31.10.38

Ditto. One egg. Inside bad again.

Fruit on sale here much resembling a strawberry, but full of pips & has an unpleasant sour taste.

Put paraffin on water in the fountain yesterday. About 30 square feet, & about a cupful of paraffin covered it. Mosquito larvae all dead by this morning.

The plough used here has a crossbar which passes under the bellies of the two draft animals, & to this are attached the yokes – wooden for oxen & sackcloth for horses etc. Oxen, mules, horses & even donkeys used for ploughing. Two different animals sometimes yoked together.

The ploughman walks on the already ploughed side & holds the handle with one hand, changing at each furrow. The share is only a sort of hollow iron point fitted over a wooden rod. The whole structure can be easily carried over the shoulder. Absence of wheel makes it far harder to guide.

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12 Responses to 31.10.38

  1. “Fruit on sale here much resembling a strawberry, but full of pips & has an unpleasant sour taste.”
    Arbutus-berry ?

  2. dave says:

    He’s gonna starve to death @ this rate…

  3. Orwell remarked in his essay “Marrakech” that it was common to see a cow and a donkey yoked together to plow the fields. Two cows would have been too expensive to feed, but two donkeys wouldn’t have provided enough power. In the same essay he characterized the Moroccan plow as “wretched” and “frail,” which, from the description he provides in the diary, sounds about right.

  4. art brennan says:

    A lot depends on what the Moroccan guy was planting. The plow sounds light and convenient, especially if you don’t have a wagon.

  5. I’m more interested in the eggs. Why was today’s “bad.” What’s wrong with the rest of the hens–don’t they lay?

  6. Jose says:

    The pictures look like de prehistoric pictures in caves´ walls from Spanish or France. Also like the pictures in “The little prince”. I would say they are closer to poetry than the last days reports (haikus in prose).

  7. Natalie says:

    Wait, did he tell us that yesterday’s egg was bad? Did he eat it anyway?

    The people deserve to know!

  8. Ed Webb says:

    Natalie – he has only now told us that yesterday’s was bad. He is a master of suspense and surprise.

  9. dave says:

    You can’t make an omlette without…

    This was his inspiration for his later writing-the force field of his inspiration;of such small insights a greater wisdom was born,a man,be he ever so humble,is allowed a glimpse into the works of the creator (of eggs)…Doubt not,gentle readers that never were such moments of…

    Ed: etc etc,enough

    On a more serious note,as a farm boy who had chickens,and collected eggs;

    1)if you don’t collect them promptly they can “go bad” (don’t ask)

    2)sometimes,if your unlucky, your egg had a “blood spot” (fertilized egg) or worse a small embryo in it. I think I used to have 4 year old’s nightmares about those. Free range is good, but our chickens were a bit too free.

  10. George~~

    Don’t listen to them! I reiterate: Your draftsmanship is utterly impeccable.

    They walked beside the plough, eh? Clever way to space the furrows and vary the scenery, I suspect.

    I’m having another one of my Vincent van Gogh Flashbacks and Led Zeppelin’s How Many More Times (12 January 1969) is wafting.

  11. Pingback: 3rdBlog

  12. M. Serapis says:

    The thing that most strikes me is, here is a man capable of the most profound thinking on society, government, writing, etc. Yet also capable enough even when sick to run a small farm. One wonders at his other possible capabilities. In our modern society I fear we are far more specialized and far more disconnected from everything else. A modern man of political thought would never know how to kill the mosquitos in the fountain, he would hire someone. A modern man of thought would never fight in a foreign civil war for ideals. He would merely write about it. Mr. Blair was rather different, but I believe the historical evidence shows that many men of his age and before were far more multi-faceted than todays ilk. I would argue that this broadness of knowledge and experience is what made Mr. Blair and those before him the great thinkers and doers they were.

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