Sunday, 30 August 2009

Random acts of genius

We're having the Vegetarians over for dinner tonight. What do you give people who won't eat most of the things you like yourselves? I know, fruit salad. Dead easy, buy fruit (nice fruit), chop it up, add some more juice if necessary. And, most important of course, good-quality liquor. I was reaching for the rum bottle (Lamb's Navy, none of that pointless white stuff) when insight hit.

A couple of years ago I made sloe gin. It was, and is, undrinkable, with a pH of about 1, so that after stripping the enamel from your teeth it burns a hole in your stomach. But it is god's gift to a fruit salad. More precisely, half a bottle of it is. My gift, rather, because I am fucking brilliant.

Monday, 17 August 2009


There is the most beautiful spider's web that I've ever seen in the kitchen this morning. It is a perfect taut disc, about 18" across, with a spider smaller than my little fingernail at the centre. It's anchored, almost invisibly despite the sunlight, at various spots up to 4 feet away. There should be flies hovering around a piece of over-ripe fruit (not unknown at Castle Inkspot) as prey. It's a shame that I can't share this with my family, but Mme and Mlle Inkspot both have a horror, atavistic and unfaked, of spiders and their webs. I spend a certain amount of time being summoned to deal with them, and a corresponding amount of time issuing loud, cheerful and authoritative pronouncements that the spider has been cleared away, despite my not having been able to find the thing.

Last night we were outside in our Israeli neighbour's garden. I was cold, so borrowed his coat. Black cashmere, made in Poland, designed by Hugo Boss, who also designed the Gestapo uniforms.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

A class act

The Henry Gates/policeman incident has been forgotten by now, so it's time to post about it. The US press covered it purely in terms of racism, of course, but forget that, it's about class. In those terms you have a Harvard professor, who from the age of 18 has been one of the most privileged people in the world (Yale, Cambridge, Harvard) confronting a working-class cop. The line "Do you know who I am?" and the insistence on producing a Harvard ID (which indicates rank in the university) as opposed to a Mass driver's license (anyone can have one of those) can only be understood as "Fuck you, I'm famous and you're a prole" followed by "Fuck you, this prole is taking you in." Mind you, I'm not criticizing Harvard, this is what Harvard is for and what the world expects of it.