Les neiges d’antan

Editorial note: If you have not yet read our Mission Statement above, please do so in order that you can put our blogs in context. 

28 February 2018




When icicles hang by the wall

And Dick the shepherd blows his nail,

And Tom bears logs into the hall,

And milk comes frozen home in pail;

When blood is nipped and ways be foul,

Then nightly sings the staring owl,


Tu-whit, tu-who!  – a merry note,

While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.


When all aloud the wind doth blow,

And coughing drowns the parson’s saw,

And birds sit brooding in the snow,

And Marian’s nose looks red and raw;

When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl,

Then nightly sings the staring owl,


Tu-whit, tu-who! – a merry note,

While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.


Love’s Labour’s Lost (1595), Act 5, Scene 2, line 920, by English dramatist William Shakespeare (1564-1616)


London – and much of Britain – drew back the bedroom curtains this morning to a rare white-out, a thick mantle of snow carpeting the capital, metamorphising the city’s parks into a wintery Breugelesque landscape.  It feels as if – courtesy of global warming – the last substantial snowfall of this kind took place a decade, nay two decades, ago. It brings back nostalgic memories of childhood when winter snowfall was to be expected and carol singers beat the hoary bounds of the parish before taking refuge in the cosy parlour of the Big House, a log fire burning merrily in the hearth, as mine host welcomed them to a groaning board of mince tarts and mulled wine. Such, such were the days, my friend – we thought they would never end! Today’s snowfall almost wipes out the intervening decades. And lo! In the garden the fox has left his footprints in the fresh snow. The yucca and the palm, the holly and the ivy each bear their pall of white, the lavender bush is sinking under its candid burden, while the buds on the kerria bush, on the brink of blossoming, have decided to hold back for more clement days.  And outside our kitchen window the powdery flakes have magicked two ancient cobwebs into a delicate tracery of white lace. Ah the days of our youth, those days of snow-white innocence as yet unsullied by experience!


 You might perhaps care to view some of our earlier posts.  For instance:

  1. Why? or How? That is the question (3 Jan 2012)
  2. Partitocracy v. Democracy (20 July 2012)
  3. The shoddiest possible goods at the highest possible prices (2 Feb 2012)
  4. Capitalism in practice (4 July 2012)
  5. Ladder  (21 June 2012)
  6. A tale of two cities (1) (6 June 2012)
  7. A tale of two cities (2) (7 June 2012)
  8. Where’s the beef? Ontology and tinned meat (31 Jan 2012)

Every so often we shall change this sample of previously published posts.




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