Monday, March 13, 2006


toadI thought of telling you about Friday night but I don’t feel like it right now. I considered telling you about the time I was intimidated by dassies (yes, you read that right!) at the Zimbabwe Ruins but thought that could wait for another day. I know you’d like to hear about the lost tribes of Israel and their connection with the Lemba people of the northern parts of South Africa but that would take too much effort.

Are you beginning to wonder if this blog is becoming a travelogue about gay-land and southern Africa? It’s understandable if you are.

Anyway, instead of those things I won’t be telling you, I’ll leave you with a poem, ‘Toads’, by Philip Larkin:

Why should I let the toad work
Squat on my life?
Can't I use my wit as a pitchfork
And drive the brute off?

Six days of the week it soils
With its sickening poison -
Just for paying a few bills!
That's out of proportion.

Lots of folk live on their wits:
Lecturers, lispers,
Losels, loblolly-men, louts-
They don't end as paupers;

Lots of folk live up lanes
With fires in a bucket,
Eat windfalls and tinned sardines-
they seem to like it.

Their nippers have got bare feet,
Their unspeakable wives
Are skinny as whippets - and yet
No one actually starves.

Ah, were I courageous enough
To shout Stuff your pension!
But I know, all too well, that's the stuff
That dreams are made on:

For something sufficiently toad-like
Squats in me, too;
Its hunkers are heavy as hard luck,
And cold as snow,

And will never allow me to blarney
My way of getting
The fame and the girl and the money
All at one sitting.

I don't say, one bodies the other
One's spiritual truth;
But I do say it's hard to lose either,
When you have both.


Blogger kyknoord said...

The bonds chafe, do they not?

1:32 pm  
Blogger Caroline said...

If toads are work what are frogs?

BTW Your word of the day is "parvenu" - I wondered if it meant anything other than "nouveau riche" but when I clicked on it I got:

1. A large and imposing residence.
2. The residence of a clergyman (especially a Presbyterian clergyman).

I had to look again to see that I had the definition for manse...

have you been playing with the links?

qiwadpz? Quite Interesting Wad puzzle?

4:09 pm  
Blogger Reluctant Nomad said...

kyknoord: they chafe more than wearing a wet swimming costume filled with beach sand!

caroline: frogs make eggs that are turned into nursery food - much nicer than toads. They also have legs that frogs of another variety eat - never tried them but, I assume, still nicer than toads.

I have been playing with my links but not with my word of the day link. I can only assume that should manse have followed parvenu and they are both synonyms for a clergyman's residence, the choice of word may not be random but may be linked in some way to the preceding word.

wad puzzle? I'll be a bit graphic now - I assume you know what shooting your wad means? So, perhaps, a wad puzzle refers to a puzzling wad, ie wad produced by means unknown. Which reminds me, 'map of Africa' (sort of appropriate for this blog) is sometimes used for the stain left on sheets after someone has shot his wad. Oops, too much information, I know! :-)

8:12 pm  
Blogger Babsbitchin said...

I love blinding wit! smack, did you see that,go by? Love it.xoxo

8:30 pm  
Anonymous xmichra said...

* sigh *.. oh to be skinny as a whippet... heh.

10:49 pm  
Blogger Tammy said...

Ahhh I dated a toad once, he took on another form but the truth is - he had to be a toad :)
I have never been to zim, need you to do a piece like you did on Botswana, although I fear I missed the boat on Zim, Uncle Bob seems to be a bit of a toad (in the politest way one could say it) in how he is turning Zim into the wart of Africa.

11:19 pm  
Blogger Reluctant Nomad said...

babs: I was blinded years ago! By the sun that shines out of my behind.

xmichra: those animals are positively anorexic!

tammy: Funnily enough, it seems that Zim can still be a great place to visit (despite petrol and other shortages) - although Bob has created such misery and suspicion there, tourists are welcome and the innate friendliness of the Zim people is still there.

9:47 am  
Blogger Guyana-Gyal said...

I want to live off my wit, but I don't have I'll have to sew more wall hangings, handbags, etc. sigh.

7:36 pm  
Blogger Reluctant Nomad said...

guyana-gyal: you have LOADS of wit!! You just need to learn how to make money from it.

8:00 am  

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