The Other End of the Stick

I like to think my mind is associative in its operation – but others might, less charitably, compare it to a butterfly or describe me as easily distracted.  Being positive, this enables me to make intuitive leaps – and, occasionally, these do not end up with me landing (intuitive) face first on a hard surface.  Less positively, it does mean my mind wanders into places where its journey is probably not justified by the source material.

In the first of a new strand, I thought I’d explore some of these journeys to see if, as I rather fear, I am alone…

The Royal Academy is soon to hold an exhibition of drawings by the master of the fête galante style, Antoine Watteau.  Unfortunately, whenever I read his name I can’t help but think of P G Wodehouse and the standard greeting between members of the Drones Club.  (Well, that or Jules suggesting his work for a bona tattoo for Mr Horne.  Very bold!).

Yesterday lunchtime (an illusion I know, but one I am doubly keen to retain) I spent listening to the Britten Sinfonia.  For their encore, they played an arrangement of Bach’s Air on a G String (utilising the same forces – mostly electromagnetic – as Schubert required for his Trout Quintet).  Sadly, throughout this beautiful piece of music I could only picture Gregor Fisher in the photobooth with a cigar – which would be rather an unexpected end to a game of Cluedo.

Cycling to the gig, I passed a hostelry advertising a forthcoming (always a better use of any marketing spend than a past) event – an Old Skool [sic] Disco.  What a debt, I thought, we owe to Nigel Molesworth.  However, it struck me that as he was in form 3B in the mid-fifties, disco would seem an unlikely choice – I think the jive or perhaps the cha-cha-cha would be a more historically accurate dance for those claiming St Custard’s as their alma mater.

Many years ago, I worked in the education department of one our red-brick universities.  Around the faculty, I kept seeing posters about KS3 Reading (also KS1 and KS2) – and did wonder why the ceremonial county town of Berkshire should loom so large in the National Curriculum.

At the same time, I found myself pondering the ancient oriental art of the tea ching – which I presume (given my limited Chinese) revolves around the examination of tea leaves for predictive ends.

Now, who among us can say, in all honesty, that similar thoughts have not disturbed the equanimity of their own minds?  As I thought…

10 thoughts on “The Other End of the Stick

  1. Stuart Ffoulkes says:

    I’m reassured to hear it – I’d hate to miss out on any author-directed mockery. As regular readers will know, I have to take on most of this burden of mockery myself – and new material is sorely needed (though, constant recycling of old material is very eco-friendly, I suppose).

    When I returned from the Mass in B Minor (or H-Moll for any German readers) late last night, this comment made me laugh out loud – very much a shift from the sublime to its traditional partner. In related news, I always thought that “lol” in text-speak meant laugh out loud – though more recent evidence suggests it’s an expression of affection – which might explain a degree of the confusion and mis-understanding which has afflicted my (very limited) texting life.

  2. Semibreve says:

    Were you ever to receive a text from me (and I believe this has happened on one occasion) you would not find txt spk therein. It would be fully and correctly spelled (no relation to Sabrina, on horseback, [who] can always have thousands of admirers – this possibly tells more about the age of my maths teacher than the things my brain remembers) and punctuated. My emails are not much better having, as they often do, nested parentheses and recursive footnotes.

  3. Stuart Ffoulkes says:

    I was discussing my limited texting skills (I bought a phone with a QWERTY keyboard to assist me with the art of text) earlier today. I mentioned that I used semicolons (where grammatically appropriate) when texting and my interlocutor asked if I was using them to make a winking, smiley face. I like to imagine I gave him an “old fashioned look” – but as I have never practised in front of a mirror, I ‘m not entirely sure what he would have received. Obviously, I use my semicolons to separate closely related independent clauses.

    Your reference to Sabrina has left me totally foxed – I know of the film starring Audrey Hepburn, the Angel (nominally possessed by Charlie), the buxom beauty (the Jordan of her day, perhaps) who obsessed the Goons and the nymph who drowned in (and gave her name to) the River Severn. Please put me out of my misery…

    • Semibreve says:

      Sabrina* On Horseback Can Always Have Thousands Of Admirers.
      As I said, the fault of my maths teacher.

      * a 1950s – ahem – actress, but also the moniker of a Ms Spellman of earlier Spicer-blog fame.

  4. Stuart Ffoulkes says:

    Gosh – no, we were never taught that particular mnemonic. Or, any other that I can recall – we just had to remember trig the hard way. I am tempted to try and develop a new one to help modern students – but perhaps I waste enough time already…

    I should also congratulate you as the progenitor of the first real comment to be tagged by Akismet (not the musical) as Spam. I really can’t work out why – unless it knows more about the meaning of “ahem” than I would have anticipated. Should I deduce that your maths teacher (like the Goons) was a fan of the “actress”?

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