Friday, 11 December 2009

A literary critic cricket

Ever a dedicated follower of fashion, I'm not going to be left out of a current blog trend to feature insects and spiders. I need do no more than mention recent offerings from:


1. Rog (a spider, natural enough on the www), and

2. Z (an ant, a Portuguese paradigm for pulling our weight but not overdoing it, a very comfortable philosophy)

- and if you want chapter and verse for these you'll have to click on the Followers thumbnails just over there on the right, because in my immeasurable computer thickness I've never learned how to insert a hyperlink, if that's what it's called.

Anyway, here's my offering. Actually it's not a cricket at all, it's a grasshopper. It's had its fill of English Literature (Part 1) and is hopping off to where the grass is greener. Grasshoppers are much more likely than crickets to leap off into the unknown, not having the slightest idea where they may end up. In summer I can hardly complete a length of the pool without having to stop to rescue some venturesome soul who's launched himself into the wide blue yonder, only to discover that the w.b.y. is indeed blue but is also very wet. Once in the water they kick wildly and unavailingly, sometimes for so long that their legs come off. Mostly I take them in the palm of my hand, make for the edge in a sort of treading-water-cum-doggy-paddle, and then shake them or blow them on to dry land, making certain that they face away from the pool, otherwise they jump back in again. Swimming here can become one long intervention on behalf of the RSPCI. As for the ladybirds...

...but my theme was crickets and grasshoppers. At this time of year they think about finding somewhere warm to spend the winter. How they get indoors is a mystery, but we find them, vine crickets especially, all through the house. Not in any great quantity, but here and there, beside the extractor fan, inside the piano, behind the paintings that seem to feature inordinately in this blog and so on. Some crickets lurk in the bookshelves. This I can understand. Clearly they're looking to spend an agreeable winter in the pages of Wisden.

28 comments:

Dave said...

Hmmm.

Christopher said...

No, Dave, they go 'whirr-whirr-whirr'. It's bees you're thinking of.

UberGrumpy said...

Envy - all the crickets here are long dead. We spent the summer not far from Languedoc (Saignon) and you took me right back.

Dave said...

Surely crickets go 'owzat'.

Christopher said...

UG: Saignon's about 3 hours from here. Summer crickets sound like entire populations of distant towns shaking maracas far into the night. Then if you add the cicadas you're liable to end up as deaf as crickets that hibernate in the piano
...

Dave: Only when there's a possibility of being put out.

Rog said...

Surely the bat population are there to take care of them?

Christopher said...

Too well-oiled, usually.

patroclus said...

When I was living in the Languedoc I foolishly chose the sound of cicadas as my mobile phone ringtone. I don't think I ever noticed the phone ringing once.

patroclus said...

PS Isn't the 'insert a hyperlink' button right next to the 'insert a picture' button?

Christopher said...

Oh, I know, I know, Patroclus. But what are mere directions?

But I will try. My next post may involve

http://www.vimeo.com/5629970

- so this is advance notice in case I make a complete mess of it. Recommended by I,LTV and Mel (when I say recommended I mean they mentioned it in passing). But you have to have Grade 1 French. And the sound on. Meuh.

*thinks: so that's why she never answered the phone. She should have had cows mooing.*

Vicus Scurra said...

I have nothing to say, as usual, but felt that it behoved me to let me know that I am taking an interest.

Christopher said...

Vicus, you are a byword in these parts for profundity of thought, clarity of expression and grace of style, and there's always a cup for you on the daily tea-tray and a tumbler etched with the Scurra arms beside the nightcap decanter, but I'm sorry to say I find this comment baffling. You mean that it's to your advantage to inform yourself that you're taking an interest?

Sarah said...

I should think the vine crickets are desperately hanging on to the underside of every bot de vino you take in each night....duh

Rog said...

My phone has a tree-frog but Cicadas would work equally well in the 3 mile radius within East Angular in which I am located.

Dave said...

Rog is located in a 3-mile radius? Is this the limit of movement his ASBO allows?

Dave said...

My ringtone, not surprisingly, is Booker T. & the M.G.'s "Soul Limbo".

I sometimes think the radio is on when my 'phone rings.

Christopher said...

I expect they do, Sarah. Blue bottles, is it, in your case? Are you really a G&T ladette?

Rog: Very sticky pads, tree-frogs. Makes LBW decisions so much easier.

Dave (1): Is this a rhetorical question?

Dave (2): I would have thought the Manic Street Preachers would have been more in your line.

Tim Footman said...

I got entirely the wrong end of the stick (insect) and am now trying to concoct a Firzt XI of literary critics. FR Leavis strikes me as a pugnacious opening bat; TS Eliot an eccentric spinner; Clive James sardonic keeper. Beyond that, I'm stumped, as it were.

I, Like The View said...

my head was tuneless today, but now I'm feeling kinky

(my youngest has a tune that plays thru your earpiece when you ring her phone, she thinks it's a kind of vintage retro theme: Who You Gonna Call?)

Christopher said...

Hello Tim! My goodness, it's good to see you again. Thanks so much for dropping by. I have to say no one else haz litt on this aspect of this poste, even Sarah, the lamb, who's probably putting her pinker literary long johns on as I allow this effluvium to bloom...can I stop now?

(Enjoyed The Noughties. Bravo!)

Christopher said...

Good evening, I,LTV. Feeling kinky? You'd better not go within 3 miles of Rog.

Sorry you had a rough night. You'll sleep the sounder for it tonight.

Dave said...

You, of course, do realise what Booker T. & the M.G.'s "Soul Limbo" is. I wonder how many of your readers do?

Christopher said...

Dave! How could you doubt us? We'll all have our ears glued to BBC cricket from the very first smack of willow on leather next spring.

(I speak of willow hawk moths and leatherjackets, of course.)

Christopher said...

PS

*thinks: I bet Dave thinks I looked it up*

Christopher said...

PPS


- and he's right.

Z said...

It makes me happy to think that someone else rescues small multi-legged creatures from drowning. Do you talk kindly to them too, or is that impossibly girly and therefore just me?

Christopher said...

J. sometimes mimics me saying 'Come on, little fellow, out you come!',Z

Z said...

Now I'm really happy. Dave could tell you of the conversations I had with various insects that were at risk of being smothered with mortar or drowned back in the summer. And of course you know of my fondness for snails.