Friday, October 18, 2019

Pom Pom (comment yesterday) – you’re my friend!

Not much today. The final end of the Calcutta Cup scarf has got to be the right way up and the right way around, and I didn’t quite trust myself this evening.

Tonight’s Italian homework is to write a narrative in the past, for the sake of the tenses. Italian tenses are surprisingly difficult. There is an Agatha Christie (I think) in which an oppressed wife drives constantly in 3rd gear, in the hopes of avoiding her husband's criticisms.  That probably sounds senseless to YouYoung Folks, but it struck a chord with me when I read it. Well, I tend to do Italian in the imperfect tense in much the same spirit.

All I have to do now is re-write it, improving the tenses. Then I can go to bed.

I learned this morning, half-awake, that there is a mot in Brussels: everybody understands English, but nobody understands the English. I must try to translate that for my tutor. Capire? Conoscere? Sapere? The longer we can talk about generalities, the less time we have to address my homework. She probably feels the same. The lessons are entirely in Italian.

The new New Yorker came today – October 21. My husband used to collect cartoons related to art, and I hope I can find the collection, because the one on page 38 needs to be added. He was particularly interested in frames.

I think my favourite in his collection – you’d recognise the cartoonist if I could find it – had a man in late middle age showing a younger one (perhaps even a son-in-law) around the place as he said “Cezanne is about as goofy as I like to get”.

Contrariwise, I am quite profoundly offended by the cartoon on page 40. I don’t think I’m particularly touchy. I fretted all afternoon, in a mild sort of way, because I couldn’t say here any of the few things I would like to say. But then I thought of something which might be allowed (let’s hope so):

You wouldn’t dare treat the Prophet like that.


  1. Hi Jean!
    Didn't E.B. White write for The New Yorker? I have been dipping into a book of his essays.
    You are a star, learning Italian.

  2. I’m pretty sure you’re right, about E.B. White. But you’re leading me down the path I’m afraid of, as far as commenting on the New Yorker goes.

  3. I've let my subscription lapse, hoping they'll make me a better offer and they were piling up. I could get an ipad version I suppose, and they would only pile up digitally.

  4. I had a box of postcards of New Yorker cartoons; for a couple of years I would write a postcard every week to a lady who was living on her own in a retirement place and suffered from loneliness and depression. I enjoyed most of the cartoons but there were a good number that I hesitated to send to her!

  5. Oh, and re Pom Pom' mittens; I am holding back from casting on some slippers until I have finally forced myself to hoover the floors!

  6. This year we have a page-a-day calendar of New Yorker cartoons and I find they range from mildly interesting observations through amusing to hilarious, with most in the first two catagories. Some days they make me feel old and no longer relevant.

  7. Jean, I hadn't looked at the 21 October issue until I saw this post. I wasn't sure what to expect from p. 40. I will not go so far as to say I am offended, but the cartoon is simply NOT FUNNY. Given the figures portrayed, why bother with something so unsuccessful (and potentially offensive!)?

    I usually read your blog on my phone, but have not been able to comment that way for months and months; I logged on to my laptop to post this one!