Monthly Archives: July 2010

The Mysteries of Udolpho and A Modern Banking Principal.

Oxburgh Hall

Oxburgh Hall, Oxburgh Village, Norfolk, England

It is not that I have been procrastinating but my defence is that I have been immersed in the gothic world or should that be domain of Mrs Radcliffe.

I have left our heroine Emily and her Aunt‚ Madame Montoni in the power of the villain of the piece who is holding them in his castle with no ready means of escape. Monsieur Valancourt is with his army comrades and is unaware that Emily is being repressed and that Montoni’s intentions are less than honourable.

It is therefore with an element of regret that I have had to close the pages of this 18th century masterpiece but it is more by necessity than willingness to live in the real world.

We have been having trouble contacting our bank, it appears that everything in this 21st century has to be done through a call centre and the old-fashioned idea of speaking to your branch direct seems to be a thing of the past. Why is it that if call centres are peopled (politically correct terminology) that you have to select numbers on your phone on the instructions of a machine before ever hearing the dulcet tones of a homosappine stating that for training purposes this call my be recorded.

I am sure this is not an original rant as I can not be the only one in this enlightened age that has an aversion to automated services, canned music and call centres whither they are in a far continent or based in the homeland.

In the end the archaic concept of meeting face to face at the branch, although time-consuming did solve the problem and provided a certain amount of experience to return to the ghostly apparitions in the castle of  Udolpho when returning to the enthralling pages of  Mrs Ann Radcliffe.


Perfectionist and a Genius called Mozart

I have an empathy with those who seek perfection but not those who are perfectionist. There is a virtue in perfection as long as you keep before you the fact that the ideals you hold dear will not always be achieved, not meeting the mark should not be considered as a failure but a set back and a catalyst to try again, like the legend of Robert and his cave companion.

The difficulty I have with perfectionist is not their evangelical fervour to obtain perfection for themselves but it is their ardent belief that it should apply first and foremost to others and they have prerogative to compile or amend the tablets of stone. Perhaps it does not apply to all perfectionists but it has been my experience to date.

Therefore it probably is more desirable to endeavour to set your own standards and try to treat people as you would like to be treated yourself and enjoy the perfection that is a piece of  Music by Mozart, a work of art by Titian or a poem by T.S Elliot.

I hasten to add this list is not meant to be comprehensive, if anything we are spoiled for choice and fortunately it has to always be a personal preference, so if you wish to include The Beatles, David Hockney or Henry James I have no objection, so go on list away.

Picture: Lyveden New Bield, National Trust, Northamptonshire.