We were, that is to say Old Gerrit, Kees and I were under way; we were moving down the canal under sail and as I became awake I found that I needed to be sick. Quickly. I fought my way out of the fore-peak, found a side and achieved the sickness. It was the wrong side that I had found. The side from which the wind was blowing. This was unpleasant.
— Kyril Bonfiglioli, All the Tea in China ‎- religion-neutral stethoscope
(It is strange that only the English and the Dutch can tell stories which are both dirty and funny; the Germans and the Americans can only tell dirty ones, the French only funny ones, the Italians only pitifully bad ones. I have never heard a good story from an Italian. The Irish, the Scotch and the Jews are in a different category: they can only tell Irish, Scotch and Jewish stories.) ‎- religion-neutral stethoscope
“And these?” I asked, pointing to a pile of chests he had not named. “Vell, that’s what we calls ‘Toolong’, for it is last season’s tea, unsold. A trifle long in the tooth, but none the worse for that. ‘Too long’ – you twig?” ‎- religion-neutral stethoscope
(It was strange: I pronounced the “very” as it is spelled and as I had been taught but people of Jorrocks’s class said “werry” while gentlemen and lords, especially if they had served in the cavalry, pronounced it “vewwy”. I did not understand the English in those days. To speak plainly, they seemed all to be mad. They still seem so to me but I am now wise enough to have stopped trying to understand them.) ‎- religion-neutral stethoscope
We called for more chops, again and again; my Mama would have been proud of me. Then we went into the reading-room to snooze a little. (I should explain that in England you sleep in the reading-room, just as you eat in the coffee-room, smoke in the study, spend the afternoon in the morning-room, drink tea in the drawing-room and, unless you happen to be in love with your wife, sleep in the dressing-room whilst your wife, quite likely, is committing adultery in her sewing-room. It is all very strange. There is now a book called _Alice in Wonderland_ which explains how the English system works, although in veiled language.) ‎- religion-neutral stethoscope
[Бонфильоли прекрасней всего среди скоб] ‎- religion-neutral stethoscope
Peter’s possessions were few: a sea-chest of clothes, a brass-bound mahogany chest of arms, a shelf of books. Some of these last were by heathen authors, some by a person writing under the nom-de-plume of “Jane Austen” – I came to know his work well during the voyage, he had a wonderful insight into the female mind, wonderful. ‎- religion-neutral stethoscope
His own, private religious notions comprised some sort of hysterical mysticism but I never quite understood what they were, although he made it clear that there was no place in them for the Established Church of England, which he called “a shabby, money-grubbing conspiracy against the layman”. He had some personal agreement with God which was not clear to me. Blanche was constrained by him to attend Service, always in a light and seductive dress, “so as to give,” the Captain said, “a bad example and to keep the ship’s people’s minds off the damned, blasphemous mummery.” ‎- religion-neutral stethoscope
I remember Las Palmas, the port of Gran Canaria, only because there I caught from a young person a tiresome little infestation which is of no interest and also because I bought a canary-bird which sang so indefatigably that I felt obliged, on my way back to the ship, to cool its ardour in sea-water. I did not mean it to die; I have felt unhappy about it ever since. It must have been frail, frail. ‎- religion-neutral stethoscope
(For my part, I have no quarrel with flatulence: it is a harmless enough recreation, provides an admirable commentary to novels such as _Northanger Abbey_, gives no offence to oneself and little to bystanders – although Peter called me Montgolfier – and has been much praised by the American B. Franklin, who also invented tram-conductors.) ‎- religion-neutral stethoscope
Sometimes I would recite to her, in Dutch, the English play _Hamlet_ which I had mastered at school, but, inexplicably, she could not take it seriously. Once, when I had reached the solemn moment when the ghost says “Omlet, Omlet, ik ben je poppa’s spook …” she stuffed her handkerchief in her mouth and ran to her cabin. She was strange, strange. ‎- religion-neutral stethoscope
There was a time when I thought that I would never understand women, but now, after having owned and trained perhaps twenty spaniels, the female mind is an open book to me. ‎- religion-neutral stethoscope

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