Tuesday, 28 October 2014

A little walk (as opposed to a ramble!)


I was recently discussing with Canadian Chickadee how my use of grammar has changed over the decades (or perhaps misuse might be a better expression!).   I have looked at some of my writing from the 1960s.  And I have plenty to choose from – there are samples everywhere I look!  These scribbles and scrawls formed what was probably my heyday of writing – letters, natural history articles, a book (attempted), poetry (mostly of the love-sick variety), an anthology, a diary….    I compare my writing nowadays and I realise there are all sorts of grammatical (or ungrammatical) things that in those days I would not have put up with.

The paragraph above, in the style of the 2010s contains four sets of brackets; two hyphens or dashes; a row of dots; a couple of exclamation marks; a sentence that begins with ‘and’ and a sentence which ends in ‘with’, a preposition.  The latter item is a matter of taste and my taste has changed.  I no longer find the sentence that ends in a preposition quite so offensive though I do generally try to avoid them.  The other things are simply laziness.  I have smacked my wrist and will endeavour to try harder in the future.  I avoided the temptation to put an exclamation mark at the end of the last sentence and to put this sentence in brackets.  Do you think their absence has made a difference?

Claude Izner

I thoroughly enjoy crime novels, especially when they are historical.  My favourite period and location are usually Victorian England but I have had a change recently.  I have just discovered a new author called Claude Izner.  The name is a pseudonym hiding two sisters, Liliane Korb and Laurence Lefèvre, who are both booksellers on the banks of the Seine in Paris.  The hero, Victor Legris, is also a Parisian bookseller.  Set in Paris in 1889, the first novel in the series, “Murder on the Eiffel Tower” is a masterpiece of historical research into the Paris of that time with the addition of a clever little crime plot.  There is, of course, a love interest or two and Le Monde’ described it as “A charming journey through the life and intellectual times of the era”.  I have now reached the third book in the series and can thoroughly recommend them.  

Misty and Roland

Washington Bear went down to Exeter with us earlier in October and met Daughter and Son-in-law’s cats – Misty and Roland. 

This is Misty.

 This is Roland.

And here they are together, about as together as they get.  



  1. When I saw the picture of Misty and Roland in my dashboard next to the first few lines of your post, I thought: Yay! There are new cats at John's and PWLT's household! Have you thought about having a cat again? I often think of Pukky, now dead nearly 3 years, and how nice it would be to live with a cat again. On the other hand... Maybe not just yet.
    Misty reminds me of Pukky, very similar in colours and pattern.

    A very good picture of your daughter and Roland. She is such a beautiful woman!

    1. I seem to be outnumbered in the debate about getting another cat. So it looks as though we won't be getting any. Sad.

  2. I thought you'd enjoy the Claude Izner books (although my recomendation was quite a while ago so maybe this was just coincidence). They really are an excellent read.

    1. I'd forgotten your recommendation. I just came across them in the library which the damned Council are trying, once again, to close....

  3. Yes, i should pay better attention to my grammar, especially if i want my children to do the same. It's called leading by example, and i must remember that.

    Those are lovely cats, and i take it that they do not like each other that much if they do not get close and snuggle. Some of ours snuggle each other, but most do not.

  4. You've read my blog and my comments. You know I'm not the best writer or most correct when it comes to grammar. That being said, I do love how you write and I don't care how you cross your t's or dot your i's....just keep on writing! I love the pics of those cute kitties. So much cuter and nicer than my little spawn of satan...Squeak. Have a great week! (love those !!!! marks!)

  5. It is easier to write with brackets and especially dash :)), all because of laziness. I also think the speed with which we write as we grow older has decreased.

  6. Love the photos of the kitties, and am glad that Washington got on so well with them! It's so great to be back on line -- we had a windstorm over the weekend which knocked out the TV/cable/internet/wifi/and land line phones. Got me so muddled up that I called my sister-in-law this morning and her son answered the phone. I said, "I thought you weren't coming until the 28th?" He said, "It is the 28th!" Ooops - I really must pay closer attention!

  7. My favorite sentence about grammar is "Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put." It always makes me smile.
    Pretty cats and oh no, a recommendation for a mystery series, a favorite form of entertainment for my husband and I. We spent 3 months in Paris, so that makes the series even more of interest.

  8. Oh, I know a funny joke about ending a sentence with a preposition...I will send it to you on a postcard! (If I can find a post card these days, they seem harder and harder to find.)
    Sweet cats, it does make me miss my cat, even though she was more crazy than sweet!
    Your daughter is so pretty!
    And I just counted... I only had three exclamation points in this comment. I am calming down in my old age.

  9. I tend, these days, to ask myself whether that which I write can be easily and unambiguously understood. If the answer is in the affirmative then I allow myself to use it.

  10. I know for a fact that there are a few of my English teachers who would be appalled at some of my writings these days.
    Love those two cuties Misty and Roland.

  11. I prefer teddy bears - they're usually well behaved and don't run away... :) Thanks for the book tip, I found it available as 'talking book' in Swedish (free download for me via the library) so will give it a try.


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