Saturday, 3 January 2009

SAY NOT THE STRUGGLE NAUGHT AVAILETH

What kind of fuckery is this? 

I have been reading Cicero and listening to Amy Winehouse. There was simply nothing else to do.

 Brief is the life given to us by nature, but the memory of life nobly resigned is everlasting. There shall therefore be erected a mass of splendid workmanship and an inscription cut; and - apostrophising the fallen soldiers - in your praise, whether men shall behold your monument or shall hear of it, never shall the language of deepest gratitude be silent. Thus, in exchange for life's mortal state, you will have gained for yourself immortality. 

Indeed. This is the kinda idea that occasionally surfaced in the minds of the Stoics and inspired Seneca to say that the gods order us to join them and plan for immortality.  But what good is it to be remembered by men? It meant nothing to Rabbi Shimeon ben Yohai, for example. To him, the great problem was time,  not space. He withdrew from the world and dedicated his life to the study of the Torah. I am dedicating a lot of my time to the study of the British National Formulary, in particular regarding mercurial diuretics. Nephrotoxicity, you see.

Happy new year, btw, and lots of love.

48 comments:

  1. B'rucha ha-ba'ah, Mrs P! Sounds like the New Year is off to a rhetorical start.

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  2. Sounds like Mrs P has been at the gin more like. Happy New Year :-)

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  3. Chin up, tits out... etc
    Sxxxetc

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  4. Perhaps you will find consolation in the words of Marcus Aurelius, Mrs Pouncer:

    Time is a river of passing water, and strong is its current; no sooner is a bedpan brought to sight than it is filled to the brim and another takes its place, and this too will be filled to the brim. Thus the wise man uses a chamber pot of surpassing magnitude with a picture of Titus Flavius Domitianus on the inside bottom, let's not talk about bottoms.

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  5. Welcome back, but why lose what was there before? Most disconcerting to see you'd disappeared, though only temporarily, it seems. Good luck with the kidneys, anyway.

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  6. Happy New Year Mrs. P
    I've never not been troubled by those tricky negatives of the double kind. Double-dealing, Strike forth for the multiplied positive. Hoorah..

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  7. And with a single bound, our heroine returns. With a magisterially baffling post.

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  8. Boyo Bachur! Hakol Beseder B'eli Haseder. And 'side from Moritz, you're my best Welsh Jew.

    Beast, you beaut. You know me too well, but it's vod not gin. And hear this: last week I was in a house of nauseating splendour. Mine host, the most hideous venture capitalist you ever did see, opened the batting with "We have everythink! Quide Lldrally everythink!" so I asked for a small V-a-T, no ice. Imagine my furious anger when he countered "except vodka or tonic". One of my resolutions is not to associate with gits like that this year. Or any year.

    Scarlawarlapiekins, how gorgeous. And that very aphorism was the first thing you ever said to me, you know. As I recall, I reacted in a surly way. How different from my newly chastened countenance, to be sure! My chin is up, and my tits are so far out as to never be reigned back in, unless I resort to the sort of restraining lingerie that is a niche interest (full details probably available from Inkspot, I suppose).

    Mr Gorilla Bananas! And what a beautiful piece of prose! However, I turn instinctively to Heraclitus: you cannot step into the same river twice, for fresh water is always flowing past you.

    Auty, Wendums and Herr Inklemann, I will be back in a minute. Cx

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  9. Auty, I have been on a two week bender with a too weak bender (my hairdresser) and now I pay. My liver is as an old hotwater bottle, my lungs like brown suede shoes, my kidneys are deviled. But don't worry; I am a doctor's daughter and can demand 'scripts from bent vets, amongst others. I deleted my pre-Chanukah texts because I was bored by them. My dear old godfather had a friend called Gerald Brenan, a writer and renowned hispanologist. I stayed with him once in Churriana - I was about 20, he was about 70 - and he insisted on feeding me a peeled banana. It was a uniquely vile experience, his palsied hand forcing the naked fruit into my unwilling maw. Anyhoo, he did say some clever things, one of which was: Everyone is a bore to someone - that is unimportant. The thing to avoid is being a bore to oneself. Enfin.

    Wendolia, I have said it once, and I will say it again: although you torture the language, you never succeed in making it betray its meaning. Start the year as you mean to go on, Wend! Did you make it to Jackson Freres' sale? Still big bargains available in haberdashery.

    Inky, let me lavish this thrilling embrace on you. Yes, it is baffling, isn't it, although it made perfect sense to me AT THE TIME. My new year offerings will be pithy ..... pared-down ....... proof-read ...... painstaking, or not. Depends, as you know, on how pissed I am.

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  10. You're alright for a posh bird Mrs P...
    My tip is: cones. Preferably in gold or silver.
    Sx

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  11. Cripes, Scarla. Cones? For where? How big?

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  12. Egad! She's back. Thank God for that, I was going to send in the Lower Remove.

    Banjos at dawn with the abseiling fedoras, milday!

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  13. Like the ones that Madge used to wear... they also come in handy if you want to save a place for parking. Got to be practical these day.
    Sx

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  14. Funnily enough, Mrs P, lingerie, whether conical, hemispherical or fitted with flashing lights, bores me. Rather, the absence of lingerie, under a simple but beautiful silk dress, is sufficient. Not enough women know this.

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  15. I suspect we are fated to not understand each other, I'm enjoying the ride and your good nature :-)

    Jackson's sale supplied me with the thickest, whitest, industrial strength white cotton sheets and will be supplying some classic paisly pyjammas and possible a hot water bottle or two next week. Much fun was had chatting with the staff while browsing the classy bargains.

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  16. Ladies' pyjamas should be blue and white peppermint striped.

    Just an observation from my twilight years.

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  17. Oh Kevvie, THERE you are! Hoorah! 2009 can now proceed with all due haste.

    Scarls, the day I shove my tits into JPG circular-stitched spandex will never dawn. I take my lead from Inky. How thrilling is he?

    Inky, you leave me breathless with the sort of anticipation rarely known in the Thames Valley. Remember the saga of my slutty dress? I can get it dry-cleaned tomorrow, and take the Arriva bus to High Wycombe by lunchtime.

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  18. Wendy, whatever would we do without Jackson Freres to dampen our ardour? The bedlinen and nightwear you describe are as a bucket of d'eau froide to Inky - probably a good thing - and yet provoke Kevby to flights of fancy. He calls down the spirit of Clark Gable in It Happened One Night, and I imagine it probably did.

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  19. Claudette Colbert in Clark Gable's jim-jams. Not an unpleasing thought. I'd actually been thinking about Janette Scott in School For Scoundrels. I really must get out more.

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  20. happy new year, sugar1 glad to see you made it back. . .

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  21. Happy New Year Mrs P

    Quid opus est partes deflere?
    Tota flebilis vita est.

    As Seneca was wont to say.

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  22. Happy New Year Mrs P, glad to see Reading constabulary let you out. It was me who paid your bail money by the way.

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  23. My lingerie preferences are simple - riding boots, a basque and chocker will suffice.

    As for the ladies, I don't mind what they wear.

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  24. Kevin, I will go and buy some pyjys. So much cosier than the flimsy thing I schlep around in, and not so startling for early morning callers.

    Sav, thank you. And belated greetings for Chanukah, Christmas, your birthday and the new year. Hope all is going swimmingly. Cxx

    Farrish, non sperabam te domum tam cito revenire, as I was wont to say on more than one occasion. How is everything at Hendon Reform? Kiddush and herentorte for all comers, I'll be bound.

    Daphers, and I will be ever grateful, believe me. I suppose it's too late to buy your silence?

    Boyo, you play fast and loose with your extremities! The windchill factor today suggests that you should invest in a Hanes Ounion suit, beloved of the Edwardian bourgeoisie, and perhaps a cuirass bodice. Jackson Freres is your best bet.

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  25. So long as you aren't wasting your time ... I've been closeting myself inside with a volume of Jordan's biography. Yes, that was time wasted.

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  26. Gadzooks woman you gave me quite a scare!
    This morning I gave alms to the gods of the internets (Al Gore & Gore Vidal & Vidal Sassoon) thanking them for your safe return.

    Where have we met? Were our past lives intertwined during the Boxer Rebellion? On safari with Livingstone? Perhaps during a supply stop on Fiji with Abel Tasman?

    Whatever the case may be I am delighted to have reinvigorated our intercourse and look forward to making the most of whatever time we have left on this veil of tears.

    Perhaps we are on an endless Vampyric journey of reincarnation...you appear to be from another era..from a place in time when everything made sense and there was an order to the Universe.

    I shall be delighted to glean your clever passages, with only my faithful thesaurus by my side, and absorb sustenance from your nuance laced witticisms.

    So let it be written.
    So let it be done.

    Nouvelle année heureuse and bewegen Sie sich nicht!!!

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  27. Responding to the flattery in my comment box, I came speeding over here, and am suspicious that you laid down your sensual message in order to attract an audience over here. If that is the case, then well done! At least you have something worthwhile to advertise. I am only sorry that I have not been witness to your earlier works. You are obviously seriously deranged. I am also pleased to find some multilingual erudition. It is such a nice change from all of the trite banalities that appear elsewhere.
    If, however, your readership yearns for trite banalities, please ask them to come over and read the crap that I regurgitate from time to time.
    I see that Coppens chap is here. Beware of him. He has a beard, you know.

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  28. Hello Chris, depends where you were closeted, actually. And how many volumes does it run to?

    Mr Coppens, yummers! I can take any amount of this folderol, believe me. Bring it on, Donn. Knock yourself out. Cx

    Dear Mr Scurra, I am bemused. The extraordinarily tame comment I left for you - in the spirit of spontaneous admiration - can hardly be described as "sensual". If you want sensual, ask Inky to show you his back-catalogue. There you will find the sort of unbridled carnality that carried the Pouncer/Scarlet hallmark, and struck equal amounts of fear and longing into the hearts of our menfolk. (I am having to include Scarlet in this tribute, even though she has blackballed me. Cow).
    I do not need to attract an audience! Good heavens, no! As you see, I already have the cream of the ether at my beck and call: Mr Coppens who has been a slave at my altar for many months; Boyo, who has pasted my image inside his Llyfr Coch Hergest; Inky, who never says no; Auty, whose Lady Isobel Barnett fetish I fulfill with gusto; Kev Musgrove, whose trembly pyjama references hide a passionate thrust; and, of course, I have Farrish, the Hendon HaYakar, whose blog is so controversial that only I and a Shepperton kneidlach merchant have access. But, you are very welcome. Please stay.

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  29. The happiest of all possible 2009s to you, Mrs. Pouncer. It's a delight to see you back. A delight!

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  30. Hello, Sam. I always feel a bit chastened in your presence, because you are kind and good and upstanding, whereas I am mean and bad and lying on a sofa. I try to kick the expletives under the credenza when I see you coming, and to pretend the vod is Cream Soda. What cigarette? And that saucer's got Midget Gems in it, nothing worse than that. Happy new year. I promise to be a better person in 2009. I promise.

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  31. "memory of life nobly resigned is everlasting" - not to poor bastard who's resigned it though. Maybe. Bananas has the right idea - all classical rhetoric should concern toilets, the only useful thing the Romans did for anybody. As for lingerie, the word means bed sheets in Romanian, so unless I want the Missus to dress up as a ghost then I'd better not suggest it to her. Great that you are back Mrs P; assuming you ever went away, that is: Mrs Pouncer = Scarlet Blue theories are simmering this time :-)

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  32. Gadji, baby, welcome home. One of my greatest romantic triumphs featured me standing, framed, in a doorway, wrapped in a bedsheet and nothing else, about 30 years ago. I wish I had the polaroids to prove it.
    No more conspiracy theories, I beg! I am not Scarlet, nor Daphne, nor Boyo, nor Gyppo. Those Esperantists have a lot to answer for.

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  33. Oh my God, my headache has returned... what's all this about black-balls? I touched and nibbled nothing of the sort. I'm sure I would have remembered and... ah, yes, well maybe once.
    I also blame Esprintists. They have a lot to answer for.
    Sx

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  34. Christ, have a lay down for five minutes and all hell breaks loose...
    Sx

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  35. A lie down, Scarlet, not a lay down. Hardly anything annoys me more than that common misusage. Anyhoo, now that you're recovered (and there was quite obviously nothing wrong with you anyway; don't try to out-mysterious me, because it's a waste of time) perhaps you can explain your ridiculous huffkins last night? A private blog! Whoever heard of such a thing? I should imagine you were inundated with emails, some of them quite incomprehensible.

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  36. A lay down would explain the incommunicado. Though I'd say that being accused of being both Yorkshire and ginger is one tweak too many.

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  37. Good Lord. Your blog title. It's a poem I've spent all week trying to learn, and about which I blogged today. Coincidence or what, eh?

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  38. Kev, what is a "lay down"? Is it something to do with industry? Is it something to do with northern industry, like Wakes Week or Trouble at t'mill?

    Dave, how nice. Is it a poem? I thought it was a hymn. Many years ago, I was taken to a graveyard to admire the stone of a friend's aunt. It had Say Not the Struggle Naught Availeth as the inscription. The aunt's name was Unity Mitford.

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  39. It's a poem. You'll find it in full on the comment column of today's post at my place.

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  40. I do hope that doesn't sound like the kind of blog-pimping to which that aweful Vicus was up.

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  41. I'm 'aving another lay down... perfect sense. Deary me... any chocolit orange left?
    Sx

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  42. Dave, thank you. How nice your life looks from here! Are you an island-dwelling contemplative with a bread-baking wife and four strapping sons? I think you must be. You will find my poor life rather rackety. Very often, no-one is on speakers with me, apart from Boyo, which bores everyone rigid. My next post will be highly controversial, and by Thurs p.m. no-one will be on speakers with me, apart from Boyo.

    Scarlet, be good. Get up and move around a bit. I suspect (from what I've read at your place) that Dave is the worst sort of enabler, and will have you supine all day whilst he unwraps Tunnocks for you.

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  43. Thanks, Mrs Pouncer. I hope you are feeling rested after New Year, and I promise now that I will stop the conspiracy theories, which I started. (Ouch, Unity F*****g Mitford.)

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  44. Erm, a Norfolk-dwelling divorced man, living alone, actually.

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  45. Yes, Gadj, sorry about that. And I see that Diana Mosley's book has just been re-printed ("So-called death camps were actually quite cosy places .... Vidkun Quisling - his name is synonymous with FUN! ... etc)

    Dave, how brave. Do you know Barry Teeth?

    BARRY TEETH - WHERE ARE YOU, YOU GIT?

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  46. Careful with the eau froide, Mrs P. I gave the pug a cold bath when it was in heat once; sent the beast into a frenzy.

    Boyo, wtf is a chocker? And are they fun?

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  47. Inky, you have pugs, too? Fabulosa! I have a black one, called Damson. Sweet little thing; direct descendant of Lady Brassey's prizewinner. Cx

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