Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Something Nasty In The Woodshed

Murphy takes over Tim´s favourite place in the world

Yesterday, having drawn water for various mundane purposes, like washing the crap off dogs, I went up the yard to hew wood.

We do that kind of rurally whimsical stuff at The Peacable.

Murphy was curled up in the woodshed, just where any falling log I was sawing would bean him, so I suggested he move. He didn't, he couldn't, and he gave an agonised yowl when I tried to pick him up.

Yes, he'd managed to get himself run over again, making twice.

The first time was about two years back, resulting in three broken legs, extensive surgery by The Veterinary School of  Leon University, and ultimately a starring role in a movie entitled, "How To Mend A Cat's Three Broken Legs When No Expense Is Spared,"  produced and directed by Dr. Mateo, and financed by the Scott-O'Gara Non-Profit Foundation, and which, it seems, did boffo biz, playing to packed houses of student vets in Italy.

Murph has, of yet, received no residuals.

This time round, although expecting the worst - it seemed to us his back was broken - things are not quite so bad.
Murph's back is inded very badly knocked about, but our local vet thinks that he (Murph, that is, not the Vet)  might be back on his already battered feet within a week.
Not doing triple saltos, with tuck and twist, but at least tottering about and bullying the dogs.

He has already comandeered Tim's dog bed to recuperate in, beside the stove.

Tim made no complaint, just patiently shifted over onto the carpet to sleep.
He is an amazing, saintly dog, because he loves his bed second only to sausage.

It's high time Murphy considered giving up being run over by cars.

It's not doing him any good.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Inconsequential balderdash

Below is an entire answer to a comment on a blog called "joyfulpapist"
I run it here because - I dunno, it might throw some light on something.
But then, it might not.
The topic on Joyful's blog is, (sigh) gay marriage - the most sinister and civilisation-threatening setback to decency and morality to blight the planet in the last thousand years. Or, some seem to think.
Another contributor (Srdc by avatar) as you see, accused, (if that is le mot juste,) me (AKA Toad) of being: old, cynical and in despair.

“Old cynical and in despair eh?”

I assume you mean Toad, here, Srdc.
Well, let’s see. “Old,” certainly, “Cynical,” most probably, (though I’d say “skeptical” is nearer the mark) but “in despair”?
I had to think about that one.
If I can be content, cheerful, amused, absorbed, and keenly interested by life, and yet still “despair” of the perennial imbecility and folly of the human race, then, yes I’m in despair.
I think maybe “resigned,” is nearer the mark.

But you are young, at least I get that impression.
Some unasked for geezer advice: Try to hang on to your optimism, but be aware that it will gradually fade away over the years of its own account. And you won’t miss it. In fact, you’ll be glad to see the back of it.
People are very predicatable. You can always count on them to act in their own interests, as they see them, no matter what noble noises issue from their mouths.
It is well to be aware of this. By all means keep on trying to improve the human condition, but be aware that you won’t, and neither will you be thanked. Not that that matters.

(What a lot of pompous tripe, Toad. Shut up!) 
That bit is unanswerable.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Apres Sandy, le Deluge et le Moslim?

Something of unusual interest to report today.

Namely that a major hurricane named Sandy is headed for New Jersey, where  it threatens to make several million dollars worth of improvements.

Not only that, but its side effects may well wreak havoc in neighbouring states, such as Pennsylvania and Ohio, both of which are crucial to the outcome  of the upcoming presidential fiasco.

In fact, I suspect this is why The Lord is apparently chosing to wield His terrible swift sword Over There at this time.
He is clearly distressed at the less than dim prospect of a full-blooded Mormon seizing  the reins of power in The Land of the Free, even more so than by the prospect of another four tiresome years of The Nigerian Muslim.

It is salutary that He is energetic enough to go to these rather extreme lengths to avoid it, but He's a little too late for some voters, I fear.

I read an American on Facebook bemoaning that, in his own words, the only choice was between "A Morman and a Moslim," which was, he opined, no choice at all.
Voting for a decent, God fearing "Christion" was not even a option. Pretty shabby, it seemed to him. What is the world coming to, and all that.
He had a point.

Strange though, that the Avenging Metrological Angel, should rejoice in the rather anodyne name of "Sandy." I have known a few Sandys in my time, and not one of them would ever dream of trashing a trailer park in New Jersey.
Not even during an Election year.

Friday, 26 October 2012


Now I remember why I quit blogging for over a year. Because apparently nobody was reading DOWNHILL.
Or, at least, was interested enough to comment on it.
Which also seems to be the case now I've started up again.
Can't say I blame people, either.

Wednesday, 24 October 2012


Interesting little exchanges on Catholicism Pure & Simple, regarding DEATH.
A subject seldom far from my mind these days. And then a copy of "Mirror Pensioner," the world's finest newspaper - being the only one with its priorities right - arrived  yesterday chock full of obits of old friends and colleagues.
This following on the recent news of a close friend's demise. (Whisky and cigarettes, said the Doc. Very old fashioned. Fleet Street to the end, in fact.)

Still what is to be done about it?  Death, that is. Best turn to Michel de Montaigne, as usual:

“If you don’t know how to die, don’t worry; Nature will tell you what to do on the spot, fully and adequately. She will do this job perfectly for you; don’t bother your head about it.”

And then, also on CP&S, someone called Metropolitan Anthony is quoted as saying:  “All life is at every moment an ultimate act.” Can’t argue with that.

And strikes me it could equally well be Sartre speaking, as a man oddly named after a Tube line.
We must wonder what Bakerloo Fred would think.

Someone once said to Montaigne:
"I’ve done nothing all day.”
“What! Did you not live?”
said M.

Don't know what's that's got to do with anything. But I like it.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012


Missed a day already! Doh!

However, Reb is back from her errand of mercy, and I hope we can get some sense into the layout of the blog now, and proper spacing.
I have been banging heads on Facebook over Obama. I'm not violently Pro-Obama, (he has disappointed me too often), just anti the pathological Anti-Obamas. One "Facebook friend" in question has been relentless in her attacks, accusing him of everything bar child molesting. That will be next, no doubt. True, I've been a bit hard on her, too hard, no doubt - but she is bullying the man, and I can't stand bullying.

Unless I'm the one doing it, of course.

Sunday, 21 October 2012


Well, Frankel The Wonder Horse got it done at Ascot, didnee? Workmanlike rather than imperious, most spectators agreed. Fourteen straight victories, no defeats. A great horse, for sure. But the greatest ever? Not for me. The greatest horses win the greatest races - in Europe the Derby and the Arc de Triomphe, in the U.S. the Triple Crown, and nowadays The Breeders Cup Classic.. Frankel didn't. So he's only potentially the greatest. Sea Bird was the greatest European, Secretariat America's greatest - whose 1973 Belmont Stakes win must be the the most amazing performance by any horse, any time, anywhere. Ever. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V18ui3Rtjz4 (You can see it on Youtube, anyway, if this doesn't work.)

Saturday, 20 October 2012


"After the Pontiff spoke these words there appeared above Hadrian’s Mausoleum an angel, believed to be St. Michael, who replaced in his scabbard the sword of vengeance which he had held over the city." This is from a post on CP&S, two days ago. Apparently God had smitten Rome about the year 600, with a "vicious" plague. A few prayers later, and Bob's your uncle. Plague over. The point is, do we really need a god who viciously visits people with the plague? I think not. This "God's Vengeance," stuff is at best gibberish, and at worst pernicious nonsense. There. I can say that on my own blog and not upset anyone! More importantly, Frankel runs his supposed last race today at Ascot. He's supposed to win, of course. never lost yet.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Bear with me...

(Don't you just hate that expression?) Until I can get my proper computer back, I'm struggling here. can't get any spacing in. But am determined to struggle on daily. Things will improve. And the prognostico says it will stop raining at lunch time. Found a very interesting old movie in YouTube yesterday: "Pygmalion" starring Leslie Howard. Fascinating for film buffs for two reasons: It was clearly used almost word for word, and scene for scene as the screenplay for "My Fair Lady," and is beautifully directed. Howard gets the credit as Director, but I suspect the key to the film's excellent quality lies hidden among the secondary credits: Film Editor: David Lean.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Proustian frustration

After months of near drought, the rain is here in Moratinos. Lots of it. And Toad and the Toadhounds are stuck on the gravelled Camino, rather than the unmade farm tracks, which are seas of mud. As for the stubble fields - forget them. Swamps. And attractive dog and boot prints on the floor tiles. Mop time. Something is wrong with the edit workings of this blog. I can't put in any spacing between sentences and paragraphs. So each episode comes out looking like a page from Proust. Merde. Very short items til it gets fixed. There's a blessing.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

As I was saying...

It is a year since I last blogged. Forgive me all, for I have sinned by omission. Although, to be sure,it might well seem more like an absolution to some. Anyroadup, for various reasons I am determined to open for business again on "Downhill." The main topics will be those shunned by all decent people, religion and politics, most likely. Among the reasons, one of the main ones in fact, is that I have recused myself from a blog called Catholicism Pure & Simple, where I was wont to bloviate at length on Miracles, The Veneration of The Sacred Nose of Saint Atheniastyasius, Transubstiation, The Seven Swords of Sin, Original Sin, Cardinal Sin, The Spanish Inquisition, Papal Infallibility, and the Corrosive Effects of Holy Water on The Forehead. Stuff like that. Nothing fancy. That was until a post on there about Fatima convinced me that the whole boiling of CP&S, very much including Toad*, might be better employed farting The Star Spangled Banner down the well in our front yard for all the good it was doing any of us. However I will provide a link to said blog ASAP, and expect to refer to it frequently. My comments on CP&S will appear here however. This is in order that I don't need to be over-polite as previously, and more that I don't hog the thing as I have done up til now. *For reasons too boring and arcane to go into here, (unless specifically requested,) I was known on there as "Toadspittle" although my CP&S friends familiarly called me "Toad." And despite these spendidly-stated intentions, I may just quickly relapse into my normalstate, commonly referred to in the medical profession as "torpidity." Still, today it rains, and a steady stream of hideously-poncho clad, hooded pilgs, looking like giant hunchback gnomes, limp dismally past me and the doggy brigade. The effect in the gloaming and drizzle is oddly and appropriately 14th Century somehow. Moreover, Reb is off for a few days on a work of great mercy. Your prayers are asked. And my big computer has got all its little cogs and wheels jammed up with cake crumbs and bits of Morcilla de Burgos and orange peel grape seeds and has quit on me. So I have to use Reb's for the time being, which is about the size of a biggish postcard. And which, with my poor old minces, is hard going. But still, we are off and running again. Pictures will soon be added. (I can't remember how to, so must wait for Reb) Mostly of dogs and cats. And maybe Frankel.If he wins.