Monday, December 09, 2019


Several years ago my apartment mate decided to call me "Toad", as she considered me in some ways similar to that character in Wind In The Willows, a formative work of fiction for both of us. This was before she found out what had happened to my car. Which only cemented to the idea in her mind.


It is a difficult for me to see that resemblance. Personally nowadays something between the badger and an angry mongoose who has found inner peace is more like it. But I identify as human.

I think of myself as a kindly and avuncular chap. But it is evident that others may have different opinions, which are wrong.

As evidence of my warm-spirited humanity I mention that I walk on my two hind legs and am not covered with dense hair.

Also, some of my personal habits.

Hong Kong style milk tea: a beverage of which I am fond, and indulge in several times each week, in bakeries down in Chinatown, near which I live, and where I tend to hang out.

Curry: having grown up among Anglos and Dutchmen, curry is a natural fit. Ground coriander seed, cumin, turmeric, lemon grass, galangal, shrimp paste, ginger, garlic, and chilies. Everything goes with sambal.

Noodles: without opposable thumbs chopsticks are impossible.

Books: this apartment is a mess. There is reading material everywhere. My apartment mate tries to keep her room orderly, but my quarters are filled with piles, as is also the right side of my bed, because there is never anyone else there who might be discomfited.

Pipe smoking: yes, many of the characters in Wind In The Willows smoked pipes, but what got me started was the memory of my father's tobacco.
Virginias, a little Burley, some condimentals.


Among the pipe tobaccos which I favour are several by Gregory Pease, a number of Samuel Gawith products, and a few Rattray's smokeables. All are Virginias or Virginia-Perique mixtures, redolent of an old English countryside sort of smell and taste, all are succour and solace on rainy Autumn days.

[Fillmore, Lombard, Regent's Flake, Stonehenge Flake, Telegraph Hill, Triple Play; Best Brown, Cabbie's Mixture, Golden Glow, St. James Flake; Brown Clunee, Hal O'The Wynd, Marlin Flake, Old Gowrie, et autres.]

Ideally I would enjoy these indoors with a cup of tea or in the evening with a glass of sherry. But in the modern era one cannot light up inside, there are no clubs for the so inclined in San Francisco, and one must necessarily have the tea before going outside, the sherry after coming back in.

My medication might conflict with sherry in any case.

I keenly await the coming of spring.

Rain no longer suits me.

NOTE: Readers may contact me directly:
All correspondence will be kept in confidence.

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