.
I’m used to labels on bottles of wine telling me that I should expect a ‘hint of blackcurrant’ or ‘subtle aromas’.
But in Portugal recently I had a (very drinkable) wine from a vineyard whose marketing department had, perhaps, become a little over-excited.
It’s nice to know there are still jobs out there for people with Literature degrees, isn’t it?
© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser