Annotations and comments

Sasha Clarkson has posted 752 annotations/comments since 16 February 2013.


Second Reading

About Friday 7 October 1664

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link


On his past form, if Sam had struck first, he's have been writing something like "God forgive me!" Then he'd have been wallowing in misery and self-pity for the rest of the day.

I'd guess that today he woke up feeling grumpy, made a sarcastic comment or two, and Bess clobbered him, after which they enjoyed making up.

I seem to recall that, describing his childhood in his memoirs, the late John Mortimer described "mutual torment" as "the chief pleasure of family life".

About Thursday 6 October 1664

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

I wonder whether the chine of beef was "rare" because it was unusual, or because it was lightly cooked? Rib beef is excellent when it's pink.

About Thursday 6 October 1664

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

I've just had a look at my local Ordinance Survey Map. The bay north of Tenby Harbour is marked as "Tenby Roads". In the summer season most of the boats are moored here, rather than in the harbour itself.

This is because
(1) The harbour doesn't always have water in it
(2) When the harbour is full, it's difficult to manoeuvre individual boats out of it.

So what's the point of the harbour, I hear you ask? Well, if on a fine evening one sees that the boats are in the harbour, and not moored in the bay, it means that south-easterly winds are forecast, or a storm is due. Although the roads give adequate protection from the prevailing westerlies, the harbour keeps the boats safe in really adverse conditions.

According to the OED, the use of "road" (or rode, rede etc) in the sense of a safe anchorage goes back to at least 1320. Today, the official nautical term is "roadstead".…

About Saturday 1 October 1664

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

JayW: back in the late 1960s, we used to sing a rude song at school, with approximately your verse as chorus:

"It was on the Bridge at midnight,
Throwing snowballs at the moon ..."

The original song was "She was Poor But She was Honest" 😇

There are quite a few versions on YouTube.…

About Wednesday 28 September 1664

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Today being National Poetry Day in the UK, I thought two little quatrains by William Blake (brought together by Dante Gabriel Rossetti) might be appropriate to mock poor Sam's worldliness:

"Since all the riches of this world
May be gifts from the Devil and earthly kings,
I should suspect that I worshipp’d the Devil
If I thank’d my God for worldly things.

The countless gold of a merry heart,
The rubies and pearls of a loving eye,
The idle man never can bring to the mart,
Nor the cunning hoard up in his treasury."

About A new chart of Pepys’ wealth

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Thank-you Phil: fascinating! :)

What the diary also reveals is how Sam's spending increased too. Also, presumably not included in his accounts, were such goods as the silver plate* (mentioned in passing at the end of 1666), which would also have had a considerable monetary value if need be.

*"... I am come to abound in good plate ...", 31/12/1666…

About Thursday 22 September 1664

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

"he did give me some advice, though not so good as he would have done at any other time of the year"

I think it was Warren himself who suggested to Sam that this was the wrong time of year for doing deals?

About Wednesday 14 September 1664

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Thank you Louse :)

Also for the record, it's worth noting that the Quaker Oats Company has never had any connection whatsoever with the Religious Society of Friends. The brand was trademarked in 1877 by one Henry D. Seymour, who had read an encyclopaedia article about Quakers.…

Given that the company has been involved in very un-Quakerish enterprises, such as arms manufacture, Friends strongly dislike their enforced association with the brand. Having had a Quaker upbringing myself, I can confirm this from personal experience.

About Tuesday 13 September 1664

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Aphra Behn was a remarkable woman in many ways: traveller, spy, playwright novelist and poet.

My favourite poem of hers is 'The Libertine'

A THOUSAND martyrs I have made,
All sacrificed to my desire,
A thousand beauties have betray'd
That languish in resistless fire:
The untamed heart to hand I brought,
And fix'd the wild and wand'ring thought.

I never vow'd nor sigh'd in vain,
But both, tho' false, were well received;
The fair are pleased to give us pain,
And what they wish is soon believed:
And tho' I talk'd of wounds and smart,
Love's pleasures only touch'd my heart.

Alone the glory and the spoil
I always laughing bore away;
The triumphs without pain or toil,
Without the hell the heaven of joy;
And while I thus at random rove
Despise the fools that whine for love.

She was criticised in her lifetime for her "masculine" style; I think she was describing herself: Aphra was an alpha female!…
(I find the Lely portrait unconvincing: it looks like just another Stuart belle to me; the others seem much more in tune with what we know of her ...)

About Thursday 8 September 1664

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Damn! There's always a sensible explanation :(

I had visions of a "decayed merchant" zombie Mr Mercer, limbering through Crutched Friars & Hart Street at night, attacking the unwary and eating their brains ...

About Thursday 1 September 1664

Sasha Clarkson  •  Link

Funnily enough Louise, I haven't heard "scrod" used up north.

Many northerners are perfectly genteel of course. I remember a colleague of mine in Peterlee (Geordie-ish) who crossly told another colleague "Thoo gan 'n see a taxidoermist!"

Chocolate Cherry Cake recipe:

200g flour
1 level tsp baking powder
200g salted butter
200g dark muscovado sugar
4 eggs
150g rich 70%+ chocolate, broken into pieces
2 liquidised bananas
450 g chopped morello glacé cherries, soaked in rum/sherry for 24 hours

Blend in food processor, then add and mix cherries by hand.

Makes ane 7” round cake & a taster
bake for 3 (ish) hours in greased GP-paper lined tin @ 300 Farenheit

Decorate with chocolate icing and M&Ms

Eat cold or warm with cream.