Tag Archives: Dickens

A Sentimental Journey , A Taste For Scott and True Patriotic Fervor

March 23, 2009_Cambridgeshire-1148_001.jpg

I am feeling disorientated, I put it down to feeling over nostalgic, yes it could be explained as an effect of reaching an age where grey becomes silver and elderly is an acronym for wisdom or is it just the plain simple fact that being away from what is vaguely called home if  your place of birth is home, for more years than I care to remember.

It would be ludicrous to try and blame my craving for a breath of Lowland air or Highland hospitality on all this talk of independence for Scotland but it certainly is having an effect.

I have always had moments when I  have lusted after Heather Honey, Macroon Bars and Tablet made in Fintry but it seems more fundamental than a sweet tooth.

Now when this feeling is rationalised it has to be admitted I have been reading too much Edwin Muir not to mention Sir Walter Scott, so perhaps the solution is a Shakespeare Sonnet, a chapter from The Pickwick Papers or a paragraph of Laurence Sterne but I do not believe I can ever erase the sentiment in the following which flows through my veins.

“Breathes there the man, with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land!
Whose heart hath ne’er within him burn’d,
As home his footsteps he hath turn’d,
From wandering on a foreign strand! “

Extract for: Lay of the Last Minstrel. Sir Walter Scott


In Praise of Parchment and Mahogany Bookshelves.


There must be a debate raging in certain circles of the benefits of the electronic E-Reader versus the printed page.

I do not class myself as old-fashioned, computer illiterate or even a luddite but I have this aversion to the thought of reading say Henry Fielding or even Dickens on a LCD screen, give me a hard backed book or even a paperback any day.

The whole experience of selecting, handling and may I be so bold as to mention aroma is in my opinion of a higher sphere of indulgence and pleasure than sitting down with a plastic coated liquid crystal formatted script.

I know this is not in any way a full debate on the pros and cons and I am sure there are benefits for and against both, perhaps the best that can be hoped is that they can live together and we are spared the headlines that the end of the book as we know it is imminent.

Perish the thought, would it be too much to add if that was the case the inevitable would be the end of civilization.