The Exquisite Adonis Blue

The Adonis Blue, loveliest of all the blue butterflies and rivalled only, perhaps, by the White Admiral as a thing of delicate wonder in flight, lending its  grace to the beauty of the chalk uplands of southern England. This is the butterfly of our joyous childhood excursions to Hod Hill, where, I hope, it will continue to flourish long after the footprints of rapacious men fade from view. LJ 


First puzzle for a while

I haven’t had time for the Times Crossword recently. This is my first attempt since the move. I’m glad it was an unproblematic experience. LJ

The cat

A study suggests itself, which might be entitled “Towards a finer calibration of the noxious impact of feline halitosis on the plant kingdom, with particular reference to cut flowers and the art of ikebana.”

In Winchester

Completed whilst sitting on a beanbag in the cloakroom of our new house, awaiting the arrival of a flaky technician, who does not show up. So, it’s one more lunch at the Wykeham Arms for me, then, later, Evensong in the Cathedral, the greatest free show on Earth.

A satisfying puzzle

Completed this morning whilst listening to the sacred music of Arvo Pärt, the perfect refuge from the climate of political ugliness currently prevailing.

The Warden, by Anthony Trollope

The Warden, by Anthony Trollope : contents
Read on

     “Having settled this point to his satisfaction, the doctor stepped down to the hospital, to learn how matters were going on there; and as he walked across the hallowed close, and looked up at the ravens who cawed with a peculiar reverence as he wended his way, he thought with increased acerbity of those whose impiety would venture to disturb the goodly grace of cathedral institutions.

And who has not felt the same? We believe that Mr Horseman himself would relent, and the spirit of Sir Benjamin Hall give way, were those great reformers to allow themselves to stroll by moonlight round the towers of some of our ancient churches. Who would not feel charity for a prebendary when walking the quiet length of that long aisle at Winchester, looking at those decent houses, that trim grass-plat, and feeling, as one must, the solemn, orderly comfort of the spot! Who could be hard upon a dean while wandering round the sweet close of Hereford, and owning that in that precinct, tone and colour, design and form, solemn tower and storied window, are all in unison, and all perfect! Who could lie basking in the cloisters of Salisbury, and gaze on Jewel’s library and that unequalled spire, without feeling that bishops should sometimes be rich!”


I solved everything but the two missing letters required to form “statice”, a genus of sea-lavender and a pretty “maritime plant”, so I wouldn’t have won this week, not that it ever seems possible!


This one took me rather more time than I can afford to waste, largely owing to the somewhat tedious sense of humour of its compiler, but also owing to a certain sluggishness on my part. I still nailed it, making the score two out of three from this book, which I intend to complete before the crack of doom.

Comment la fistule anale de Louis XIV a permis la création de l’hymne britannique “God Save the Queen” ?

Voit-on un brin de chauvinisme provocateur là-dedans, histoire de vouloir unir le peuple en éveillant le mépris commun à l’endroit de l’ancien ennemi? Pourtant nous vous aimons! 😉LJ

Quel rapport peut-il bien exister entre l’affection dont souffrait le roi soleil et l’hymne de la perfide Albion ? Le professeur Jean-Noël Fabiani raconte cette histoire étonnante à Daniel Fievet dans la “Tête au carré”.
— Read on

I’ve a whole book of these…

A change from reading Der Zauberberg & Purgatorio in bizarre parallel. Down to the flatlands from two extraordinary mountains.

I’m still not sure how “peacekeeper” works, but it couldn’t be anything else. I was glad to complete this after failing on number one. LJ

Karl Valentin-Biographie

A link to the authorised website of the metaphysical clown Karl Valentin may be found below.

Die einzige von der Familie Karl Valentins autorisierte Website. Mit vielen Informationen über den berühmten Münchner Komiker, Schriftsteller und Schauspieler Karl Valentin: Biographie, Werksübersicht, Filmographie, aktuellem Veranstaltungskalender, Filmclips, Gästebuch und Zitatedatenbank
— Read on