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.

4 August 2017: Pot & Kettle, Splinter & Plank

The Nurse handed me a pamphlet called something like “The Benefits to Seniors of Losing Weight, and How to Go About it.” It was brightly coloured with a logo of a fat person with a dismal Smiley face, and a thin person with a cheerful one.

22 July 2017: A Little Extra

Many apologies, humbles (remember those?) and a breast-beating mea culpa. Do admit it is not like me to be so rude. It’s the excitement of the “Snail” of course, emerging from hiding, and creating small havoc.

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?

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