How clever can you get?

How clever can you get?

I liked these piled up and shamelessly outrageous examples of cleverness, although of their various skills, the first is the most impressive, suggesting an astonishing level of practical competence and dexterity. It deserves to enter the language as standard:...
Bread and coins

Bread and coins

This intriguing picnic caught my eye, in particular the honey-water soaked barley bread. “… straight to Pluto’s palace. But don’t forget to take with you two pieces of barley bread soaked in honey water, one in each hand, and two coins in your...
Onion-outlined turnmoil

Onion-outlined turnmoil

Such a detailed description of a passing light effect created by a boat moving through night waters. Particularly original is that ‘onion-outlined’ churn. ‘A boat, its dark shape looking faintly ominous, sculled towards the island and broke the...
Helot-haunted lowlands

Helot-haunted lowlands

Helots were the serfs of ancient Sparta, from the town of Laconia and only a notch above slaves. They were sometimes induced to appear drunkenly before the youths of Sparta in order to put these respectable kids off getting trashed.  An interesting approach, wonder if...
Cormorant-haunted castle

Cormorant-haunted castle

An abandoned fortress, occupied only by cormorants.  No wonder, the human inhabitants probably fled an atmosphere described as the ‘architecture of hatred’. ‘The great storm beaten and cormorant-haunted castle at Coroni as “the architecture of...
Pard-like stubble

Pard-like stubble

I can only imagine this refers to a patchy or spotted colour combination, as ‘pard’ means leopard or panther, or another animal resembling either. ‘Perhaps this permanent pard-like stubble …’ Source: Patrick Leigh Fermor, Mani: Travels in...
My kinda cats I

My kinda cats I

This short description of the street cats of Istanbul pullulates with lively triologisms.  If you enjoy these chaps, then see My Kinda Cats II and My Kinda Cats III, and meet the noble creatures who enrich the gene pool of island cats. ‘They are to be seen at...
Caique-dwelling tom

Caique-dwelling tom

Leigh Fermor’s Mani has a fine selection of memorable cats.  I liked this description of the limited gene pools of island cats being occasionally expanded by a passing tom-cat enjoying a fecund night of shore-leave. For other cats and cat customs noted by Leigh...
Home sweet home

Home sweet home

In Patrick Leigh Fermor’s telling of it, the Mani region of Greece comprises two harsh elements: searing sunlight and endless stoniness.  Here, a Maniot sums it up with what appears to be characteristic pithiness. “When God had finished making the world,...

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