Saturday, June 05, 2010

Shape of Things to Come, pt 2

"... with the cordial cooperation of many unpleasant powers or dependent nations, large and small, who felt that having avoided fighting themselves it would now be a good plan to throw their weight about and demand Self-Government, Self-Determination, Ambassadorial Status, large gifts of money and arms and complete freedom to be as nasty as they wished to be to everyone, while no nation- under pain of expulsion from a number of Leagues or Pacts, known only by their intials though most people had not the faintest idea what words the initials represented- was to be allowed to defend its own frontier, protect its own nationals, or publish any newspaper article in any way depreciatory of its grasping ill-wishers."
- Enter Sir Robert, 1955

Seriously, Angela? Stop it!
Interesting that Thirkell and Kipling were cousins. She refers to him as 'prophetic' a number of times in her novels, and she seems to have had a touch of the quality as well.
Reading through the new ones I ordered from Alibris- she will eventually have her own shelf, at this rate.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

The Shape of Things to Come

"...we are living ourselves under a Government as bad as any
in history in its combination of bullying and weakness, its bid for
the mob's suffrages, its fawning upon unfriendly foreigners who despise it,
its effort to crush all personal freedom."

She was writing about England in 1946, but might as well have been describing America in 2010.

The author? Angela Thirkell, whose post-war novels were full of the despicable exploits of Them, who harassed a war-battered citizenry with bureaucratic nonsense, meddling into things about which They knew nothing and general mischief done just because They could.

It's a rare thing for a comedy of manners to send a shiver down your back.

Man vs. Skwerrel

Because the kids are in the yard constantly, I mostly garden organically and steer clear of pesticides. But measures had to be taken against the squirrel, who is re-foresting our backyard with oaks.

Now this is mostly my fault, because I mulched the paths with the two big bags of oak debris in the first place, creating an annex to the All-U-Can-Eat buffet I was already running at the bird feeders. Acorns+ raised beds full of soft dirt+ squirrel instincts= the New Forest.

I don't mind plucking seedling trees out of the paths. In fact, his dedication to his job would be adorable, except that his wallowing around in the beds was causing havoc, so I bought a bottle of some sort of Repel-All at Lowe's. O and I tore up some muslin strips, tied them to short bamboo stakes and sprayed them with the solution.
And we may have been a little over-enthusiastic,

Because my yard STINKS.
But we expect that to fade with time.