Month: June 2008

Christoher Morely

There are some knightly souls who even go so far as to make their visits to bookshops a kind of chivalrous errantry at large. They go in not because they need any certain volume, but because they feel that there may be some book that needs them. Some wistful, little forgotten sheaf of loveliness, long pining away on an upper shelf….…

Edward Thomas

The New House Now first, as I shut the door, I was alone In the new house; and the wind Began to moan. Old at once was the house, And I was old; My ears were teased with the dread Of what was foretold, Nights of storm, days of mist, without end; Sad days when the sun Shone in vain: old griefs and griefs Not yet begun. All was foretold me; naught Could I foresee; But I learned how the wind would sound After these things should be.…

Sophie Hannah

Trainers All Turn Grey (after Robert Frost’s ‘Nothing Gold Can Stay’) You buy your trainers new. They cost a bob or two. At first they’re clean and white, The laces thick and tight. Then they must touch the ground – (You have to walk around). You learn to your dismay Trainers all turn grey.…

Boris Johnson

The source, my friends of half life’s trouble Is seeking reputation’s bubble, And though the kids were not ambitious – Their beds were soft, their food delicious – Their lives were not entirely cushy: Their parents were so very pushy. from “The Peril of the Pushy Parents”…

Alan Turing

In any sufficiently powerful logical system statements can be formulated which can neither be proved nor disproved within the system, unless possibly the system itself is inconsistent. Turing’s restatement of Godel’s Incompleteness Theorem.…

Douglas Adams

“What was the Sherlock Holmes principle? ‘Once you have discounted the impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.’” “I reject that entirely,” said Dirk sharply. “The impossible often has a kind of integrity to it which the merely improbable lacks. How often have you been presented with an apparently rational explanation of something that works in all respects other than one, which is just that it is hopelessly improbable? Your instinct is to say, ‘Yes, but he or she simply wouldn’t do that.’” “Well, it happened to me today, in fact,” replied Kate. “Ah, yes,” said Dirk, slapping the table and making the glasses jump. “Your girl in the wheelchair — a perfect example. The idea that she is somehow receiving yesterday’s stock market prices apparently out of thin air is merely impossible, and therefore must be the case, because the idea that she is maintaining an immensely complex and laborious hoax of no benefit to herself is hopelessly improbable. The first idea merely supposes that there is something we don’t know about, and God knows there are enough of those. The second, however, runs contrary to something fundamental and human which we do know about. We should therefore be very suspicious of it and all its specious rationality.”…

H L Mencken

The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one’s time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.…

Hovis Presley

I rely on you I rely on you like a Skoda needs suspension like the aged need a pension like a trampoline needs tension like a bungee jump needs apprehension I rely on you like a camera needs a shutter like a gambler needs a flutter like a golfer needs a putter like a buttered scone involves some butter I rely on you like an acrobat needs ice cool nerve like a hairpin needs a drastic curve like an HGV needs endless derv like an outside left needs a body swerve I rely on you like a handyman needs pliers like an auctioneer needs buyers like a laundromat needs driers like The Good Life needed Richard Briers I rely on you like a water vole needs water like a brick outhouse needs mortar like a lemming to the slaughter Ryan’s just Ryan without his daughter I rely on you…

Henry David Thoreau

It is not a man’s duty, as a matter of course, to devote himself to the eradication of any, even the most enormous wrong; he may still properly have other concerns to engage him; but it is his duty, at least, to wash his hands of it, and, if he gives it no thought longer, not to give it practically his support. If I devote myself to other pursuits and contemplations, I must first see, at least, that I do not pursue them sitting upon another man’s shoulders…

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