Noses to the grindstone
Righto, enough of all this holiday nonsense. It's September, back to school time. Noses to the grindstone and all that.
Personally, I love this time of year, especially after the heatwave his year. Some people won't get the chance to enjoy it of course. Never mind, most of those were old and sick, they had it coming to 'em really; you never know, we might have a hard winter, which could kill off a few more, thus solving the pensions crisis and avoiding a winter of discontent; after all, most people are somewhat bored with the strikes.
According to Enid1, it is possible to do a bit of weather prediction fairly easily:
'St Matthew brings cold, rain and dew.'
St Matthew's day is 21st September, and very often the calm autumnal weather breaks then and the last vestiges of the warm weather vanish. There is also a saying for Michaelmas Day, which is 29th September:
If the North winds blows on Michaelmas day, the month of October is sunny and gay.
The Home of Today2 has firm words for gardeners at this time of year.
'It cannot be too strongly emphasised that the best time for cultivation is the Autumn.'
- And they are not talking bulls**t; those of a delicate disposition may wish to avert their gaze at this point.
'It should be borne in mind that there is a considerable difference in the quality of excrements of different animals.'
Well, yes. This is undoubtedly true, but for those of you who need reminding, here is the league table of Best Manures:
- Cattle (strong, but not too heating)
- Horse (a little hot and dry)
- Sheep/goat (er - not entirely suitable for the domestic garden)
- Pig (do me a favour. Far too cold)
- Fowl (Very strong indeed. Approach with caution)
It seems odd to both myself and spim that even in these supposedly enlightened times, sometimes people are reluctant to enter into a discussion about such matters. After all, we are merely a tube; insert food at one end and the result is inevitable. Why be coy? Every creature has to have a poo. The Home of Today is refreshingly businesslike about all this:
WC Suites (Pans and Cisterns - WWP's), with their flushing and drainage arrangements, should be an intrinsic part of the structure of the house. High pressure noiseless WWP's (2-3 gallons) and 'stream-lined' wash-down or siphonic closets are desirable.
An ingenious method of disposing of small articles is by means of recesses in the tiles at the side of the bath. Failing such recesses, however, one or two glass shelves fixed to the mirror will at least prevent any untidy objects from being left about in odd corners or on the window sill.
A length of rubber tubing which can be attached to any tap is popular in the modern bathroom.'
While we are on the subject of regions nether, gussets and the like, this week I have a novel competition for you all. Do try this one at home, present it to a friend, observe the results and report back to me with a sworn statement that no innocent life forms were sacrificed, other than unborn poultry. From our dear friend The Honourable Wm (Cocktail) Boothby3:
'Break an egg carefully so as not to fracture the tender covering of the yolk. Place the white into a bowl or mixing glass and softly lay the yolk in the bottom of a claret glass. Now nearly fill the glass with equal parts of Benedictine, yellow Chartreuse and Kummel. No caution need be used to prevent the ingredients from mixing; and the yolk of the egg must not be placed in the glass after any liqueur as it should lay on the bottom. After these preparations have been completed, beat the white of the egg until it becomes stiff, sweeten to taste with bar sugar and with a spoon place a heavy layer over the decoction which you have just prepared. Dash with Angostura bitters, sprinkle with a little ground cinnamon and serve.
This famous Teutonic beverage is little known in America, and few bartenders have ever aquired the art of compounding one. It is an after-dinner drink, and in order to be fully appreciated, it must be partaken of according to the following directions, as four different sensations are experienced. Therefore, the duty of the presiding mixologist is to thoroughly explain the modus operandii, etc:
First - Pass the glass under the nose and inhale the flavor for about five seconds.
Second - Hold the glass perpendicularly, open your mouth wide and suck the froth from off the top of the glass. Pause five seconds.
Third - Point the lips and take one-third of the liqiud contents of the glass without touching the yolk. Pause again for a few seconds.
Fouth - Straighten the body, throw the head back, swallow the contents remaining in the glass and break the yolk in your mouth at the same time.'
Delicious. Possibly Enid's mooto of the week might be appropriate:
'An ounce of pluck is worth a ton of luck.'