04 September 2006


Excellent September Oldie, starting with offer to subscribers to their mailing list of clever Webster's free 10pp web guide on How I Learned to stop worrying and Love the web (I know, we're such addicts we want to know how to *stop* loving the drat web and its siren blogosphere).

Meanwhile, this month's Webster Superbyw@ys offers "Your guide to digital life: To blog or not to blog?" (Dread question!)

Actually, that link is Webster's archive of columns, fine writing of run-don't-walk calibre.

Other contents:

  • Good article by Ann Thwaite (wife of the poetising Anthony) whose Frances Hodgson Burnett biog I sort of promoted back in the 1970s. Even got to cruise down to Penshurst Place and be splendidly patronised by m'Lord de Lisle. Good days,
  • Absolutely murderous review by cattish Roger Lewis of my belovèd David Lodge, whose books I also hawked around the lit eds and whose seminal 'Changing Places' I was handed in typescript form on my very first day with Secker's by the late and very great John Blackwell, editorial director supreme whose like we shall not see again this side of the Pearly Gates.

    "Lodge seems unaware of what a doleful and vain comic figure he cuts ... [his] lack of zest is positively Pooterish ... flat, pathetic zero-wit ... Lodge comes across as one of those many late-middle-aged men of small talent whose idea of success is being able to refer to 'my London pad' and share a sandwich luncheon with Ian McEwan." Oy! Watch it, mate! Ian and I used to knock back pints of Youngs in the Tim Bobbin off the Wandsworth.

    Zounds - had I been still in the PR seat, I'd have had a couple of the lads call round on Master Lewis in his "imperial Austrian spa town of Bad Ischl" and show him a bit of zero-teeth and doleful kneecaps. Blimey.

  • Oldie Bookshop: wonderful offerings this month that I am losing no time in ordering as late prezzies for my sprightly mama's July 28 birthday (so hush anyone thinking of emailing her and spoiling la surpreeze).

  • Mr Harston's Most Excellent Encyclopedia of Useless Information ... who knew that none of the numbers from one to 99 contains the letter A? Or that on 22 July 1918, in the Wasatch Nat Park in Utah, 504 sheep were killed by lightning?
  • Stephen Fry's Book of Senior Moments (a bit premature for mama but definitely one for yours truly).
  • I suppose I could hold my breath and suspend my loathing of the G-word and include Henri Cuerco's Conversations with my Gardener. Sounds perfectly ghastly and the last thing with which to curl up on the divan, but no accounting for tastes ....
  • One for the girls in their ongoing development into the perfect angels they are: Tying the Perfect Parcel: Everything you should know how to do, giudance on such skills as how to be a good neighbour, how to throw perfect dinner parties, how to breathe (chest or stomach?), how to remove pongs, and so forth. Essential reference book for surviving solo or snaring that rich toff and silencing ma-in-law ever after.
  • I'm not paid to pimp but this is such a great mag that I'm happy to ease your queries to the Oldie Bookshop

    Ace reading from start to finish. Literate, to boot, actual jokes, witty cartoons, solid and accurate boots going into hated yoof culture.


    Bored on Bainbridge said...

    *Thank you!* I can now open my laptop knowing that there will be something on the net to make me smile or lead me to forgotten literary treats. And the pictures of your milieu ain't bad, either.

    Busker said...

    What a *very* sweet comment. Thanks so much. But "bored* on Bainbridge? Surely, one who is bored on Bainbridge is bored with LIFE. Tut tut.
    Your comment about milieu is prescient: just this afternoon I was snapping the scene outside my rooms and thinking what a killjoy I am to complain.