27 January 2013


Never know when you're going to improve the record.

When the theft of my girls' jewels and heirlooms were first sinking in, I didn't have a mental cranny in which to store the vileness and evaluate the full meaning.

Then I came across Salley Vickers' astute Foreword to Edith Wharton's Touchstone and was able to put the filcherie in context for myself and my audience. 

When my mother would ask "Who all?", I was able to trot out the helpful mnemonic

  • God
  • Garden
  • Grub
  • Grog
  • Girls
  • Gigabyte
and now i'm adding another G, gigabytes, for the computer chatter I ceaselessly pumped.

These were the 'who all' I kept informed when they asked 'What progress on the theft?' fell into the categories of

  • Churchy pals
  • Garden visitors
  • Dinner parties
  • Drinks parties
  • Those who asked after my daughters ~ the most relevant news of whom was naturally progress on the return of the thievèd items in my Will relating to them.
  • Puter blogging etc.
Now clever Sinbad places the most informative comment:

"The term self-referential.
Good to revisit that. I have an image of one of Leggotels that blight the shore of Corfu, one especial monster looks out over Paleocastritsa, another one a point in the shore at Dassia, one at Nisaki.
If you are inside them they offer magnificent prospects. If you are outside any of them your view is harmed, your pleasure in the panorama denied, and I at any rate ponder Betjeman’s line ‘Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough’.
A self-referential person, like these buildings, enjoys their surroundings, oblivious of the impression they impose on all around them. “His eyes made contact with mine and I realised that he was gazing down at me from the balcony of a vast and hideous building sat astride a landscape he’d no intention of sharing with me on any but his own terms – but that ‘his terms’ were for him the world”
His world was the world, and I could only have any sort of exchange with him after I had entered it, accepted its terms and conditions.
There was no law or moral code that for him existed outside that grisly structure. This was a persona that like a dying sun had contracted from a red dwarf into a minuscule sphere of immense density, its malign gravity sucking even light into its orbit.
Any object, any other person or idea unfortunate enough to be caught in its vicinity was fated to be drawn into its self-referential vortex.
The preacher wrote ‘in the beginning was the word’ then ‘light’, for the self referential the end is darkness and insistence on having the last word.
A man who dealt in madness once said that the sane are always at the mercy of the insane, because sanity in its nature harbours doubt, reservations, the possibility of ambiguity, while the insane lodged in the security of circular logic have an answer for everything that threatens the well-defended refuge in which they have found security."

At this point, a timely reminder of gyaku-gire - another clue fed me by a learnèd pal to help me understand the hysterics into which maman seemed to fly when the topic came up: I assured her that I wouldnt mention the thievery out of the blue but, when it did from her end or someone else brought it up, I would slam in with the full histoire.

What puzzled me was that her reaction more closely resembled the theftee. Once I realised that it was a case of Gyrating Gire, all was explained and I felt justified in holding the mirror in place.

I really should get down to composing and recording my own Gyaku Theftnam-style.

Still the best most succinct reaction when I first described the theft after I'd returned - still stunned - from Villa Thefti 

"Omg, can you imagine how far down the moral sewer you'd have to swill to find a double act like that?"

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