As we enter July …

… this blog has been going for almost two months. It had its highest daily number of views (just under 900) yesterday. But nobody has ever commented here that I don’t already know from another site.

Presumably some people of whom I am unaware look at my blog from time to time … if so, they are very welcome to comment if they wish, and I’d be interested to hear their thoughts and ideas.



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148 responses to “As we enter July …

  1. helpmaboab

    Ya gotta admit, you had attracted a touch or two of pretty evocative writing to help you pull the punterſ in.

  2. Well, yef.

    Give me a hug.

  3. I just read a comment of yours elsewhere Brendan. And had to clean the keyboard. You are a naughty naughty man. :))))

  4. Guilty as charged. 🙂

  5. Cymbeline

    You have saved my life, Brendano. I thought that it was the 31st June – and I would have thought that all day.

    I have an important meeting later today.

    Merhaba Levent. Always interesting to read about Rumi.

  6. Cymbeline

    – re the adverts. They come and go. They fit into the word press design, and there is a link to the content of the blog – an advert for a mathematics degree in the blog about the mathematician A.C. Aitken, for example. I have seen such advertising on Bearsy’s site too. The adverts are sent by Google – so there is also an advertisement for Google on each advert.

    I would say that after a certain number of hits, your ‘free’ word press blog is read and analyzed by a computer. The information is passed on and sold to third, fourth …. parties. There is an exchange of money going on above your head.

    It aint just about thoughts and ideas.

  7. I’m glad I saved your life, Cymbeline, and I hope your meeting will go well.

    You’re probably right about the advertising.

  8. xueta

    How does one know how many visits/hits there are?

  9. xueta, there’s a running total of hits for the blog on the homepage. When I click on ‘My Dashboard’, I see a graph of views per day, and other stats.

  10. xueta

    Dia dhuit, I am new to this. Lots of bloggers seem to be adopting WordPress.

  11. One can see why, with the current state of MyT.

    • One can indeed!
      I do look in from time to time and I am pleased to see activity here, Brendano.

      I must confess, I am becoming more and more bored with the idiocy that now passes for MyT.

      It is a great shame.

      • Hello Araminta … nice to see you. Do say hello from time to time.

        Yes, MyT is at an all-time low. No comments showing; just a few blogs on the home page … mostly dross. A shadow of its former self.

  12. Cymbeline

    ‘Other stats’. That sounds kinda freaky.

    Hello Araminta.

  13. helpmaboab

    The functionality on My-T is extremely poor. I have not been able to slough off the despondency enough to post. There are a few troopers still plugging away but even the fragrant Ana is not posting as frequently.

  14. Cymbeline

    Naughty children have their toys removed. The new MyT has been designed to stop the brawling. Bad for business.

    Very dangerous to think that human discourse can exist freely within a business framework.

  15. Cymbeline

    The Yanks no longer have public spaces. Everything goes on in the mall. Flashy, interesting place, lots of things you can buy – but try staging a protest and you will, in all legality, be dragged away by thick-as-pigshit guards.

  16. Cymbeline

    Do you know what the Facebook man said, at the very beginning of Facebook? Something along these lines, ‘Man, I have the details of 700 people, their photographs, their ages, their addresses. They must be fuckin’ stoopid’.

  17. Cymbeline

    Keep the people down, get as much information on them as possible with the least possible hassle, and get Disqus and Twitter in on the deal. Voilà MyT.

  18. ‘Other stats’ … not really freaky, Cymbeline. Views per post in the past week, and that kind of thing.

    The developments on MyT are likely to kill it stone dead. If a particular business framework depends on human discourse, it’s not in its interests to kill off the discourse. I think stupidity and incompetence are the order of the day on MyT, as they generally have been in the past three years. It was a good site despite the people that ran it.

    Perhaps we are stupid in giving away too much about ourselves in exchange for this online connectedness. But I tend to be sanguine about it, as is my wont.

  19. Cymbeline

    You will see that there is ever-growing public concern about the antics of giant internet business. I do not think it misplaced.

  20. Yes, there was a big article about this in the Irish Times recently, saying much the same things as you have said. I just find it hard to worry about such matters … no doubt I’m foolish.

  21. Cymbeline

    I do not worry. I try to be aware, that is all.

  22. Cymbeline

    Talking about entering, voles and time, I have read something very interesting about what is known as the ‘vole clock’. Apparently the vole is a vertebrate whose skeleton constantly changes in subtle ways.

    Vole skeletons are thus often used as a way of dating strata.

  23. I didn’t know that, Cymbeline. I don’t think we have voles in Ireland, though, so we will have to date elsely.

    The ‘questing vole’ line with which I teased hmb is from Scoop, as you probably knew.

  24. Cymbeline

    No, I did not know about the vole and Scoop. Never ‘eard of it.

  25. helpmaboab

    Errr…. Brendano, that’s snakes. No snakes in Ireland.

    Cymbeline, on the vole thing, it always wise to remember that Brendano has kissed the Blarney Stone.

  26. helpmaboab

    Also the title of a short story.

  27. Cymbeline

    ‘It is always wise to remember that Brendano has kissed the Blarney Stone’?

    Never heard of that short story.

    I am feeling mighty ignorant here.

  28. helpmaboab

    Yes, the heartwarming story of the lives and loves of ordinary My-T folk.

  29. I probably did kiss the Blarney stone … my father was from Blarney. I see some travel writer has listed it as one of the main things to be avoided at all costs, due to lack of hygiene.

    There are no native voles in Ireland … I see that some bank voles were introduced, like hmb’s lot. Not surprising that they’re industrious and work in banks, then … it’s the ‘Protestant work ethic’ that he loves so much.

    Scoop, the novel by Evelyn Waugh … very funny at the start.

    ‘”Feather-footed through the plashy fen passes the questing vole”, a line from one of Boot’s countryside columns, has become a famous comic example of overblown prose style. It inspired the name of the environmentalist magazine Vole, which was originally titled The Questing Vole.’

    Hence my use of it to poke fun at hmb’s purple and plashy efforts.

  30. Cymbeline

    I kissed the Blarney stone when I was twelve. Very cold day. Always seems to have been cold on the rare occasions I have been to Ireland.

    I read Waugh’s ‘Scoop’ a long time ago.

  31. I read it a long time ago too, on the fifth floor of a council or ex-council block in Stockwell. Borrowed it from South Lambeth library.

    It does tend to be cold, wet or both here. Beautiful lately, though … the dryest June in 50 years (so someone said, so it must be true).

  32. helpmaboab

    There are no Snakes in Ireland

    The story is set a few hundred yards from where I sit. Spooky.

  33. helpmaboab

    Half the plot elements and locations are a jumbled up selection from my life.

  34. helpmaboab

    I’ve even got the snake.

  35. Something you wrote, then, hmb?

    How’s the snake doing?

  36. Or perhaps not, unless you’re really Frederick Forsyth … which might explain a lot.

  37. Cymbeline

    I read it when I was about fourteen – would not have appreciated it as much as I would now. Unfortunately I have an aversion to reading what I have already read, even if I have forgotten it. Very bad.

  38. Cymbeline

    I may read it again, now that I know that it is a version of help ma boab’s life.

    There must be a German word for that.

  39. Cymbeline

    Doppelgangerbuch or something.

  40. Cymbeline


  41. Cymbeline


  42. helpmaboab

    I must have read it some 27 years ago. Freddie won some fancy award for it, though I found the dialogue unconvincing, but bless him for trying.

    The snake is doing well, I bought him a heat mat to lie on and put him in a bigger tank. Later on I shall pop out to the shop to get something to put in his luch box.

  43. Cymbeline

    I feel a terrible srisson when I think of those poor frozen luches.

    I thought you were going to raise your own?

  44. lucha, Cymbeline, please. 🙂 Nice German words.

    Forsyth isn’t much of a prose stylist … I read a couple of his books before I got sense. He’s a pretty good monarchist attack dog, though.

  45. helpmaboab

    Organising our own mice would be a public, or at least a domestic, announcement that Rattles was now a more or less permanent member of the family, an idea that is only very slowly gaining acceptance on the distaff side.

  46. helpmaboab

    Yeah, Brendano. What do those Edgar Alan Poe Awards people know?

  47. Not much, evidently. Any fool can inaugurate an ‘award’ and attach the name of a good writer.

  48. helpmaboab

    You got an award recently, didn’t you?

  49. helpmaboab

    I thought you got something. Not so long ago. Some evening ‘do’, hob-nobbing with the great and the good, ex-government somebody? Old boab’s memory isn’t what it was.

  50. No, that was just a book launch. Working on a book by an MEP at the moment … some more hobnobbing may ensue in due course.

  51. Cymbeline

    Just make sure you fill yer pockets with the canapés.

  52. Cymbeline

    Avoid the mushroom vol-au-vents though.

  53. I’m way ahead of you, Cymbeline.

    I thought this might interest you: reference to ‘a crush of market forces where the human mind becomes a commodity to be sold to the highest bidder’.

    Brian Cowen has since been criticized for referring to Ireland as ‘a brand’.

  54. Cymbeline

    Yes, very interesting. Clifton is wrong to speak of writing being ‘overvalued’ though. When he says that, he is equating value with the market. He should have chosen his words more carefully.

    As for Cowen’s words – I have often criticized what I, as an outsider, see as the commercialisation of Irish culture.

  55. Cymbeline

    The Irish Americans do it – and then the Irish themselves do it, following the Yanks. That NY Times Thomas Cahill article was an example.

  56. Cymbeline

    You quoted the article.

  57. Cymbeline

    supplied, not quoted.

  58. Cymbeline

    My beloved folklore trap, n’est-ce pas?

  59. I’m gonna make me a folklore trap … catch me a leprechaun. Grab me a pot of gold.

    You’re right about the commercialization of culture. It does make me cringe at times. I liked some parts of Cahill’s article, though … the playful things the scribes wrote. But I know you disapprove. 🙂

  60. Cymbeline

    I love playful things, Brendano. I can play all night and all day.

  61. Cymbeline

    It aint just the Irish wot do playful.

  62. Cymbeline

    But when people are trained and branded and sold to think that that they can ONLY do playful, I tend to object.

  63. Cymbeline

    FFS that Thomas Cahill article was putting ‘playfulness’ above the intellectual light of Ireland.

  64. Perhaps. He seemed to be banging on about the intellectual light too, I thought.

    I do like little quirky asides and such.

  65. Cymbeline

    The intellectual light was en passant – a backdrop to the unnamed leprechauns and pots of gold. No need to mention them, because they are stamped in our minds.

    We ALL like quirky asides, and fex and fin and fuchlike.

  66. Insights into past minds. But you’ve reprimanded me for that kind of thing before. 🙂

    Must go have dinner.

  67. Cymbeline

    Bon appétit.

  68. Cymbeline

    I am extremely respectful of past minds – that is why I do not subscribe to the 19th century essentially English folklorist vision of Ireland, and that is why I dislike commercial cultural branding. The two are linked. One gave birth to the other. Both deform and obscure our vision of past minds. Both currents dovetail and fossilize falsity.

    The true leprechauns, and the minds that created them, deserve far more than that, surely.

  69. Cymbeline

    Anyway, I think that you carry all that in your heart, your mind, your body, and your soul. I am just an outsider scratching at what is probably not even the surface.

  70. Cymbeline

    You too scratch at what is not even the surface, of course – when you speak of other cultures. Very arrogant to think that you could ever begin to understand I Ching, for example.

  71. Cymbeline

    And you often misunderstand British minds.

  72. I wouldn’t have thought it was any harm for me to talk about the I Ching, Cymbeline. I never claimed to understand it or anything else, as far as I can remember.

  73. Cymbeline

    My main point is in 70, Brendano.

  74. But I don’t subscribe to the 19th century essentially English folklorist vision of Ireland either, so I don’t really understand the problem, if there is one.

  75. Cymbeline

    I know that. Look at 71.

  76. Fair enough, Cymbeline.

  77. Cymbeline

    Personally, I do not know how one can even begin to understand being Irish, without the language.

    But I am Welsh.

  78. Cymbeline

    Perhaps you should stop thinking about leprechauns and realize that you are simply an English-speaking nation, with a bit of American prostitution on the side.

  79. Cymbeline

    Within the EU.

  80. Cymbeline

    I do not think that really.

    Back to 71.

  81. We’re certainly an English-speaking nation with a bit of American prostitution on the side … but not ‘simply’. It’s complicated. 🙂

    I appreciate all your comments, Cymbeline.

  82. Cymbeline

    And I love you to death.

  83. Cymbeline

    Try to understand British minds now. Badger has a fine British mind.

  84. Cymbeline

    Tell him I said so.

    And listen, for a change.

  85. Cymbeline

    I repeat that Badger is a fine British mind.

  86. Cymbeline

    Tell him that I am proud of him, please.

  87. Hello, Araminta and Cymbeline, and thanks for those comments.

  88. Ron Broxted

    Edgar Allen Poe. Brendano if you drive from Virginia towards Cavan and turn off the main road that is where his Pa & Ma emigrated from.

  89. Ron Broxted

    Off to airport soon, I’ll try and check this “from the other side”!

  90. I didn’t know that about Poe, RB.

  91. smithy

    Edgar died in case you did not know HMB.

  92. helpmaboab

    Smithy, your news leaves me shocked and saddened.

  93. Cymbeline

    I mentioned Baudelaire in the ‘Marvellous Powers’ thread. Baudelaire translated Poe’s work into French; I think it was the first translation into French.

    Baudelaire saw Poe as a kindred spirit.

  94. helpmaboab

    Their portraits, as they have come down to us, show a certain similarity.

  95. helpmaboab

    Both were spendthrifts, both had trouble with their libido, both died of of their own lifestyle. Poe is the one with the moustache.

  96. Trouble with their libido? Died of their lifestyle?

    Sounds kind of disapproving.

  97. I find these wild and tortured artists appealing … the likes of Rimbaud, Verlaine and Rossetti.

    Proper nineteenth-century spirits.

  98. helpmaboab

    Baudelaire. Now that name stirs a slumb’ring chord, Baudouard… Baudot… Bauduin…? No…. it’s gone.

  99. Cymbeline

    You may be thinking of the French thinker Jean Baudrillard.

  100. Or Baudouin I, king of the Belgians.

  101. Cymbeline

    Or the Baudy Shop.

  102. Yes. Baud E. House, American gigolo.

  103. Cymbeline

    I was thinking more along the lines of cosmetics untested on animals. Anita wotshername.

  104. Shame on me, Cymbeline. Yes, Anita Roddick (?).

    A bit tired after working all weekend to meet deadline.

    How are you?

  105. Cymbeline


  106. Cymbeline

    I am fine thank you. Nearly finished my work. Husband coming here in less than a week. I haven’t seen him for six months. And then at the end of the month, we are all moving back to la Belle France.

  107. helpmaboab

    Yes, all those French names sound so similar to my poor monoglot ears.

    While we are doing literary allusions, the name Beaupertuys, though not strictly one of the Bauds, sometimes creeps into my mind when reading Brendano’s posts.

  108. That’s great, Cymbeline. A new era.

  109. Cymbeline

    I like to be on the cusp of a new adventure.

  110. Had to Google that, hmb. Something from Balzac? Internet very slow, possibly due to son downloading movies.

  111. Cusps are good. I want to be on a cusp.

    Trying to get on one. Missed the last one; it came early.

  112. Cymbeline

    This particular adventure has involved a hurricane which ripped the roof off my house, marital separation, an earthquake, floods, dengue fever, massive strikes, water and electricity cuts etc.

    Wonder what will be next on the agenda.

  113. Cymbeline

    Some people like cusping in the underground.

  114. That was quite an adventure. If you’d written about it you could have a best-selling book.

    I would like to be a General Cusper.

  115. Cymbeline

    Cusping in the underground with a little big horn?

  116. helpmaboab

    Not Balzac.

  117. Apparently (after another Google), the Marquis de Beaupertuys features in a story by O. Henry (‘Roads of Destiny’) which reconciles free will and fate … the topic of Cymbeline and Levent’s conversation on another post.

  118. helpmaboab

    Perhaps not the marquis. I saw you as one of the other characters.

  119. Elaborate if you wish.

  120. helpmaboab

    Come, come, Brendano. There is a poet in the story.

  121. I must read it later.

  122. Cymbeline

    Re folklore (helpmaboab’s literary references are far too erudite and recherché for me), I took my children to see the latest Shrek this evening. Unfortunately I had to sit through it too.

    I was interested in a character in the film – a miniature, sprightly red-headed leprechaun type with magical powers. Ah – Ireland thought I. I wondered what accent he had in English. I was watching the film in French, and he was called Tracassin.

    I was impatient for the film to end for two reasons; one of which was to see the credits in English. Turns out that Tracassin is the Germanic Rumpelstiltskin with an American actor’s voice.

  123. I haven’t read the O. Henry story he refers to yet.

    My daughter went to see the Shrek film the other day. I suppose ‘folklore’ is a vast resource that film-makers can draw on promiscuously. I suppose the Grimms did that too.

    The first Shrek was quite good fun, I thought.

  124. I always thought that the name ‘Rumpelstiltskin’ had something to do with foreskin, but apparently it doesn’t.

  125. Cymbeline

    A lesson in circumspection.

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