Monday, 25 February 2008

Letter to the Administrator of the Pootling Society Website

Dear Administrator of the Pootling Society Website,

I recently happened upon the website of the Pootling Society, and I found it sadly devoid of information on, or, indeed, aids to, pootling. I'd be interested to hear what your plans for the site are, and respectfully suggest that it might feature illustrations of G. K. Chesterton, whom one of my internetian colleagues nominates as the western world's foremost pootler. He is certainly a more obvious pootler than the young lass with the yellow hair and the telephone. Do you have any reliable information about the etymology of the word "pootle"? Or a list of notable pootlers? Or handy hints for pootling novices? Or firm ideas on the comparative qualities of pootlers vis à vis flâneurs? Also, did you know that "pookie" is Northumbrian dialect for "snail"?

Yours sincerely,



Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

Wee question: why is the word "administrator" and not "administer". Conversely, why is a "parliamentary minister" not a "parliamentary ministrator"?

Anonymous said...

parliamentary minister" not a "parliamentary ministrator"?

To my ear, the second makes parliament sound like a very dirty business indeed (which it no doubt is). So my answer is to keep up appearances. An administer is an indispensible aide to all parliamentary ministrators, charged chiefly with keeping up said appearances.

In other news, I can confirm that I'm the one who dresses like the vanguard of the neo-con movement and not your good self, for I was subject to a completely unsolicited right-wing harangue at a servo the other day- to the effect that anyone who hasn't been shot by the American military should consider themselves lucky. And I was wearing a pyjama top at the time, which I consider to be outdoor wear if I team it with a skirt instead and actually wear shoes.

Certainly that's the last time I'll go to the trouble of brushing my hair!

And valrhona chocolate arrived with only a few hints to loved ones, so praise be to your cistern.

Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

Gah! You've just had a birthday, haven't you? And now that I think of it, you mentioned its impenderation not so long ago. Double eek! Which is to say: (i) lucky it was your loved ones who were getting the scanty hints, and not me, or there'd be no chocolate (quel horreur!), and (ii) happy birdy! Hope it was beaut. At least as beaut as your observations on the ministration question.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the annual pageant of getting older was on Friday and it was beaut. On Friday night itself, in a fit of exuberance, I partook of a single cocktail, which was enough to make me very witty and slightly sore of head the next day (I don't know if my rather low alcohol tolerance is a point of honour or shame). Then on the Sat I had a high tea in a room pleasingly festooned with cartoons from the New Yorker.

But I mention valrhona not to draw attention to the onset of my dotage but so I can tell you that valrhona make chocolate frogs. It could well be a case of "Move over, Haigh's!" once you sample those fine concoctions. Certainly, the long-suffering best friend nearly died with the joy of it, which made me feel a little less guilty about, um, emailing that link to him.

JahTeh said...

I thought Pookie was a flying rabbit. He was in my story books. I loved Pookie. He wore blue rompers and had delicate fairy wings. In one story he was lost in the cold, cold snow, I thought my heart would break.
See what you've done. Childhood memories flooding back, sobbings, bad dreams tonight.
Damn you, Harlot!

Alexis, Baron von Harlot said...

Egad, sorry, JT. But you know what Dr Freud says, "He that has eyes to see and ears to hear may convince himself that no mortal can keep a secret." Not strictly relevant, but wise words from the Freudster, wise words.

Meanwhile, no word from the president of pootling. Bah.