Virginia Barton



In 1720, in a Letter of Advice to a Young Poet, Jonathan Swift wrote:

“. . .A commonplace book is what a provident poet cannot subsist without, for this proverbial reason, that ‘great wits have short memories:’ and whereas, on the other hand, poets, being liars by profession, ought to have good memories; to reconcile these, a book of this sort, is in the nature of a supplemental memory, or a record of what occurs remarkable in every day’s reading or conversation. There you enter not only your own original thoughts, (which, a hundred to one, are few and insignificant) but such of other men as you think fit to make your own, by entering them there. . .”

The “few and insignificant thoughts” are exactly what will be found here in Commonplaces.

19 July 2017: Beloved Snail

The “Snail” has broken cover! Come out from under a flower pot and is now rampant! Exposed to the rigours of the market.

14 July 2017: Bastille Day

It is said they only found one mad old man in the Bastille when they stormed it on this day in 1789. This info may well be fabricated and based on Dr Manette in “A Tale of Two Cities.”

7 July 2017: SW19

The title of this Commonplace has been referred to as “the most famous postcode in the world.” Hands up those who know where it is and to what it refers?

23 June 2017: “The Chickadees”

Community Singing is a very binding experience: disparate circles or cliques raise their voices together without rancour; friendships are formed and spin-offs abound. International bodies might learn a thing or two from this.

16 June 2017: The afternoon rest

As children we resented the after-lunch rest, particularly when the sun was high and the weather warm. These days you can’t keep me from my bed after lunch.

3 June 2017: A flutter on the horses

My mother once put ten bob on “Pearl Diver” to win the Derby and he did, and there was exuberant celebrating. How and where she put her bet I don’t know, possibly with the milkman.

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