Some more rain in the night & a little this morning. Some sunny periods, & not cold. Finished the flower garden. Planted two rows cabbage (36 plants). Cleared the place where the gooseberries are to go (it is too early to move them yet). Made experimentally a few briquettes of coal dust & clay. If successful will make a mould & a sieve for making them on a larger scale. Evidently it is important to use only fine dust, also one must have a large metal receptacle for mixing in.

Tonight found a kind of phosphorescent worm or millipede, a thing I have never seen or heard of before. Going out on the lawn I noticed some phosphorescence, & noticed that this made a streak which constantly grew larger. I thought it must be a glowworm, except that I had never seen a glowworm which left its phosphorescence behind. After searching with an electric torch found it was a long very slender wormlike creature with many thin legs down each side & two sort of antennae on the head. The whole length about 11/4”. Managed to catch him in a test-tube & bring him in, but his phosphorescence soon faded.

5 eggs.

6 Oct 1939

Pale yellow, very wriggly. (legs relatively thinner than this.)

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13 Responses to 6.10.39

  1. Pingback: Twitter Trackbacks for 6.10.39 « THE ORWELL PRIZE [orwelldiaries.wordpress.com] on Topsy.com

  2. Stephen says:

    Home-made briquettes and a mysterious phosphorous worm: can Orwell’s diary get any better than this? Plus an egg count!

    BUT hey where is the drawing of this pale yellow wrigling thing? I recall the blog included his attempts at sketching various animals and tools back in Morocco. They were fairly pathetic as I recall but then again, words are more Orwell’s forte. But I would be curious to see the worm – surely he couldn’t mess up drawing a worm.

  3. david walsh says:

    Breaking black out regulations, surely ?

  4. The Ridger says:

    Were the blackout regulations in place this early?

    I didn’t know you put clay in charcoal briquettes.

  5. I would like to know if the mysterious millipede in the test tube still glowed after it was removed from the centrifuge and then held over an etna.

    Was it actually a worm disguised as a millipede. Vice versa?

    Why does George have a stash of test tubes?

  6. @Stephen

    Apologies – we were having some camera issues. The worm has now turned (up).

  7. Steve says:

    Ridger, on 3.10.39 he included a newspaper clipping telling how to make briquettes from coal dust, so as not to let it go to waste. The recipe calls for a little clay as a binder, but now that you mention it, clay would explain the kind of ash that charcoal briquettes leave. Now I’m wondering: did he teach all his neighbors how to make briquettes from coal dust? Or did he solicit their coal dust to make briquettes himself?

    JL3rd, I wouldn’t be surprised if every educated upper class Brit had a stash of test tubes, even now. And an etna, whatever that is.

    And Stephen, I’ll bet making pen-and-ink sketches was part of their education. His might not be art, but if he had a book on millipede identification, he could probably get at least to genus with this description.

    OTOH, if my hypotheses about his education were correct, he’d know the difference between a worm and a millipede….

  8. “Yes, George, of course I know this latest blog post is code for something else.”

    This was later verified with a certain degree of certainty when further investigation revealed that there is no species of worm or millipede known to man that turns into a millipede or a worm and back again.

    Meanwhile: Etna = Bunsen Burner, more-or-less.

    Mad scientists have a minimum of one etna burning perpetually on their diabolical workbenches with glass flasks of bubbling weird stuff poised just above the vertical tubes with the flickering jets of yellow/blue flames distilling something into something utterly horrible and, apparently, threatening to, like, the survival of civilization and stuff.

  9. Stephen, looks like your call was heard – the post now includes a small sketch of the insect.

  10. Steve says:

    Re possible code: note the unusual specificity in the number of cabbage plants, and that the millipede has one fewer legs than the number of cabbage.

  11. Stephen says:

    Many thanks, diaries. It is an outstanding piece of artwork.

  12. AlanM, orwelldiaries, et al~~

    Thank you!

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