ten days

I’m alarmed to see how long it’s been since I added a new post: even though I have achieved a holiday in between times, this still must be a record length of posting inactivity.

Well, you shall suffer this silence no longer. Here is a token post as proof that the blog lives, if not my ability to think of anything worthwhile to say.

I had intended, for one thing, to tell you about the biography of William Wilberforce which I read on my travels. However, I must confess that I left it behind at one of my stops – in spite of it being a hulking 600-page hardback and not the sort of thing you might easily overlook in packing. I had at least finished it, but as usual my hopeless memory for narrative and detail means that I can only give my recommendation in the most general terms. The fact that it was written by William Hague was not quite as distracting as I’d feared it might be – and actually Hague rose in my estimation through his generous (though not uncritical) respect for someone who was much more talented, hardworking, and justifiably renowned than I’d realised.

More linguistically, I did also learn some local Caithness words this past month, even though I’ve already forgotten them too, but my rant about the new Gaelic dictionary which I acquired in the process of crossing the Minch is very much forthcoming and will be treated to a post of its own in due course.

6 thoughts on “ten days

  1. Hehe, all while I’ve been considering a rant about crossing the Minch… :-P

    Ps: just in case it is “spammed” again, I’ve just replied to your email ;-)


  2. Just to be in the fashion (of reading biographies by British politicians), I read Roy Hattersley’s biography of William and Catherine Booth recently. I don’t think he really understood everything he was writing about.

    I’d be afraid you were too young to know who RH was, but then again you’ve probably heard him on “Any Questions” – I’m guessing that’s your kind of programme to listen to?


  3. Yes, i’m pleased to say i’ve passed the RH test :) and i can also say that i can just about handle Any Questions although Any Answers tends to usually make me want to scream and punch people a bit.

    In the biog of Wilberforce there was a whole chapter which discussed his conversion. To the best of my knowledge Hague has never made any sign of interest in personal evangelical conversion, but he made a very good job of presenting Wilberforce in his own words, in the context of the similar experiences that other so-called ‘Methodists’ testified to having experienced at the same time. Ie, the quotes etc from Wilberforce’s diary were relevant and revealing. (He names Brian Edwards in his acknowledgements, so perhaps that’s where he got his insider knowledge from!)

    That’s in contrast to an uncomfortable experience I had with another book btw – dunno if you’ve come across a recent biography of Alexander Cruden by a Scottish journalist whose name escapes me for the moment – the book as a whole was a real eye-opener (Cruden was not mad, okay! :) ) – but there was one place where she speculated about what kind of scripture text he might have been consoling himself with (in one of his several unjust incarcerations in Bedlam or similar institution) – and for some reason the verse she chose seemed oddly inappropriate.
    (I say oddly because altho it made me stop and sit up, i couldn’t really lay my finger on what might have been funny about it.) Anyway, point is, i know what you mean about people not knowing what they mean :) :)


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