Friday, 29 June 2007

Chewing Spleenwort in a cave

When I turned up at the surgery this morning George was musing on the conflict that exists between wanting harmony between all people, and all people wanting something different from everyone else. It was a bit early for me, so I suggested he do some filing.

Some time in the past, George was a well-known personality in the Quantock Hills on account of his knowing every sort of fern that covered them. He was also uncommonly interested in the effects of the Spleenwort, a type of fern reputed to solve splenic poor attitude, something Bessy had an excess of during our walk this morning.

Mr Clobwright was also with poor attitude (as usual). His descendants, he tells me, were the first Britons to fashion large pieces of wood into things to hit people over the head with. Felix holds the view that it was far easier to invent things in the old days because everything was yet to be invented. Given the red rotundity of Mr Clobwright's face I didn't mention this, but congratulated him on his family's good fortune. Whether mankind in general has been as fortunate I couldn't say.

It does make me wonder, though, if George had been around when Mr Clobwright's ancestor was in the process of fashioning his first piece of wood, if a little Spleenwort mixed into his tobacco pouch might not have had an amazing effect on the history of the world. But then, they weren't chewing tobacco in those days were they?

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