7.12.39

Very hard frost last night, which did not begin to thaw till after-noon. Thick mist in the evening. Mr R. turns over the frosted ground, digging the frost in, which he says kills the wireworms etc.

9 eggs.

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6 Responses to 7.12.39

  1. The Ridger says:

    Frost that lingers until the afternoon? Hooo boy. “Digging the frost in” – I never heard of that, but then again, our frost doesn’t stick around long enough to be dug in.

  2. Steve says:

    It might be the other way around: exposing soil to the cold surface temperatures, rather than allowing it to be insulated by the frozen surface layer, would indeed kill wireworms. But using a moldboard plow when the soil is too wet is really bad for soil structure.

    Here in the NW US (and many other places) temperatures were in the single digits F, and won’t get above 20°F today. Hard to imagine being out plowing — with horses, no less — today.

  3. In the Atlantic… The German pocket battleship Admiral Graf Spee sinks SS Streonshalh south of Trinidad. This is the ninth and last victim. Meanwhile, a British cruiser squadron sails towards the River Plate estuary, anticipating an interception of the German warship.

    Anecdotal evidence has been rumored to have shown that compulsive shoveling is actually quite common. I must confess that I, too, have shoveled extensively; in search of the perfect gradient. I am empathetic. I also imagine Orwell pondering from Inside the Whale about what is outside:

    While I have been writing this essay another European war has broken out. It will either last several years and tear Western civilization to pieces, or it will end inconclusively and prepare the way for yet another war which will do the job once and for all. But war is only ‘peace intensified’. What is quite obviously happening, war or no war, is the break-up of laissez-faire capitalism and of the liberal-Christian culture. Until recently the full implications of this were not foreseen, because it was generally imagined that socialism could preserve and even enlarge the atmosphere of liberalism. It is now beginning to be realized how false this idea was. Almost certainly we are moving into an age of totalitarian dictatorships—an age in which freedom of thought will be at first a deadly sin and later on a meaningless abstraction. The autonomous individual is going to be stamped out of existence.

  4. Max says:

    Orwell did not see the choice being laissez faire capitalism and totalitarianism. He wanted to see the end of laissez faire but replaced by a form of socialism which did allow individual freedom. He discussed this increasingly towards the end of is life, and that’s what Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty Four are about. He’s certainly not saying, ‘Bring back Jones!’

  5. The quote is concurrent with the time frame of this blog. The quote was posted as a hypothetical snapshot of Orwell’s synaptic behavior before/during/after hacking away at frozen mud. The quote stands on its own; it doesn’t mean anything other than what it says—and it says a lot and with precision.

  6. Max says:

    Quite right, and it shows how much better he got as he matured, like a fine wine. It’s a pity the bottle broke when it did.

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