The first time...
Oct 25, 2011
The first time ever I saw a plaice was on a fishmonger's counter in Carlisle.
We lived in two rooms at the back of a large house - a proper "Big House" with a gravel drive and everything - and had the exclusive use of a toilet at the bottom of the garden. To the side of the house was a water mill. By crawling through the hedge next to the shed that housed the toilet I was able to get onto the lane that ran alongside the stream that ran under the mill. Along the lane at ten yard intervals stood some locals with crude fishing rods, really no more than sticks and string with a hook on the end. I didn't know then of the seasons and the runs of eel to and from the Sargasso Sea to Carlisle, but I have a very distinct memory of one day seeing all the men, for they were exclusively men, with writhing heaps of eel at their feet. I asked one men that I had seen around a few times what they did with the eels.
"Come to front gate in mornin, 'bout four, before sun comes up, an I'll show thee what happens t'eels."
It was not unusual for any of us to sneak out to the toilet at night, so I made sure I was positioned on the outside of the bed that I shared with my brother and cousin, and kept a watchful eye on the big luminous hands of the wall clock that my Aunty Rosemary had given us all through the night. At a quarter to four, I shrugged off the blanket and quickly dressed in jumper and trousers. I slipped ot of the house and wriggled through the hedge and ran round the wall to the front gate. Four men stood there with a large bucket, each full of twisting and thrashing eels of many colours and sizes, in each hand. They ignored me, but I followed them down the cobbled streets into the town. every so often a smaller eel would escape from a bucket and try for the nearest drain. Once I managed to catch one and return it to its bucket, but my effort was ignored.
Just as the sky was lightening we reached the market place, filled with pens of sheep and cows. To one side, in front of the police station, was a fish stall with a large barrel to the side. One by one the men argued with the fishmonger and then tipped the contents of his buckets into the barrel. Until that moment, the only fish I had ever seen or touched was an eel, a round long wriggly eel. But there, on the fishmongers counter, were wooden crates filled with the opposite: flat fish with two terrified eyes staring at me. I dabbed a finger.
"What'r them, Mister?" I asked the blue-striped fishmonger.
"Plaice" he replied. "Now bugger off lill'un. 'For you feels the sole of me boot." The men laughed.
I ran all the way home and snuck back into my bed. And, from that day to this I have told no-one, until you today, of the first time ever I saw a plaice.
No apology, No explanation!
Nov 4, 2001
So, return he did.
A busier life means less time to spend here.
A disciplined, and time restrained, approach will keep me away from conversations that upset me.
I shall endeavour to behave myself!
Time to move on
Jun 11, 2001
I have enjoyed my time here immensely. There are some very very good people (and other lifeforms) on h2g2, I hope that it goes from strength to strength.
Before I found this place, I had never written to be read, to an audience. That I have enjoyed immensely, and I hope that I have contributed a good and interesting variety of entries. I also hope, he added mischievously, that "The Joy of Socks" will eventually find acceptance, as it stands. Not because it pushes at any limits (Thats a btw), but because it contains some sentences and phrases that I enjoyed writing and still enjoy reading. It can be my legacy.
I hope that I will be judged to have contributed. Both the BOFInn and Camelot have lives of their own and will surely survive me. For survive me they must.
For me, the time has come to gracefully disappear whence I came. Three reasons.
I have found myself spending too much time here. I have become dependent! It has to stop. I have work to do.
Last week I came across stuff I didn't like so much (on a thread called Whats wrong with Americans). Its happened before, (On this same thread, and on a similar one aimed at the French) and I have brushed it off and returned to my little corner of h2g2. I have always found prejudice and bigotry difficult. As I get older, I find it more difficult to understand. I don't want to be associated with it. Worse, it made me rude and petulant, in this case to Peta, and I don't like to see that in myself. I wish I could be more tolerant. I cannot.
I have been moderated, for a bit of nonsense in a shady glade. Now I understand about moderation and I certainly don't want to re-open any debates. But, when such narrow minded nonsense as mentioned above is allowed to pass unnoticed I find it difficult to find myself not trusted to make correct judgements as to how far to go with a little bit of frippery.
Tomorrow, I shall wind up a few threads, say goodbye to a few friends, and edit my page. I hope that it will be allowed to stand here for a while. I don't want it erased. I am proud of (much of) what I have said and done here.
That was then, This is now.
Jun 4, 2001
Camelot appears to have settled down nicely. The BOF Inn staggers along nicely. I don't think I'll blow it up after all. Just keep the money. Whilst we wait for 'socks' to get published, I must admit to returning to it repeatedly, just to change a word or add a link. It seems I have to have a little socks every now and then. Is this a socks addiction?
A winsomely expressed wish
May 15, 2001
So we are settling down, post Rupert, with most of the threads back and little now to complain of, and then DNA goes and pops his clogs. I cannot imagine my condolences to be of value, so I haven't placed them anywhere. Nevertheless, I am touched by the loss, and can remember the astonishment with which I first listened to the first radio series.
I see I still have one unacceptable entry (Planograms). I shall have to decide whether to delete or re-draft. Had a lot of fun with 'socks'.
My scouting activity has been interesting. I have to say that now I am obliged to read many more entries, I find many gems among them, but I am disappointed by most.
There are a lot of cats around here, aren't there? Am I missing a connection?
A gentle moan
Mar 20, 2001
It is truly a GOOD THING to have the guide back. Celebrating by spending far too much unproductive time here (In terms of income generation). Will be even better when TPTB have returned all the threads. The BOFInn remains bar-less (in the sense of de-barred), for the moment. Its a curious thing this moderation. Not the fact that it is done. Can't blame Auntie for wanting a good look through, if its going to be in her name. Its the keenness and enthusiasm that puzzles. Cautions and reminders everywhere. A strange urge for self-flagellation. I looked at the front page entry on the Beach Boys solo projects today, and, following a thread conversation it seems many integral links are removed as, presumably, 'commercial', and many knickers were twisted as a result. Looked again at an old entry of mine (singers) and find essential links removed there too. I can't find 'my' original yet, but when that appears I shall be cross if the same thing has happened. That copy I consider as 'mine' not 'the Guide's'. They have their edited version. What a nice polite grumble! Pheroneous is now softened and establishmentised anyway. A mysterious badge has appeared as if by magic! I will be delving in your drawers - for forgotten masterpieces - what did you think I meant?
Who was this guy, anyway
Dec 29, 2000
Should you, stray researcher, pass this way in search of the now enigmatic but once annoyingly prolific Pheroneous, be re-assured. He is still here! Just (thankfully) a little quieter.
Great satisfaction at publication of 'Cement'! At last the world - well, this bit of it, anyway - is enlightened, and burning with thirst for even more knowledge of this wierd material. And more stuff wot I rote reached that great finishing line in the sky, that apotheosis that all entries aspire to, that final acceptance, the Front Page! BOF Inn proliferates! Zillions of rooms now for your entertainment and delight! No, thats a bit excessive, toleration and the occasional wry smile would better describe. Am constantly amazed at the niceness of people here. If you are new, see if you can find just a few of the many good people I have bumped into in recent weeks: Mari-rae, Gnomon, Kaeori, Duncan Jones, Asteroid Lil, Wandrin Star, Munchkin, johnwfulton13, Trillians Child, Wumbeevil, Nikki-D, Fragilis... among many others and get involved in their conversations, and those of their friends, and their friends' friends. Go on, you know you deserve it. At least they will talk to you, which is more than I will. For now, anyway.
Not a trouble in sight
Dec 14, 2000
Determined get this technology sorted for new half-life. Purchased organiser thing expecting half-life to be instantly organised. Its a trick! Apparently obliged to organise the organiser first, and then keep on organising it. This cannot be right. And a new phone with this WAP thing on it, thus able survey delights h2g2 while standing in rain at bus stop and such-like. Is this what they mean by civilisation? Meanwhile back at h2g2 lots of 'pending' labels, so must presume only a few more days until Cement bursts upon unsuspecting researchers. What joy will be theirs! Talking of joy unconfined, must admit 'Bah-Humbug' tendency gaining ground this year. Steely determination in face of carols and shopping crowds.
Such minor troubles are these
Nov 27, 2000
Splendid news. Freedom beckons. 01/01/01 (Neat, huh!) sees implementation new half-life plan. Downside will be limitation of h2g2 time. Regrettably, the keeping of wolves from door greater priority. In meantime, 'Screwing' entry gets recognition, leaving only 'Fids' and the new 'Mr Linton' out in cold. BOF Inn flourishes (well, stutters along as it should) so that's either a good thing or not. And, have found a Hi-Fi club here (along with lots of others that I didn't know about. Really must pay more attention!)
Troubles, be gone!
Nov 14, 2000
Major revision half-life plan imminent. Trepidation as BOF Inn stumbles into life. What have I done? Will it require hourly maintenance? Will it disappear as the most boring place on h2g2? Battle for control of home PC feared lost. Studious daughter triumphs! h2g2 life intruded upon by work! Truly dreadful state of affairs. Pride as two more entries get recommended, tempered by puzzlement at their fate. Extremely interesting Cement article still hasn't surfaced! Must find way to thank Fragilis for her unknowing help in publicising BOF Inn taken from her excellent "View from the Queue" column in "The Post", a part of the site where I have rarely ventured. Must do more find way round this site.
Busy, busy busy...
Return of the Trouble
Nov 6, 2000
Definite decision. Continous revision Life-plan over-ambitious. Great age means only half-life left for planning purposes, and if Osteopath right (see below) not even that. Previous enthusiasm this h2g2 thing diminishes as Cement languishes in some distant void. Also, instruction to daughter 'Work or Die!' means she now monopolising family pc, in order pretend work while e-mailing everyone she ever met about Father's disgraceful behaviour, whereas before safely in her own cell text messaging same. h2g2 now confined work hours. Trying construct safe house for BOF's in a BOF Inn (How clever!). Sadly, only talent seems to be name think-upping. Must take pill for instant knowledge about everything.**stumbles off stage left, in search of comfy armchair**
Troubled No More
Oct 25, 2000
Current life-plan revised to include H2G2 in future activities. Triumph in GuideML thingy department reinforced by Cement entry recommendation! Soon entire H2G2 Community will learn the fascinating story! Hi-Fi entry also MM'd, but not so deserving perhaps. Good fun in 'British English'. Came across this rebellion stuff between ACE's and ANGELS. Fascinating. May have to revise life-plan yet again to spend entire day here. Much to do, much to learn....**Bustles off stage right**
Oct 16, 2000
Flushed with success, in fact. Have succeeded in writing an entry in this guideML thingy, and it looks good! (See 'Under-appreciated....' to you left.) The knack is truly got. Which reminds me of 'British Films of the Sixties'. Aha. New entry coming up! Must make romm in newly revised life-plan.
Oct 12, 2000
Getting used to this place now, consequently entry below seems a bit precious. Distressed to find it cannot be deleted! Following hints from those who know, I'm going to have a go at writing with this guideML thing, so I'll soon have an all singing all-dancing page above. Wishful thinking! Spending far too much time here. Will have to totally re-organise life-plan. Again! That will make three times already this month. Went to posh restaurant last week. As I came out, what do I see - big h2g2 sign. Must be secret HQ! But then why have a sign? All very odd. Also visited - for first time in rich, long and varied life (wishful thinking again!)- an osteopath, only to be told am 'wearing out'. This is a bad thing. I am sadly troubled.
Sep 26, 2000
I have been here for a few weeks now, and am still exploring. There is much to enjoy, and so many nooks and crannies. I even found a couple of chatless chatrooms the other day, a novelty indeed.
I have, however, been taken aback on a couple of occasions, finding the intolerance of some entries more than a little troubling. I had a notion that the young (presumably the majority of researchers here) and the reasonably well educated (again a presumption) are by definition open minded and thoughtful. I am not, now, so sure of that.
Aug 17, 2000
As a fairly long term resident of this particular planet, I am increasingly confused and bewildered by the behaviour of the (presumably) native population. Any enlightenment would be welcome. Is it not time the tie died. And what happened to Kaftans anyway?
TIES THAT BIND
It seems to be a human imperative to constrain mind and body with routines. I am alarmed to find myself succumbing to the same trait. It seems that I come to my cell each day by the same route, stopping at the same cafe to eat the same breakfast, and reverse the procedure (with cappucino instead of breakfast) in the evening. I am even more alarmed to discover that I am discomfited when circumstance causes deviation. Is there something in the water supply that encourages this behaviour, to bind the workers to their stations? Is this what Huxley wrote of?
Of the countries I have visited so far during my earthly sojourn, I find Italy to be the best. The people seem to have struck exactly the right balance between work and play, they have exactly the right attitude to Government, and they are for the most part beautiful in body and/or spirit. The country itself seems to contain every landscape necessary to uplift the human (and most alien) soul, and the man-made creations on view appear to me, at least, to contain the very best that can be expected of the (human) race. If you know of it, please tell: of Florence & Sienna, of Rome & Venice, of mountains and lakes, of cars and cathedrals, of tailors and great artists.
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