Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Eddie's mauvais quart d'heure

Before anyone calls Strangford and Area Social Services (Canine Division) to complain, I want to say that in yesterday's photo Eddie was simply having, as Erskine Childers (or Oscar Wilde) would have said, a mauvais quart d'heure (see below). The above pic was taken moments later, when he was already perking up, and the day as a whole was a good one - he and Lynn walked all the way round the foreshore as far as the wreck in Sliddery Bay, and back over Eagle Hill to the cabin, a happy adventure which took in the otter's holt and the fox's earth, both highlights of any day for Eddie.

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Childers used the expression 'mauvais quart d'heure' to memorable effect in his 1903 classic, The Riddle of the Sands. I must post about it sometime. With its very current subtext of Britain's unpreparedness for war, The Riddle of the Sands was a runaway success and stands as the forerunner of the modern espionage novel. Ken Follett called it 'the first modern thriller'. Among my top ten reads, it can be enjoyed at any age, but like Catcher in the Rye or Moby Dick, I would say it's a must for males in late adolescence everywhere.

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