Yes, time has flewn.

It’s August 16.  The Season is underway.



August 12th, aka the Glorious 12th, is the official opening of the British Grouse Hunting/Game season. glorious12th_2639040b

In pre-industrial Britain, wild birds graced many a table. Seagulls, vultures, small songbirds, ducks and geese were all carved with “earnestness of purpose”.

Readers of the anonymously-written book, The Perfect Gentleman, or Etiquette and Eloquence, learned plenty of fowl verbs.



Carving as science. And manners. If you used the wrong term in relation to carving the bird, it was considered to be an unpardonable affront to etiquette.

A primer:

You rear a goose, fract a chicken,



sauce a capon, unbrace a mallard,


dismember a heron,


disfigure a peacock, display a crane,


untach a curlew,



unjoin a bittern, allay a pheasant, wing a quail, and mince a plover.



The world was my oyster but I used the wrong fork.

Oscar Wilde was firmly committed to the pursuit of pleasures in posh circles, but unlike our anonymous writer, felt some things were too important to be taken seriously.



Wilde wrote a play, The Vital Importance of Being EarnestA Trivial Comedy for Serious People.  The comedy of manners was a wild success. As was the movie, hundreds of years later, starring the devotion-worthy Colin Firth.

I wonder if Wilde read The Perfect Gentleman. If he did, he probably skipped this chapter.  His take on the English country gentleman and the hunt? The unspeakable in full pursuit of the uneatable.

Toni 8/16/14






A Note on the Wide-Awake Life from Isabel, WWWW’s guest blogger


#71 I, Isabel Scheherazade, leader of the wide-awake life, who writes things down so I can catch them to think about later, Remember Something Mom Always Said to Me. Sorry for the caps, but it shows emphasis. (Hey, I’m “in charge of this blog” as Pop says to me.)


Isabel, come see! You’re going to love this! Mom was always finding something in nature that she was sure I didn’t want to miss. Most of the time she was right.

Not always.

Like the time Mr. Cardinalas Mom called him, was wooing Mrs. Cardinal with bugs and sunflower seed. I mean, it was interesting, just not so interesting that I wanted to sit still for a ton of time to see the courtship unfold.

But do you know?  I can still feel her calling out to me. Not the actual words–just the THUMP of the words.

Think about the rhythm a poem has.

If “ISABEL, come see! You’re going to LOVE THIS!” were a poem, it would have 10 or 11 syllables or parts. So what I feel–a lot–is this vibration with the first three syllables and the last two. It’s like they’re accented or whatever it’s called in poetry.

What happens when I feel these vibes?

I look around for something I might be missing.

ISABEL (I guess you’d say this was a story from the Way-Back-Seat-of-My-Memories. A mini story with a major impact.)

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