Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo is just checking in this fine Monday Morning (if there is such a thing) to see if the world has got any more insane over the first few days of his summah hols.

Let’s just say I’m not surprised by what I find.

This is definitely one of those do-nothing vacations for me.  At the moment, Ol’ Robbo is ensconced at his in-laws, largely that they may indulge themselves in grandchildren.  Mercifully, they’ve learned over the years that the best thing to do with me on these visits is to leave me be in a corner somewhere and forget about me.  Thus left, I have spent the past few days wallowing in bottomless cups of kawfee, a few glasses of wine, and some good summah reading, mostly P.C. Wren (Beau Geste and Beau Sabreur) and Kipling (Puck of Pook’s Hill, which I’ve not read before).

Most of the rest of my vacay will be spent back at Port Swiller Manor doing pretty much the same thing, with the addition of my various chores about the house and mense.

All in all, pretty restful.

Speaking of glasses of wine, t’other day, Ol’ Robbo was questioning here why America’s manned space program hasn’t pushed on further out since the end of the Apollo Program but has instead frittered itself away in low earth orbit.  So it was with some amusement that I noted this story this morning:  Red Wine could be Secret to Keeping Us Fit for Life on Mars: Study.

Now Ol’ Robbo has always pushed the manned space exploration angle strictly from the comfort of his armchair.  Frankly, I’d be too terrified to ever actually go up myself.  (Heck, regular friends of the decanter are well away of the hard time I have just dealing with commercial aviation.)  But if they need middle-aged fellahs to follow up on this research?

Hey, NASA.  I’m your huckleberry!

Moar holiday posting later…..

(A glass of wine with Sarah Hoyt over at the Puppy-Blender’s place.)

UPDATE:  Finished off all the Wren I have with me.  Starting in on the Kipling, I suddenly remembered why I have the book:

As regular friends of the decanter may recall, one of the small hobgoblins that haunts the mind of Ol’ Robbo is a possible literary reference in the works of Mr. Evelyn Waugh.  In his Handful of Dust, poor old Tony Last repeatedly refers to a story he read as a child about a Viking longboat showing up beneath the walls of Constantinople.  That image has always appealed to me and I’ve wondered for a long time where it could possibly have come from.

I think it was the last time I mentioned this here that somebody suggested Puck of Pook’s Hill as a likely candidate, and it at least seems plausible.  In the story, two children meet Puck (yes, that Puck) in a quiet corner of the English countryside.  By the power of oak, ash, and thorn, Puck invites them to travel back in time to meet the various historickal persons who have crossed the same piece of ground.  (The first story, which I’m currently reading, involves a young Norman knight who came over with the Conqueror.  A couple days after Hastings, he has to deal with settling his authority on a Saxon manor.)  I’ll let you know if Norsemen are spotted in Byzantium.

Even if the story referred to by Mr. Woo isn’t in this book, I already find it’s raising themes which I’ve long known and loved in the works of other traditional Brit writers:  Merlin and the Pagan Times; Roman occupation; Arthur; the Saxons; the coming of Christianity; the Conqueror.  (And that C.S. Lewis chose to name the children in the Narnia Chronicles ‘Pevensey’ is no accident.)  And so on.  (Even Hy-Brasil, which I first learned of, of all fool things, from the Python movie “Eric the Viking” gets a mention.)  Ol’ Robbo loves to wallow in this rich literary and historickal tradition, probably even more so these days since it’s been almost completely wiped out from contemporary conscience by those who would establish their Brave New World.

To such people, I say Puck Off!

UPDATE DUEX:  Well, we’ve had a longboat adventure in which both a Norman and a Saxon participate, but they go to the Bight of Benin and fight gorillas for gold instead of Constantinople.  Perhaps we’ll get another chance later.  At the moment, I’m headed for Hadrian’s Wall.

UPDATE TROIS: Finished.  No more longboats.  It must have been some other source.  BTB, here’s a link to the two hundred (not single) Viking longboat attack on Constantinople in 860 A.D.