Yesterday evening we went for a stroll across Regent’s Park to Primrose Hill (panorama) and back around the edge of the park. Everywhere the daffodils and snowdrops were up. It was a fine spring evening in what should have been winter. It’s become a truism that we now have only 3 seasons.
En route we met a small, black long-haired dachshund, bright eyed and carrying his personal rubber chicken.
Couldn’t we have a small dog?
said my a voice in my ear. I sighed. We need a garden, I said, even for a small dog. She knew, of course.
I added Messers Engels and Yeats to my list of erstwhile neighbours who lived within walking distance and whose former homes are now adorned with commemorative plaques. However, I’m amused to find now that Engels is omitted here (I didn’t see the plaque for Sylvia Plath on our jaunt). Perhaps a man with a burning social conscience is a bit of an embarrassment.
What would Engels make of the cosmopolitan bourgeoisie, to use his word, who now throng the sidewalk cafes of Primrose Hill I wondered. It’s one of the most chic bits of London.
I tried to reconcile how and why its conspicuous wealth made me feel uneasy. Why should it bother me? It’s not us I was told with a shudder. I tended to agree.
Yet, I never had trouble sleeping at night when it was I who was, comparatively, a person of unimaginable wealth in some of the places I have wandered. What’s the difference?
Speaking of wealth, of a different sort — laughs — here are this week’s gems:
In The Economist, where Gordon Brown is mocked as ever — Blair’s shadow, cast as Big Ben with recognisably Tonyish ears, spooks him — Bagehot writes
In a memorable speech, Mr.Hague imagined
the smile of intolerable anguish
with which Mr.Brown might greet President Blair’s motorcade as it swept into Downing Street.
While a letter to The Sunday Times recalls the finest Franglais pun ever coined.
According to the late lamented humorist Miles Kington, the French navy adopted a new uplifting slogan to spur its seamen on to valour and glory:
A l’eau. C’est l’heurre.
It took me a second then I laughed… like a sailor.