Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I know better than to ask much more of life than a hunt in a tub

when it rains at The Blue
Remembered Hills™. 

Widely understood to be
the basic news of the
world for many in the
incurable adventurer set,
its travel entries take 
us through one comfy hotel
suite for strategic napping 
after another, from Rome to 
the Riviera to London to 
Vancouver. I, for one, fol-
low our roving romantics in 
only the keenest interest in how they take their eggs at Claridge's and Manhattans in Canada, with the squirmiest 
sense that Scott and the
Murphys are in awe of their revenge. But it is below the bar, in the Comments section, where the mayhem they inspire results in the swappage of tales too delicious for premeditation.

I put it to you, that only the other day, a reader wrote in to boast of doing away with a fox in his bath. Now this quality of élan in the getting through of one's day is so gallopingly disappearing, that we were all put on notice, to get on with the revels in our own tub at once.

They are, you know, everywhere, these bathers of high invention. It remains only to exchange profiles and preferences in poaching. I know better than to ask much more of life, than a seasonable hunt in a city of high rainfall and plush linens; and when I heard that our travelers were off to the wettest resort in the continent, I knew the thread count would be sublime.

And should it not be? Growing up, you know, they teach us that it is bellhops, who have all the fun. Well, who knew, that it is their wit for hotel habitation, not some occupational quirk which makes this so. I credit BRH™ with drawing this distinction (and so many fine ones like it). Moreover, I can't believe it goes too far to cite the multilinguality of bellhops as among the more natural of their advantages in hotel habitation, where it isn't a veritable cascade of tongues which counts so much, as the right one for any given traveler. Connoisseurs of the narrative of the bathtub hunt have much to be thankful for, that English is so well assimilated at BRH™, and that our fellows enjoy setting foot out of town with such free fancy.

And yet, you ask, can it fairly represent our most cultivated of connoisseurs and faultlessly companionable of duos, to portray their nappings as the rallying point of their readership? But surely this is a query for which no host can be answerable, in this era of sometimes detached retinas. We do remember their hotels, because they document their amenities with the tellingest discernment. Possibly a good natured speculation flows from fine fellowship and, as in any serviceable arterial bypass, invokes a vein of convenience to channel happy data to the healthy heart.

i  Clément Chabernaud


  1. Silvano/Gay CultesJuly 17, 2012 at 3:03 AM

    Belles photos !

    1. A coincidence I noticed, myself, cher Maître, arising naturally from the outbreak of any enthusiasm. But probably for all of us the merriest is also the most appealing, of young Chabernaud engrossed in his dressing room, reading "The Blue Remembered Hills™" in folio edition. How I do long to give myself that subscription some day, when a space opens up in the list. The moleskine scale is perfect for the style and conduct of the page, and corresponds deliciously with the ideal of portability which its many relais encourage.

  2. Although we have never met, I feel a bond of friendship with "Blue" and The Celt. Barry's blog posts must be much like a conversation with him, I must imagine, as yours reflect the poetry of your thoughts.

    1. BL and the Celt are delicious at spoofing themselves, with a running "after 30 years, now you tell me" jest and excruciating remarks on identifying mannerisms - apart from the occasional faux rant, as in the plastic packaging masterpiece. The page is an exceedingly porous bond of friendship, as you say, with a broad range of avid readers, and I only hope this affectionate spoof is seen for what it is, a hallucination with just enough traction to be recognisable.

  3. It is rare that the Celt finds himself at a loss for words, but this is one such occasion.

    The cause, however, is not, as might be expected (and rightly so), bashfulness at the extravagant and quite undeserved flattery... nor surprise at having one's travels, cocktail preferences – even one's naps – recounted, reviewed and reinterpreted, as might the flight of a flock of birds be augured by an accent seer… nor yet astonishment at the verbal tour de force (for one has come to expect nothing less chez RMBL).

    No, I confess this temporarily inability to speak is entirely due to the snorts of laughter provoked by the reading of this charming and hilarious homage.

    And yet… I am now aware that, for one supposedly at a loss for words, I've written quite a few. Therefore it remains only to say: thank you, and please keep up your delicious verbal funabulism on this and the many other topics which so delight us. The admiration is quite mutual.

    The Celt

    1. Oh, I thank you very much for the corrupting effect of your kind note. We shall all laugh some more, it's great to believe. Happy wishes to all at BRH.

  4. Dear Laurent,

    I'm the fellow who destroyed the fox in the bath-tub. Just for the record?....it belongs (she still has it, by the way)to an elderly, longtime Charlottesville friend who lives in a five-story, semi-crumbling, 1850 brick house, which is filled with snapping sealyhams and ancient parrots (the oldest was given, as a mature adult, to her MOTHER as a wedding present and has been named "Zelda" since the famous one was first snatching headlines). Don't you live in Charlottesville, by the way?

    Anyway....the fox was equally old.....a ragged thing chewed on by mice over the years, knocked over many times (the tail was broken, which was disconcerting) and perched up on a bookshelf. I offered to "restore" it, claiming that would be "easy". I took it home with me and more or less forgot about it (I have a lot of inept taxidermy in my own old house, so the fox didn't seem unavoidably remarkable).

    the short version of the story is that one night I and a good friend/neighbor went through a 1.5 liter bottle of wine and, at 10 pm or so, rashly decided it was time to clean the fox. She'd brought "waterless" shampoo-for-cats. suffice it to say that the stuff didn't really work, but the fox did look sorta-maybe better.

    the disaster occurred when she decided to mix up some of the red hair dye she uses on her own head. I thought that was just a splendid idea. She mixed up the dye, I giddily poured it on the fox in the bathtub....and we both watched in horror as the fox began disintegrating....big hunks of taxidermied, tatty pelt suddenly falling off and revealing the wire-mesh substructure. Bascially, we'd destroyed the fox. You don't want to even read about the smell.

    We spent a good hour, having opened another bottle of wine to give us courage, trying to paste and mash the fox back together with elmer's wood glue (this doesn't work, in case you wonder, but it does make a strikingly original mess).

    By the time we were done (or, more accurately, had simply given up), the fox like Sid Vicious after a bad night. We tied a plaid bow on its neck, but that didn't do much to alter the effect.

    I mailed it back to her. Fortunately for me, she's more than ever delighted with it. she's placed it in an even more prominent position in her front room and claims that one of her greatest pleasures these days is having folks in for their first visit. She makes a point of sitting directly below the fox and claims there's always a point in the conversation when the guest's eyes wander a bit above her head....and then they suddenly stop talking. It is, to be honest, truly horrifying looking. folks assume the poor thing was torn apart by a pack of dogs before being preserved (somehow) as a trophy.

    I did commission a very fine local artist (who makes all sorts of animal sculptures from recycled materials) to make her an artificial fox, but she doesn't like it as much as the original. Apparently, it doesn't scare guests nearly so much.

    In any case (and if you live in Charlottesville), I've provided enough clues that, if you go over to the Hysterical District, you could probably identify the house. If you pass by at night, you can see the fox through the front drawing room window.

    And now I'll go on to reading your other entries. I think this is my second visit to your blog.

    Level best as Ever,

    david Terry

    1. Even with these generous clarifications I see no diminution in the chivalry I observed in your confidance to Blue, of undertaking this struggle in the bath, and on the contrary, dear Sir, the solicitude for the corpse becomes you. I think.