23.11.38

Weather fine & warm, not particularly hot. Fires some evenings. When it is reasonably clear the snow peaks on the Atlas now seem so close that one would think them only a few miles away (actually 50-100 miles I suppose.) Nearly all the seeds, except marigolds, sweet peas & nasturtiums have done very badly & most have failed to germinate, no doubt owing to having been kept for years in stock. It seems difficult here to grow any small flowers, which are easily killed by the heat & drought. Gardens mostly specialize in shrubs.

Paid Frs. 31.50 for a measure of wheat (round about 40lb. = about 1d a lb.)

Have been ill (chest) since 16th. Got up yesterday & somewhat better today.

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16 Responses to 23.11.38

  1. Jordi Fibla says:

    So he was bed-ridden? Got up to see the British consul, Mr. Parr? And after the long chatter with this nice man he felt better? So this explain why he didn’t write anything since 16th? Just “one egg” or “two eggs”. I bet those eggs went to his chest-ailing patient consommés. We made a lot of jokes about his hens and their scarce eggs, and now perhaps it’s time to feel a little ashamed.

  2. Von Wereknel says:

    Ashamed? Not at all. Orwell himself, in my view, would’ve seen the comedy in the repeated statements on the amount of eggs, and the people that were getting frustrated as such.

  3. The mention of his illness is ominous. Only twelve more years to live…

  4. “Some days back” is how Orwell begins the sentence which ends, “visiting the British consul.” I am therefore compelled to believe that his meeting with Robert Parr preceded his being rendered bedridden.

    Nevertheless, the first two paragraphs of Orwell’s “VILLA SIMONT, 22.11.38″ post are precisely the type of nuggets for which I’ve been mining this wormhole. I could barely contain myself as I read them for the first time.

    I laughed out loud as, at the end of maybe the longest vignette to-date, he blows off the antagonist of said vignette as a lower-echelon know-nothing who had only succeeded in wasting his precious time [I’ll bring it right back, one of these days].

    In closing, I assert that either the trip to the consul or Parr himself infected Orwell and therein is revealed the real shame–what has become infamous as–The One Egg, Two Egg Conundrum.

  5. Silas says:

    I wonder if he ever thought his smoking was dragging his health down.

  6. itwasntme says:

    See? I told you the nasturtiums would come up no problem.

    I’m wondering why the tags do not reference his remarks about his health. That tag should be added I think.

  7. Natalie says:

    Owning or owing?

    Typo? Orwell’s or transcribers. Or accurate and British v. American?

    I guess GFE (Google F*ing Exists).

  8. dave says:

    Can someone explain the money to me?

    What is a franc worth in pounds,what is 1d, how much would a shirt cost or whatever…

    Confused and feeling I’me missing something…..

    Natalie,I’me pretty sure owning is UK for owing (US) Or at least 1930’s speak ,if you get my drift..

    In 1938 75% of doctors proffered (sp?) Camels (cigarettes,not animals) Except in Morocco where 80% of doctors liked both

  9. dave says:

    Can someone explain the money to me?

    What is a franc worth in pounds,what is 1d, how much would a shirt cost or whatever…

    Confused and feeling I’me missing something…..

    Natalie,I’me pretty sure owning is UK for owing (US) Or at least 1930’s speak ,if you get my drift..

    In 1938 75% of doctors proffered (sp?) Camels (cigarettes,not animals) Except in Morocco where 80% of doctors liked both

  10. 1d is a penny (or an impossibly short nail). The symbol comes from the Latin denarius through the French denier. There are 240 pennies to the pound sterling. A 16d nail is 3.25in [8.255cm or 0.1806 cubits] long.

    It might be fun to google the exchange rates for 23November1938. It might be even more fun to google what a euro would have been worth back then.

  11. dave says:

    JL3 thanks…..a bit…… So 15 3.25″ nails is worth a pound? That must have been during the International Nail Shortage…(all used in building the Ark…??)

    Anyone have a less “nail oriented” view of economics back then-in the UK or in morocco, ie what cost how much,what were wages etc.

    I’me calculating that one pound is 190 Francs…

    Maybe by 2009 one pound won’t even buy you a pack of matches,or maybe it will buy you 2000 packs…We will all be setting rabbit snares and keeping our own hens…

    Just wondering

  12. Ed Webb says:

    The near-far Atlas,
    The brave, struggling small flowers,
    And somewhat better

  13. Jake says:

    What did he do with a measure of wheat, I wonder? Forty pounds seems like a lot. Was it milled? In flour form? Cereal? Or maybe it was for his animals. Goats will eat almost anything. Horses, oats and barley. Any ideas?

  14. Jake says:

    PS: Earlier he speaks of feeding his goat barley and, in a pinch, boiled maize, but I have not read all entries.

  15. base says:

    Hey, where’s the egg(s)?

  16. yosefj says:

    I wonder if he ever thought his smoking was dragging his health down.

    http://www.paledu.info/vb

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