In the Withaak's shade, Hugh reads in 2020 (part 1)
This is a continuation of the topic Under the Withaak's shade, Hugh reads in 2020 (part 1).
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One thing about starting a new thread: I can correct the preposition with which the title starts. My apologoes to Herman Charles Bosman.
In the course of looking for something else, I have just read a potentially rather alarming line in the South African Railways and Harbours Magazine for 1940. It is near the end of an account of the jollification associated with the start of building operations on the Kowie line, which served Port Alfred in the Eastern Cape. The offending bit reads
"Tickets ... Prices ... Ball 20s., each gentleman being entitled to bring two ladies."
Can you imagine anything more tactless, and more calculated to start a (excuse me) cat-fight?
>2 hfglen: Honi soit qui mal y pense, Hugh. Obviously the gentleman’s wife and daughter.
ETA come to think of it, that may actually have been the idea: bring the marriageable daughter along to find a husband, Jane-Austen-esque though it sounds.
>4 hfglen: and in 1940 when the potential husbands would have been in the armed forces. Maybe that was the idea: few “gentlemen” available so share each one between 2 ladies? I dunno.
>5 haydninvienna: Er, yes, but this was a historical report of an event that took place in 1880.
>6 hfglen: in that case, I would have thought the ratio would be too few ladies for the available men. Weird.
It seems to me from the Covid thread that what we all need is a gentle, friendly picture to remind us of the good things in the world. Does this giraffe fill the bill?
Seen in the Kruger national Park in September 2015.
And in other news, Richard (haydninvienna) will be pleased to know that "his mate Jess" went to a tracking workshop today and did brilliantly.
>9 hfglen: Big hug to Jess. I'm a trifle surprised that dog shows are still going on though.
>10 tardis: >11 catzteach: >12 NorthernStar: >14 pgmcc: Thank you all!
>12 NorthernStar: A rather special one. It's a Red-billed Oxpecker, feeding on parasites on the giraffe. For some considerable time they were locally extinct, due to the toxic dips used by the farmers around the Park. But a few years ago they were (very) successfully reintroduced from I know not where.
>13 haydninvienna: Jess sends tail-wags. It was a workshop, not a show, and only six scattered humans were present. Next Sunday's show has been cancelled.
I needed that giraffe. Thanks.
And nice when species that has been forced away can be reintroduced. As long as they're not vermin, that is ;-)
>8 hfglen: Giraffes have nice faces, don't they? Kind of like they realise they are one of nature's jokes.
The Chronicles of a Contractor. Arguably, this book could have been better titled. It's actually the autobiography of George Pauling, who built most of the railway network in what was then Rhodesia, and thousands of kilometres of railway elsewhere. I took the book out of the Railway History Society library, because a fellow-member wants me to join with him in making a presentation about an unfortunate accident that happened about 110 years ago, on a line Pauling built. The book itself is probably not easy for Dragoneers to come by -- the reprint originated in Bulawayo 50 years ago -- but should be given friendly consideration if anyone sees a copy asking to be read. Although Pauling was powerful, both physically and intellectually, and played key parts in 19th-20th-century development in many places around the world, he is modest enough to dwell more on his failures than his successes. Those with 21st-century sensibilities need to be warned that Pauling died in 1919, and wrote with true Victorian lack of sensitivity; the reprint is uncensored.
>20 hfglen: Oh, even with the "Victorian lack of sensitivity", as you put it, this sounds like something I'd enjoy. I'd bes surprised to find it, though. But good that such books exist, at all!
Poking my nose in to say, "Hi!" Love the giraffe, any photos of nature are nice to see these days. Well, the nice bits of nature. :)
>22 Busifer: Yes indeed. Just think how much history, and maybe even the occasional insight, we'd miss if we didn't have books like that. I put the phrase in to warn off anybody who insists that their eyewitness reports must always be sanitised to conform to 21st-century political correctness.
>23 MrsLee: Hi! Many thanks for the kind words.
Here is a Klipspringer (literally "rock-jumper"), one of our smaller antelope, and arguably the most agile of them all. Seen in the Kruger Park in May 2014.
They stand about hip-high to a human, and live on rocky outcrops and hills (surprise!). They can take flying leaps up and down cliffs, almost always landing safely, to the despair of predators chasing them.
Funny enough I was thinking a thought very similar to that expressed by >23 MrsLee: as I looked out this one. I once had an elderly "honorary Aunt" (distant cousin) who lived in Edinburgh, and often said that after seeing South Africa she was set up for old age, as she'd always be able to "take out a memory" and look at it. Right now that's about all we can do, as all of us are locked down for 3 weeks and all tourist sites are closed.
>25 hfglen: Another cute face. I know exactly what your honorary aunt meant, after seeing Chobe.
New Babylon, new Nineveh An interminable 397 pages, with nary a thought for the unfortunate reader. I can only quote the words allegedly sung by Lady Menuhin to the Beethoven Violin Concerto: "Thank God it's over! It's over, it's over, it's over, it's over at last!". Quite the deadliest history of early Johannesburg ever written, with all human interest carefully avoided. At least I now know what my friend the history Prof meant when he said that the then-current fashion in history writing was "A Marxist interpretation of ...". Yawn.
Reading during lockdown, seeing I have twice in the last 24 hours rejoiced at succumbing to the temptations of a roomful of books, has been almost entirely re-reads. Except for one newspaper and a few pages in the turkeys that were all I could get from the library the last time I was there.
But One Summer: America 1927 was at least as enjoyable the second time around, even if I still have no chance whatever of understanding baseball. Can't help thinking, what about other summers, other places.
Currently re-enjoying (is there such a word? There ought to be) Man from Mundania and Nation.
Books that under normal circumstances I'd have returned to the library without attempting to read more than a page each. You probably use the term for movies; well, the printed equivalent.
Hah. In Sweden we use the term "kalkon" for anything that's a failure: a movie, a book, an event. As it happens "kalkon" is the Swedish word for "turkey", and still I didn't get it what you meant.
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