31 December 2012


From the wonderful Taki's Magazine (he of The Spectator column), a welcome addressing of one of my rant bugaboos.

Sex, not Gender.

"First, let’s get one thing straight: We humans don’t have a gender; we have a sex — until recently, just one each.

Gender is a grammatical term used in languages such as French and Spanish to describe the differences between such things as masculine and feminine nouns, and adjectives that agree with them.

Examples are la grande fille and le grand garçon.

English has gender in such words as waiter/waitress and actor/actress ...

Gender was meant to work the way “race as a social construct” works.

Race, the lefties tell us, is a sociological optical illusion that has nothing to do with biology. We may think there are racial differences, but it’s all in our minds.

That’s exactly what feminists wanted us to think about sex.

“Gender” means “sex as a social construct.”
It’s only brutish custom, not biology, that makes men into soldiers and women into nurses."


Sabbato 29th, drank too much a-Skyping a fave lady.

Felt dicey next morn and decided to venture abroad in search of some bijou corner store thence to buy summat solid for luncheon.Not sure if the AB before the airport road can be described as 'corner' or bijou but it was open and packèd for the nones.
My dears, just like Piccadilly Circus, everyone was there - muchas kissing and chronia polla-hing.

Actually, remember campissimi butch omis Julian and Sandy from Round the Horne? They had all the palare, so it should be "chronia palaring".
Snapped the busy scene including a lovely Greek sign that I sent my gals, explaining that it doesnt mean to turn right but that oncoming cars are to veer to their left to give way.

Speaking of Grik driving ~ One-way street etiquette ~ when I was taking driving lessons, I reminded my instructor of the well-known rule when proceeding down a 1-way street,

"Always leave room for traffic come from the other direction."
Never heard of it. "You must know that one."Coupla metres on and sure enough puttered a bike coming towards us. 'There you are.' He just hooted and guffawed and called a pal there n then.
When i took my test, Niko sat in the passenger seat with the two stern instructors in the back seat reading the sports pages. As we drove along Nik suddenly adjusted my mirror: "Is not straight.".
'Yo! Dude! Who the fuck's driving this car?'
The two instructors burst into laughter. "Bravo! We think you pass - for safety."
Also snapped a snoozing cat atop the perfect number plate.
Well, I thought it quite funny.
Bet you if I sent it to the Acharavi Clarion [incorprating the Skripero Scallywag] they'd pay me a couple €s for it. Hyper Skyper - the gal who got me so drunk on the phone is and favourite love of mine, same humour. A top top lawyer, mid-forties, looks 18, with the most stunning breasts that saggeth not, even in a Force 9 gale.
Very very clever and would make mince-meat of the jokers in the old Navigators.

Maman adored her and a game i'd play would be to shove on one of the weirdy CDs she'd send me.

"I cannot stand this music"
'OK. Leila sent it to us'
"Oh. OK, leave it on for a bit longer so i can get used to it"
They were a bit outta left field - Ute Lemper, anyone?
We'd been sharing bed secrets and agreeing that with age came baggage (theirs) that made it a bit ominous for the two of us as the years crept by. We'd share our probs and give each other advice on how to handle our partners of the time.
Drove home where my tenants' cat was resting on our neighbours' voiture. Catty sort of day.
I call him Hitler, which they dont like, but one day when it went missing, they posted and added 'distinctive Hitler mooustache'. Found the same day.
Finally home and debated opening Kosta/Tasia's gift of Southern Comfort.
Suddenly all a tizzy how one drank or mixed it.
Plectrum Potts woulda known, all that sippin' with the good ol' boys on the stoop outside Sun studios, comparing flat pickin' styles and remembering the good old days when they used real strong chicken wire between you and rowdies.
Shores of Jordan - dug out a bottle of fruity vin blanc and a jar of olives and chunks of cheese and plunked along to Iris.

Sang a bit, too.

Keep the blues at bay.

βuffoonery ~ I didn't want to slow the story over mere juvenilia but do look at the comment some prissy miss from Purley has posted.

'LOL', as I'm sure she Twitters hither and thither.

It's always the schoolmarmly types, isn't it, that rush in where angels fear? And then they wonder why they end up as Exhibit A.

Chronia Cross-Pollinating

My favourite janus job of the new year - sitting down with a new calendar and the previous year's and deciding which events or reminders to carry forward.

When I arrived in March 2006, I knew nothing and had to take my mother's word and what was happening round me.

As is my wont, I copied and noted everything: birthdays, Saints Days, strike days, Oki Days, festival days, departures and arrivals, dinner dates ... the lot. A right magpie, I am, which is how I made such a perfect toady of a PR, by remembering what to remember.

As the years advanced, each calendar improved on the previous one, at the same time as being edited and pruned ... except for irrepressible Sod's Law that declares that,
"Yea, tho' ye keep close a document unto the fifth generation, and transfer it hither and yon, and file begat file, verily it is written that thou shall'st not need it until the day after you have finally chuck'd it in the wagga. Yea, even tho' thou consulteth the ruby of your eye saying "Wife! Surely we dont need this after all this time?" and she agrees and says she's always wondered why you kept lugging it around, and lo! thou castest it into the darkness and even louder lo, on the day after, lo!, a messenger from the magistrate arrives demanding but one document to save you from the scarlet ribbon of the Pharisees and yea, thou guess'd right that it was the self-same papyrus cast into the dumpster that the council removedeth'd to the furthest pit.

Then riseth angry words between husband and wife, verily the silly moo should have known you'd need that particular document, so WTF did she agree you should throw it away?" and all the rest of that crap that we know so well, oh my goodness, yes.

So where was I, apart from trying to be too clever by half with the old Good Book lingo spoof?

  • Right, Transfer of the Calendars (alarums off ~ bet you never expected to link to that goody)

  • Aye, serious business when a man plays God.

    Three shots problem minimum.

    Who's in, who's out; score settlin' time.

    Da boithdays One by one:

    • Keep her in?
    • Poh poh, he's definitely out. Bastard. Didn't invite us to the All-white frolics by the sea.
    • Her dead, she's on her last legs.
    • Fancy her, one last toadying email good wish and chuck her next year.
    • Same with name days ~ I tell you, a well-timed chronia polla and you're up from #6 in the charts to nudging #3. I tell you, truth, I was sitting in a bar once and a strapping lass I'd coveted from afar came over and planted a stunner of a smooch bang on the old bouche,
      "You are the sweetest man for remembering my day. That swine Leo? Never remembered it in all our years together. Anyway, he's gone; last straw. Decided when I read your email. Fancy a drink?"
    • Deadlines: bills to pay, car to service, money to transfer, water filters to change. That ilk.

    But here's a rum note, sub-section of Sod: invariably when I noted a date in advance - birthday - I'd fall out with the person in question. Over-preparing the event.

  • THEFTDAY ~ the very first reminder that went in after the jewel theft of April 2007 was April 8 to commemorate the filcherie and remind me to buy a bouteillaki of champers to toast 'absent friends'. Used to drive Mum mad because once April came and the page stared her in the face, she was daily reminded of the disgrace.

  • The Law - once something was noted, it was gospel. I would dismiss with glee my mother's assumption that her calendar came first. I'd tell her, 'You can insist all you like that we're going to the Warrington's but it ain't down here and my guitar gig has been there for 5 weeks. Sure, you go but i'm not chauffeuring.

  • I would tell people that it was no use giving dates to my mother because it would be forgotten in an instant. Tell me and it would go on the calendar for me to keep tabs and remind.

    The joy of sitting at table having my nerves shredded with maman going on and bloody on with droning gardenry - phone - "Chris? We're sitting here wondering where you are." - 'Nuthin' on the calendar, old boy - "But we invited your mother several weeks ago" - 'Ah! That's it, then. Wouldnt matter if it was several seconds ago. I'll hand you over'

    They never fucking learned, and i loved it.

  • Wonderful history books, they became. Like this past year when i've tried to re-live each day according to what was screwed up in years gone by.

    Late Decembers - wondered why it was empty round Xmas - but of course! The house fielded a full complement of thieves from Villa Thefti, requiring me to be here to thwart the handing over of my good stuff.

  • Today, bliss. My own master.
  • 30 December 2012


    I've tried to run this past year in tune with previous calendars, seeing what precisely I was denied by caving into my slavery or gardenry and settling those scores.

    DRAFTS - but goodness, the posts I've written but never let see the light of venom.

    Some issues there, I'll wager.

    But back to Christmas Calumny.

    I now realise that I was competing with a full house of pilferers and couldn't drop my guard.

    After the April 2007 theft, I couldnt face re-visiting Villa Thefti so I'd have to watch with eagle-eye what maman packed to take over to Italy; if they were coming here, again I'd have to be alert to likely loot that'd disappear.

    By the Trésors of Tiresias! (yes, i'd have to feign 'blindness') The trickery and trackery of the maternal jewels.

    First, I'd rearrange the bijouterie according to the phone taps so that they'd be magically in order of 'dispensation', the ones promised to my girls equally mysteriously AWOL.

    Then I'd have to replace and dis-place the more obvious ones to create a moving feast, always pacing myself to end with the right score on day of departure. Exhausting.

    This year for the first time, a relaxèd Yule.


    Sent this by one of those simpery types who came round to gloat as one of maman's handmaidens.

    Out she and her sort went when the coast of Charon was clear.

    So obvious (unkind laughter).

    I think they think that all it takes is to wheel out pathetic drivel like this and I'll mellow and forgive all.

    All the same, file the link somewhere for when I meet one of those sensitivae of a certain age who melt quicker when slipped one of these spammy mickey finns.


    Uh huh, amen.

    That's how to have a good time either side of the footlights.

    I'm home alone planning the crossover into the next year, enjoying rummaging thru Youtube's coolest.

    KEEP ON DRINKING - When he's talking at the end about the Broonzy with which he's thinking of kicking off, I think he means this one.

    First footing

    - January 1 2013 - next Tuesday -

    Timely headsup, chaps.

    I've just been put on coal duty by that flame-haired Forteviot-Dewar of this parish, to be at her gates no later than 1245hrs, Jan 1, 2013 ~ 15 mins before the drawbridge is raised on the rest of the Sassenach hordes for this knees-up jewel in our Kerkyra calendar.

    I agree, rum that in this land of swarthy sons of Homer I'm the only dark-haired Lochinvar she can call on to perform first-footing rites over the baronial welcome mat - not forgettin the coal, salt and malt.

    Anyway, it's a good reminder for those who observe these comme-il-faut customs and need a crib-sheet:

  • The first-foot usually brings several gifts
    • Coin
    • Bread
    • Salt
    • Coal
    • Drink (usually whisky)

    Respectively representing financial prosperity, food, flavour, warmth, and good cheer.

    GREEKNAM-STYLE: but here's something I didn't know
    "In a similar Greek tradition (pothariko), it is believed that the first person to enter the house on New Year's Eve brings either good luck or bad luck."


    Now you are fully prepared to impress your guests with your kilty coolness.

  • When The Sun Goes Down

    ~ Island Stories [Kindle Edition] ~

    - Maria Strani-Potts -

  • Plugs where plugs due and there are some Corfuschia Irregulières who only follow me en blogue, which is no excuse for them to escape my rare and reluctantly tossed bouquets.

    A review on her Amazon page of Maria Strani-Potts' latest chef-d'oeuvre collection of short stories, When the Sun goes Down.

    Yes, I know I wrote it but, honestly, if we're going to wait until some other lumpen Amazon punter gets round to commenting, the sun'll've gone down and the cows come home. Loipon, I kicked off with the usual disarming declaration of interest, not just so's I could say say nice things but also to be my customary cutting and curmudgeonly self if the occasion arose.

    Here's how it went - including photos of wild cat Koutsi and my even wilder poissonnière pronger of a Spitfire younger daughter, Anna.

    "I declare an interest: I know Maria and to sit and talk to her is an enjoyment separate from the powerful solitary pleasure of reading her. She is the most unwriterly writer i know: talk is talk, writing is writing; she gets the job done.

    I still treasure her Cat of Portovecchio as one of the most stunning novels I have read.

    Barely fiction for the pulses it taps; I live in Corfu and it opened my eyes and heart to my paradise home."

    [Oh how I preferred the cover pic with the Kurt Vonnegut lookalike, not that prissy Eric Blairite cove.

    I bet I know what happened: like it was Kurt on one of those fantasy vacations

    "Sail in disguise with Corfu καΐκιs:

  • Make yourself useful and fix nets

  • Learn to roll your own

  • Grunt xenophobically at idiot tourists

  • Fend off Shirley Valentines

  • Write 'The Old Man and the Sea'"
  • Ah, there he is [left], much better.

    Anyway, as I was saying, off goes Vonnegut to do his Sleepless in Sidari thing ['Always wanted to fix that darn'd story. Ernie never quite got it right'], click goes smart-ass literary tourist's camera and next thing you know it's in some photo library where Maria picks it for the first edition.

    I mean look at it, smashing cover pic. Just the sort of dashing brigand of the brine you'd want on the front of your novel to show off to literary pals?

    "Seen the new Strani-Potts? Rather good."

    "Well, I read a rather unconvincing review in Island magazine but ... oh, I say, it does look good."

    You guessed it - it's brought to the attention of KV's agent who sends off a 'Cease, desist, or pay me €5,000' note, the foto's swapped pronto and we end up with that disappointing headmasterly type.

    By the Digressions of Dionysius! I do get off the point. Back to the review!

    "This collection is short stories and her pacing is spot-on. I've worked in the book business and touted short stories by famed novelists who just haven't pulled it off in the challenging discipline of condensing it down.

    The PR puff talks of capturing 'the atmosphere and distinctive character of several different islands in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic.' Piffle. No 'capture' about it; the reader is right there.

    As with the best movie scores, you dont notice the expertise and talent because you're engrossed in the world of the story.

  • SWIMMING IN BERMUDA: Tourist meets local. They talk in perfect pitch, Strani-Potts nailing the patois and the poshois. Like an onion, dark truths unpeel.

    REHEARSING I DO: light-as-a-soufflé humour set on a French island, letting the deft words do the humour, no canned laughter, nothing rammed in your face . I wouldnt be surprised if readers who didn't 'get it' read this right thru, still enjoyed it, and wondered what had glided over their heads.

    THE EXPLOITATION OF PANOREA: familiar to all who read To Poúlima tns Pavoraías, the no-punches-pulled exposé and battle-cry against the disgraceful desecration of our environment, in this case the exploitation of 'an island in the Ionian'. No guesses.

    ON THE BEACH: Tight and merciless. Women enjoying lulling and lolling over the usual evening ouzo; suddenly a floating dead body.

    In the midst of pampered Life - the Grim Reaper paddles, red in scythe and claw. A wake-up call that Strani-Potts keeps local, makes universal.

    A remarkable collection. If I was handed them in separate sheaves, I'd not swear that they came from the same nib. Chameleon brilliance. Mark of a bred-in-the-bone writer.

    Speed the day that such a talent is spotted by some alert editorial assistant in one of the major houses and given the international readership Ms Potts deserves, and will achieve."

  • -
  • 29 December 2012


    ~ cutting review of Alice Oswald's "Memorial" ~

    Wonderfully dismissive review by William Logan in the New York Times of Alice Oswald's Memorial ~ at least I think it's wonderful, Logan seems alone in not gushing.

    OK, put it this way, I'd love to have delivered some of his cuttinger lines.

    Was doing over Christmas what I couldn't stand about my mother - reading bits aloud.

  • "In “Memorial,” Alice Oswald has had the idea of boiling down the poem to two of its most striking features: the gruesome fatalities and the similes that often lie in pastoral counterpoint to the action.

    The subtle portrayals of emotion, the strikingly modern psychology, the ancient tactics, the fate-haunted warriors — all that life almost three millenniums old has been reduced to little more than a bureaucracy of death.

  • "Oswald claims she has paraphrased the lives of Homer’s warriors but translated his similes; in fact, she plays fast and loose with both.

  • "A deeper and more disturbing problem is Oswald’s Frankenstein transplant of similes from the original. When Homer compares Menelaos and Meriones, bearing away the body of Patroclus in Book 17, to mules dragging a roof beam or a ship timber, it shows what a dead weight the dead are: even the king and his companion are reduced to draft animals by their labor. By grafting the simile onto the deaths of a Trojan and his chariot driver, Oswald denies us the original’s unsettling contrast — and it’s not clear if the mules are the dead men or the live horses.

    Too often this rough-and-ready recycling destroys the force, and the cunning, of the Iliad.

    Oswald’s rendering is often more vivid than the Greek, but the lack of punctuation makes the syntactical relation of her similes obscure or impossible.

    Worse, her insistent use of “like” for “as” turns her narrator into a gum-chewing Valley girl (“Like suddenly it thunders,” “Like when a ditch-maker takes a mattock”).

    The similes are printed twice in succession, as if the reader were too dim to get them.

    ... Oswald at times seems to misunderstand Homer — Pandarus’ difficulty isn’t that his arrows were “flying off at angles,” but that they hit his enemies without killing them (she thinks the arrows were flint-tipped, as if the Trojans were Sioux braves). Her description of his death makes nonsense of the original — a spear that hits him “between the eyes” cannot somehow emerge through his chin.

  • Fair play - I'm being generous talking about 'fair play' because I have no idea if Logan's right and everyone else wrong. But at least let me end on a balancing note by pointing you to Phil Womack's slightly OTT garland.
  • 26 December 2012

    Corfu Villages [£2.99]

    ~ Steve Ford ~

  • Out now ~ and being warmly received across the island.

  • PDF eBook version available online.

  • All profits to Corfu charities and villages.

  • Quoth Steve:
    "It has been a long road but we made it in the end.

    I hope you enjoy the book as much as I have in making it.

    Thank you everyone for your support, I really appreciate it."

    Followed up by:

    "The ebook has taken almost a year to produce with four visits to Corfu, the design of the ebook and the setting up of a dedicated website has been solely funded by me for the good of the Island.

    It is the first of its kind and all profits will to go to Corfu charities and villages."

    What's not to like about such a graceful modest scribbler?

  • Hélas, Murphy's Law hath that, after month's of languid assessing, I suddenly have a backlog of reviews promised, not least of which Maria-Strani Potts' new collection of short stories, When the Sun goes Down, over which I'm wrestling with my first attempt at darned Kindle

  • Also, a first novel by a young ragamuffin whom I'm determined to be the first to 'discover'.

  • Hindering my purchase-to-review of Steve's is PayPal's quibbling over my dead Bank of America account.

  • These hassles will be sorted pronto.

  • Uh ohh ... Pin Wars. I know a few scribblers back home who'll have a chuckle over this familiar tussle.

    ~ Ancient and Modern, Speccie,15/22 Dekembrios 2012 ~

    Peter Jones at one of his best.

    Damn me! I thought the Spectator charged for viewing, hence my scanning and all that. Turns out it's online after all.

    Never mind. Good slot to plonk in a pic of me enjoying Christmas Day, jamming along to Iris.

    23 December 2012

    christmas caution


    Wonderful bright morning, blue skies, sun zapping thru the crack in the curtains, exactly the right chill to it.

    My spirits instinctively sink at the thought of wasting the Yuletide week on gardenry - then I remember I am blessèdly alone and immediately hop out of bed and walk Sam thru the paths as I snap my former treadmill.

    Next bit.

    21 December 2012


    This is offered as additional help to Alekos Damaskinos' expert guidance thru the auto-translatable English version online application to renew yr vehicular road tax.

    1. Enter the website here.
    2. Give yr 'puter a few secs to decide to translate to English
    3. You see an orange band with, in Greek, Ypiresies/polites/e-polites.

      Click on this orange band

    4. Scroll down to option #14, e-vehicle
    5. Choose Without codes option
    6. You see the Greek Eisothos
    7. You see 'Welcome to Public Service'
    8. You see a screen with two panels:
    9. In the left you see AFM, type in your tax number
    10. In the right, 'Number', your car registration; enter that.
    11. You see the message 'Successful search'
    12. You look for the print button.

      Eh voila! You are printing out the form to take to pay at ELTA or wherever - BY DECEMBER 31

    19 December 2012

    Save the Modern Greek degree course at Cambridge University

    As of October 2013, the Faculty of Medieval and Modern Languages will suspend the teaching of Modern Greek as a full Tripos language on financial grounds.

    If the proposed changes go ahead, no student will emerge from Cambridge with any more than a cursory knowledge of Modern Greek language and culture.

    Cambridge is one of only three universities in the United Kingdom which offer a full undergraduate degree course with a specialisation in Modern Greek.

  • Rallying Call: My Corfucius Irregulières are stout of heart and quick to mobilise.
  • Pass this on - a tider URL, if you need one.

    i just need to plonk this to where i can direct certain people.

    18 December 2012


  • YULETIDE JOLLITY: My xmas exercise in response to blog-wide demand to post the best of the best from the past years.

  • I want to get the whole Piece of Work ugliness into perspective and write it right, research back-blogs, calendars, and phone taps ~ hone, tone, moan and groan. Drive the ugliness home.Caregiver comp

  • VICTIM GULL ~ I was the classic victim gull buffoon on this job. The moment I saw my stolen jewels on that dressing table in Villa Thefti, I should have booked a flight back to London and escaped the whole culture of theft which I never in the whole five years and eight months understood or came to terms with.

    DO THE MATH ~ I should have done the sums, extracted modest back-pay for services rendered and vested sufficient of my mother's shares to pay for a professional outside Corfiot carer who'd lay down the rules including fair and precise hours and be ready to deal 'robustly' with incidents of thieving.

    As a minimum basic precaution, I should have read the literature and online advice.

    • "Caregivers typically make an average of about $16.00 per hour.

      Care giving companies charge about $6,000 a month for 24 hour a day care."

    • "You definitely need to work something out, get it on paper. Don't settle on getting it as 'inheritance', either.
    • "Most of the heirs are willing to do nothing for the person they expect to inherit from, no matter what her condition. But they don't think that should affect how much money they get and if anyone in the family does something to care for the elderly person, its supposed to be for free."
    • A classic with families: most of the heirs are willing to do nothing for the person they expect to inherit from, no matter what her condition. But they don't think that should affect how much money they get and if anyone in the family does something to care for the elderly person, its supposed to be for free.

      A disgusting job, thankless and sanity-scraping.

      If I meet anyone today who even hints at being daft deluded enough to be contemplating this slow suicide, I tell them,

      "If I had a gun, I would shoot you where you stand and save everyone a lot of pain and hatred. No further discussion."

  • "PIECE OF WORK" ~ the succinct reaction of a friend in the USA who knew neither thief but responded in a way that now seems to define for everyone the nature of the filcherie:

    "Oh my God! That is so funny, I mean disgusting.

    Can you imagine how far down the moral sewer you would have to swill to find a double-act like that?

    What a piece of work!"

    "There’s a Japanese term for such hostility: gyaku gire, literally “reverse rage.” The phrase refers to a situation in which someone who isn’t in a position to be mad unfurls fury. In other words, I was the one who should be irate, having had my papers lost, but instead the man in the office at fault was yelling at me.

    I can’t find a similar term in English, which must mean there are no entitlements in the United States when it comes to rage; everyone has equal rights to that emotion."

    An excellent phrase, sent to me by a friend of maman's after I had expresed puzzlement over her bizarre flare-ups each time I rammed home a reminder of the April 2007 theft.

    I made a deal that I wouldn't raise the subject unless cued in by some remark by my mother or brother.

    A good example is one of my mother's brisk dinner chat assertions that

    "Corfiots lie; Italians steal."

    There was often an awkward silence at this maxim since our guests often included Greeks if not actual Corfiots.

    I would try to defuse the gaffe with a mild comment that, although neither of us was Italian or Corfiot, under this very roof had been perpetrated an effective theft which, to that day, had yet to be resolved, satisfactorily explained, or made amends.

  • 'NICE' THIEVING ~ My mother was a devoted gardening hobbyist and would often expand her enthusiasm with the generous generalisation that she didn't know a 'gardener' who wasn't also 'nice'.

    My younger daughter was out one year - one of the six victims of the crime.

    Each item of personal jewelry removed behind my back had been itemised in my Will of January 2002 as being bequeathed to her or her sister. I felt I ought to show some balls and stick up for her loss and commented that, personally, I didn't see what was so 'nice' about thieving.

    Much gyak-king and gir-etching.

  • April 8th - the day I'd dedicate to remembering the theft with a half-bouteille of real champagne.

  • "Villa Thefti" ~ another dinner topic favourite was the vulnerability of my brother's Tuscan mansion to break-ins. We rarely locked our doors in honest Corfu, compared to Tuscany where they had to lock all access even when venturing out to the garden. We dubbed it 'Villa Thefti'.

    After the purloining of my jewels, it became confusing and one dinner guest confided:

    "I'm a little lost: Is it your brother's place that's Thefti, or here? Or both? Stolen from and stolen to?"

  • The Stolen Froms ~ Speaking of theftee, a popular parlour game that no-one seems to get it right is to name all the victims: Myself, my ex-wife, my two daughters ... and the two people for whom I so carefully chose each tie-pin, bauble, and cuff-link and who are out there still unaware of their loss: my sons-in-law-to-be. No-one ever remembers them.

  • More to follow.