Thursday, 25 August 2016


I've been on holiday. I think it may have been one of the best holidays I've ever had. But it's over now. Which makes this appropriate:

And speaking of 'appropriate', I once - somewhere or other on this blog - had a moan about that word and its mate 'inappropriate'. However, I didn't get near Michael Bywater for nailing why the latter is so exceptionally objectionable.

Here he is, grumbling about 'inappropriate' in one of my favourite books in the world, Lost Worlds, a ridiculously overlooked volume that I urge everyone, (especially you, Age of Uncertainty, as I think it would really appeal to your sense of humour [and you'll have time, now that you've decided to deprive the world of the charm of your blog posts{cruel decision}]), to get a copy of:

"inappropriate: a smug, purse-lipped word which the professionally self-righteous can use as a cloak beneath which to don their neo-Stalinist robes."

To provide further incentive to seek the book out, here is another bit of Lost Worlds, selected at random, but typical of the whole. If you like it, the full volume will give you so much pleasure; if not, not:


If ever there were a symbol of contented domesticity, it was flour. Good wives were always lightly dusted in flour; the better the wife, the higher up the arms it reached. Floury kisses betokened licit married love, as opposed to the lipstick and scent of the illegitimate liaison; no mistress or courtesan knew what flour even was. A house without flour was no home. Flour sustained explorers and stockmen; floor moved us from hunters to agrarians, and thence to villagers and, presently, citizens. Once, it came in sacks; fortunes were to be had from milling it; the Miller himself was a potent symbol of aspiration and the misuse of power (think of Schuberts Schone Mullerin).

Now it is tucked away in supermarkets in little bags barely enough to flour a decent woman above the wrists. Where are the sacks? Where are the millers? Where are their yeasty, flowery daughters, bosoms rising like well-proved dough? The dogs bark, the caravans move on, and even for those of us who aren't gluten-free or on the Atkins diet, flour lives, like everything else, in factories, computer-controlled by executives. And they never get their hands… clean."


  1. Lost Worlds is marvellous *puffs pipe* and I also really enjoyed Bywater's Big Babies, with its scathing attack on adult romper suits, aka 'leisure wear'.

    If I can ever understand the intricacies of WordPress and web hosting, I will return with a new blog. I can't guarantee it will be any better, but it will have different colours.

    1. I'm particularly fond of the entry on Fretwork. Actually there is very little in there I'm not fond of. Roll on the mastery of WordPress.

  2. Surely not only contented domesticity.

    For what it's worth, we brought back some flower, locally ground from locally grown wheat, from Oregon. The main effect so far has been to give us more to carry through airports.

    1. There's only one solution - next time you must take the car.