Sunday, 19 January 2014

Foucault's pendulous

By way of explanation of this laboured post title - more laboured even than usual - "floppy" is said to be a synonym for pendulous. And flop the blind cat, Foucault certainly did, onto his master's lap last night after dinner. Though it was the six of us who had eaten so richly in one of Cheltenham's more elegant basements, not necessarily the cat.

This photograph of a distinguished contemporary of Frank Auerbach, Bridget Riley and Peter Blake might or might not be recognised by him as a tip of the hat to Mr. and Mrs. Clark and Percy.

Our host was in sparkling form considering he underwent major surgery last year, but he told me he had felt less anxious about that than the recent hassle he'd had over renewing a tax disc. "Into thy hands I commend my heart."

I've been anxious about pruning the apple trees. A couple of years ago, the experienced Martin Hayes began to take them in hand: today another Martin has been my generous guide. It's really a question of summoning up the confidence to tackle what's a huge task, when trees have been let go like ours have.

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