Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Apes and Woodpeckers

A bit of blog thievery today, while I work on a piece of writing for Professor X's retirement do. Oh: and I have a (non-academic, but smashing) job interview next week, too. Busy busy.

First, a belated and thankful heads up to Patrick Wright for this snippet from Osbert Sitwell:
And then downstairs in the hall stood a large cage, with a monkey in it. Alas, I was frightened of this capering creature, and, indeed, in those days hated the whole simian tribe, though latterly, since being informed of the events that led up to the massacre of the majority of the monkeys in Gibraltar - only a very few were allowed to survive - my heart had warmed to them. . . The streets of the fortress town are so narrow that the monkeys could easily swing from any window-sill in it to another opposite. One summer they took, suddenly, to stealing photographs, the glinting silver frames of which no doubt caught there attention, and to placing them in the rooms across the way. The havoc these tricks created was immense; Colonel A would find that a photograph of his wife (”the Missus”) had disappeared, and would eventually locate it, either through his own initiative or the employment of detectives, in Commander B’s bedroom: and vice versa. As a result so many altercations took place, so many scandals occured, so many divorce proceedings were pending, that in the end, when the true criminals were discovered, it was felt that, for the honour of the Services, the monkeys of Gibraltar had better be suppressed, kept down to the minimum.

And second, intense raptor photo of the year. Full account here:


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