Fillyjonk, Food, Reading

Quote of the day: On fullness

I’m currently reading Jerome K. Jerome’s “Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog),” the bloggiest book of the 19th century. Since it concerns the adventures of three 19th-century bachelors and a dog rowing a small skiff down the Thames and camping along the way, there is unsurprisingly a lot of emphasis on the procurement, enjoyment, storage and preparation of food. This isn’t by any means the funniest bit in the book, but I found it resonant:

How good one feels when one is full — how satisfied with ourselves and with the world! People who have tried it, tell me that a clear conscience makes you very happy and contented; but a full stomach does the business quite as well, and is cheaper, and more easily obtained. One feels so forgiving and generous after a substantial and well-digested meal — so noble-minded, so kindly-hearted.

It is very strange, this domination of our intellect by our digestive organs. We cannot work, we cannot think, unless our stomach wills so. It dictates to us our emotions, our passions. After eggs and bacon, it says, “Work!” After beefsteak and porter, it says, “Sleep!” … After hot muffins, it says, “Be dull and soulless, like a beast of the field — a brainless animal, with listless eye, unlit by any ray of fancy, or of hope, or fear, or love, or life.” And after brandy, taken in sufficient quantity, it says, “Now come, fool, grin and tumble, that your fellow-men may laugh — driven in folly, and splutter in senseless sounds, and show what a helpless ninny is poor man whose wit and will are drowned, like kittens, side by side, in half an inch of alcohol.”

We are but the veriest, sorriest slaves of our stomach. Reach not after morality and righteousness, my friends; watch vigilantly your stomach, and diet it with care and judgment. Then virtue and contentment will come and reign within your heart, unsought by any effort of your own; and you will be a good citizen, a loving husband, and a tender father — a noble, pious man.

Now, as it happens I do not react to either muffins or steak in quite the way Jerome describes, nor do I have any wish to be a tender father. But of course those specifics aren’t the point. The point is that this sort of normal, attentive, joyful, purposeful eating is a real and tragic casualty of our cultural quest for thinness. It’s terrible the way mini-mania erodes the self-esteem of all sizes of women, but it’s also terrible that it makes us unable to enjoy food qua food.The idea that food of different kinds can feed your body and mind in different and necessary ways, that you can’t be functional or kind without it (Jerome goes on to describe his normally cantankerous compatriots’ changed countenances after a good meal), that eating “with care” can mean eating as well and as mindfully as possible instead of as little as possible — these concepts seem as archaic as a boating holiday on the Thames.

We — all of us, but especially women — attach moral value to hunger in modern society. It’s virtuous to go without; it’s sinful or decadent to indulge. What if we turned this idea on its head? What if the compassion and goodwill and contentment that come from a full stomach were more morally valuable than privation? What if we recognized that allowing food to be a valuable — but not paramount — part of our lives made us kinder to others and to ourselves?

One to chew on, if you’ll excuse me. Meanwhile, I think I’ll have that whiskey now.

60 thoughts on “Quote of the day: On fullness”

  1. I found Three Men In A Boat by way of Connie Willis’ time-travel book To Say Nothing Of The Dog. In one notable moment a Victorian Oxford student was terribly apologetic about the poor amount and variety of foodstuffs on hand, while the time-traveler was full unto bursting.

    I also loved the description of Bibliochondria, where the narrator believes he has any illness that he reads about. ;)

  2. One of my favorite moments in recent memory is after a really good sushi dinner. The food was so ridiculously high quality that that full feeling was tangibly different, and better, than I’d felt after any other meal. It’s astonishing how a really good meal can make you feel better all over, and for how long.

    I think going without could make us appreciate how good eating makes us feel and how good we’ve got it, but that requires not being in a society that tells you to stop eating when you’re still hungry. The fact that we simulate starvation (for completely vain reasons, too) so often really degrades any pure, moral purpose behind fasting.

  3. It used to be, when I was a child, that whenever anyone gave treats to a pet they were apt to be lectured on the dangers of ‘cupboard love:’ told that so long as they indulged the appetites of their pets the animals would only love them conditionally, as a source of food, and not for themselves. I can remember the term being applied to babies fed on demand, as well, and as with animals it was also insisted that it would erode discipline and make them disobedient. Familiar, this insistence that privation is a levee raised to contain our unruly tides, muzzles on our untrustworthy animal passions. As a child it struck me as foolish, but now, in this context, I see other things: a deep mistrust of the power of food to influence emotional states, and an abiding fear that those states, so influenced, are not real.

    Yet, in women’s culture, there are also enduring threads, that to feed another is to care for them, not just literally, but in the figurative sense as well – like Molly Grue, who came to care for everyone she fed. And while there’ve been … considerable efforts, to destroy this connection, to insist against all reason and instinct that to deny food is more caring … everywhere you go, there are people – not just women – trading recipes and culinary advice in the languages of love, passion, and pleasure both physical and aesthetic, in which cream is compared to heaven, jams to jewels, and no-one doubts the power of a good stew to warm the spirit.

    And wow, I’m wordy tonight. Must be the beer.

  4. Somehow I managed to grow up feeling that way about food; I love eating with people, and cooking for people, and that feeling of contentment after a good meal. One of my friends is really stressed with work right now, and has celiac so can’t eat out much, and it makes me really happy to feed her actual homemade meals that she can eat so she’s not living on snack foods.

    But apparently it’s “thoughtless” to give people food, because they might be on a diet! I might ruin their diet! It’s frustrating. Because I think that sharing food is a wonderful, supportive bonding thing that should make people happy.

  5. My God, Eucritta, you can really write. Sitting here reading your first paragraph I was just like, oh *wow.* (I am sorry that I am too tired right now to praise it with justice.) And then you mentioned Molly Grue!

    As the kids say these days, <3.

  6. The episode with the can of pineapple remains one of the funniest things I have ever read. It never fails to reduce me to tears. I love that book.

    And yes, I agree. There was a time when my relationship with food and my body was at its most fucked that I could not sleep well if I was NOT hungry, because of the psychological calm it brought on me (illusion of control, anyone?) . . . I find that genuinely disturbing now. I guess it’s useful to be able to sleep hungry if you have to — my husband can’t and it’s pretty inconvenient at times — but what you said about prioritizing food over privation, about making it not a moral issue, that hits home in a personal way, because I’ve SO been there.

    I’m not being really articulate, but yeah. Thanks for writing this.

  7. Three men in a boat is one of my favourites!
    normal, attentive, joyful, purposeful eating
    This. Something to be aiming for. And
    What if we recognized that allowing food to be a valuable — but not paramount — part of our lives made us kinder to others and to ourselves?
    Oh yes. Yesyesyesyesyes.

  8. I can remember the term being applied to babies fed on demand, as well, and as with animals it was also insisted that it would erode discipline and make them disobedient.

    Yes. And even worse, in rapport with themselves rather than outside authority.

    I think this is a big part of why women are discouraged from being in tune with their appetites and needs.

  9. Yes, a fab book. And as someone else mentioned, if you haven’t already, you totally need to follow up with Three Men and a Dog by Connie Willis.

  10. I keep thinking of Maslow’s hierchy of needs ( The hierchy is problematic–I hate the implication that if someone is struggling to meet their physiological needs then that person just doesn’t care about self-actualization–but I do think there’s something there. Being hungry affects so many things. One time I became so ill that I didn’t eat anything, literally, for three days. I was a complete zombie the entire time, weak and disoriented.

    Food and hunger are moral issues, I believe, but I think the deprivation-is-virtue model has it completely backwards. There is virtue in feeding, others and ourselves, to not only prevent hunger but also to provide pleasure. I think that’s partly the reason that communion takes such a large role in some Christian services (I know it does in Catholic and Episcopalian services, but I’m unsure of other denominations); to feed people is not just a first step towards something greater (contrary to Maslow) but an ongoing, worthy endeavor in its own right.

  11. Beautiful, Fillyjonk.
    Yes, yesterday I attempted to fast for Yom Kippur, and for the first time as an adult, I broke my fast early. Why? Because I realized that I needed nourishment, to face a difficult day among many and to match the energy of my super energetic and silly SuperHeroPrincess due to arrive home from preschool. Sourdough toast never tasted so good, and I ate a left-over pancake with maple syrup.
    My rabbi, just the evening before, said, if you need to eat, eat.
    I could see the stupidity in choosing to fast over caring well for my daughter.

    I also love to feed people. And there are many people who do truly appreciate being fed, because they are not well enough to cook for themselves, or too busy, or too tired, or other reasons. I find that if I am open, there are many opportunities to feed people.

    It is satisfying to eat well, and to feed others well. It is so satifsying for me to see my daughter eat well, as well.

    At a difficult time for me, eating is sometimes hard, but when I do eat, I feel so much better. I am grateful for the ability to notice this. When it’s hard for me to eat, I find that having other people around makes it easier for me than those times when I’m mostly alone.

    Thank you for the chance to reflect on this.

  12. Well said indeed! I may have to place this book onto my ever-growing queue.

    Just from my own personal experience I know very well that not eating for a meal makes me dizzy and all foggy mentally and very cranky emotionally. I have learned there is very much a direct correlation to my own feelings of fullness and my emotional state. (I really identified with Ron in the last Harry Potter book on this point. Don’t ask me to be Miss Susie Sunshine when I’m incredibly hungry!) I also seem to have a similar direct relationship between my level of exhaustion and my capacity to kindly deal with the world around me!

    And Eurcritta, wow. Very powerful analysis: “Familiar, this insistence that privation is a levee raised to contain our unruly tides, muzzles on our untrustworthy animal passions.”

  13. “What if the compassion and goodwill and contentment that come from a full stomach were more morally valuable than privation? What if we recognized that allowing food to be a valuable — but not paramount — part of our lives made us kinder to others and to ourselves?”

    THIS. Excellent, Fillyjonk. Thanks for the pleasant food thoughts!

  14. Being a commuting graduate student, I happen upon hunger a lot more often than I have in recent years, and it makes me really think about the times when I was intentionally starving myself in the past. How unnecessarily cranky I must have been! How many good people must I have missed out on! How I wish I could travel back in time just to hand myself a sandwich!

  15. I just finished rereading To Say Nothing of the Dog, and was thinking that I needed to reread Three Men in a Boat, too!

    Those Victorian breakfasts are astonishing.

  16. I’m also reading Three Men in a Boat and I was tempted to stick parts of that very same passage up for discussion on the next open thread I saw while I had the book to hand.

  17. Thanks very much for the link and info, wellroundedtype2! I really like that model. The elitist undertones I’ve sensed in the Maslow model have always bugged me.

    (Also, I am incredibly embarassed at having a typo in my own user name. Oops! Heh.)

  18. I love this book! And the “fullness” insight is the comical precursor to Virginia Woolf’s famous insights on dinner in A Room of One’s Own: “The human frame being what it is, heart, body and brain all mixed together, and not contained in separate compartments as they will be no doubt in another million years, a good dinner is of great importance to good
    talk. One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well. The lamp in the spine does not light on beef and prunes. We are all PROBABLY going to heaven, and Vandyck is, we HOPE, to meet us round the next corner–that is the dubious and qualifying state of mind that beef and prunes at the end of the day’s work breed between them.”

  19. I love this passage. It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Along the same lines as meganmae’s comment, for a long time I felt like if I was full and not hungry I was doing something wrong. While on a quest to lose weight, I felt like it was an imperative to be in a perpetual state of discomfort. I still have pangs of guilt for wanting to eat and wanting the feeling of fullness. I have to remind myself that it’s fucked up to feel like I need to make myself suffer. I realize now my ability to study and do work would really suffer if I didn’t satisfy my hunger feelings, so I wonder how much better I may have done in undergrad if I wasn’t depriving myself.

  20. I’d also like to say that To Say Nothing of the Dog (by Willis) and its companion book (The Domesday Book, a more serious, earlier work which you don’t have to read to enjoy the funny one based on Jerome K. Jerome) is wonderful. A marvelous read.

    Glad to see the original mentioned here. Deserves it.

  21. @Trix – I was totally thinking that!

    @fillyjonk –

    One part of the static’s people aren’t hearing about the obesity epidemic is the drastic reduction of people in the underweight classification.

    We’ve gone from 4% to just under 2%* in the underweight categories, since the first NHANES. So, we may have double the obesity, but we have HALF AS MANY UNDERWEIGHT.

    That was what the NHANES was originally set out to do. To track malnutrition. Cause, you know, there is no question that people die of malnutrition.

    *I’m not a statistician. I’ve calculated the numbers using the NHANES datasets and my numbers match up with the statistics being released by the CDC.

  22. I love it! I do feel good when I’m full. I feel good when I’ve eaten good food. I feel sleepy (happily so) when I’ve eaten good comforting heavy food. I feel sleep (unhappily so) when I’ve eaten too much empty starchy food. I want to read the book now – I like books that pay attention to things like eating.

  23. When I need to self-soothe, I love eating something while watching Paula Dean, Ina Garten, or Nigella Lawson on the Food Network. Nigella, in particular, describes what she’s cooking in the most sumptuous, poetic manner. I also love that these women have built empires on the whole “food as nurture” concept, even as I find it highly problematic, because of the way it casts women as more or less desexualized caretakers.

    Did anyone see the episode of Kathy Griffin’s show with Paula Dean? AWESOME!

  24. I don’t know how many people here are familiar with the works of Astrid Lindgren (not sure if she is as popular overseas), but one of the things I always loved about her books is the way she describes the food, especially when it’s a feast. There is one story where Michel brings all the poor people from the “poor people’s house” to the farm and gives them everything from the family storage. And he is so happy that he got to feed all these people, that they enjoyed the food so much. He has to bring them home on the sled because they are so full, and all of them are so happy.

    How did we get to be in a society where sharing good food is no longer seen as a good thing? Or is only accepted if the food is part of a planned diet?

    There is a proverb in German that states that food is what keeps body and soul together. Do you have the same saying in English?

    It is obviousely true as a statement of fact, since people die if they do not eat; their soul (or whatever you want to call it) leaves their body.

    But it is also true in a broader sense. We need our body and our soul to be connected if we want to be human, to experience life. When we try to restrict our eating to the point where food is the enemy, we lose the necessary connection to our bodies. They become foreign, a “thing” that has to be controled, forced into a certain shape. And that disconnection can only lead to all kinds of bad things.

    We need food, and the concious enjoying of eating, to get back in touch with our bodies, to reclaim them as part of ourselves, instad the of the feared enemy. Everything else is, amoung other things, just not good for our health.

  25. @Ashley, I understand your point, but I beg to differ. Neither the husband nor I would ever ever ever describe Nigella as “desexualized”. Some people watch romance movies, some people watch porn, we watch Nigella… me-YOW!

  26. @Ashley, Cassi … I agree with Cassi. Come to that, I would be dismayed if the shows were to shift and expand their focus, for I watch them to learn about food and cookery, not the cooks. Then too, I reckon there’s a time and place for overtly erotic pleasures but a working kitchen in the midst of dinner prep isn’t it.

  27. Then too, I reckon there’s a time and place for overtly erotic pleasures but a working kitchen in the midst of dinner prep isn’t it.

    One of us is doing it wrong.

  28. “Being a commuting graduate student, I happen upon hunger a lot more often than I have in recent years, and it makes me really think about the times when I was intentionally starving myself in the past. How unnecessarily cranky I must have been! How many good people must I have missed out on! How I wish I could travel back in time just to hand myself a sandwich!”

    Hand me one too, while you’re at it? I managed to scrape the energy up to make myself lunch today–and carry that lunch across one city, on a bus, across another city subway, a mile on foot, and up three flights of stairs.

    But damn it’s comforting to have that bit of home, and the sense of there being *enough* that doesn’t come when the constant anxiety over “wtf can I afford to buy for lunch” sets in.

    I’m in the Yom Kippur group here on the full bellies ftw. FWIW, I usually do fast, and it usually gives me a wicked migraine/nausea/the works. However, it DOES make me reconsider moral issues and hunger in a way that I don’t get any other way, so I keep doing it. Also, I am one of those people that turns into a raving harpy when hungry, and learning to control that/not to take it out on others seems to be part of becoming an adult.

  29. This is my favourite book ever. I think the best part is when they decide to make a cup of tea using boiled river water…

    “We had made the tea, and were just settling down comfortably to drink it,
    when George, with his cup half-way to his lips, paused and exclaimed:

    “What’s that?”

    “What’s what?” asked Harris and I.

    “Why that!” said George, looking westward.

    Harris and I followed his gaze, and saw, coming down towards us on the
    sluggish current, a dog. It was one of the quietest and peacefullest
    dogs I have ever seen. I never met a dog who seemed more contented –
    more easy in its mind. It was floating dreamily on its back, with its
    four legs stuck up straight into the air. It was what I should call a
    full-bodied dog, with a well-developed chest. On he came, serene,
    dignified, and calm, until he was abreast of our boat, and there, among
    the rushes, he eased up, and settled down cosily for the evening.

    George said he didn’t want any tea, and emptied his cup into the water.
    Harris did not feel thirsty, either, and followed suit. I had drunk half
    mine, but I wished I had not.”

    sorry to get sidetracked there… I agree that its very sad, in many ways, how disconnected we have become from our food. Not only do many people no longer enjoy their food, but we have lost an understanding of how food is produced. I am lucky to live in a country where this is very little factory farming, and organic food is becoming quite mainstream. But i would love to know more about the hundreds of old food crops that we used to eat, which have been brushed aside in favour of a few specific strains of a few specific species.

  30. I’m a person who is, for whatever reason, extra prone to fainting. Because of that, I feel hypersensitive to quality/quantity of food floating around in my body (and I’m not diabetic either, so.. we don’t quite know what’s up). Quite frankly, I don’t understand how people can function without eating. I somehow got through high school without breakfast (preferred sleep to food) but nowadays? No way! If I don’t eat, I am tired, I’m cranky, I have headaches, not to mention the fainting issue. It’s dangerous for me to drive on an empty stomach because I get really fatigued and I can’t concentrate at all.

    As a teacher, this becomes REALLY apparent. The first periods of the day are really easy for me, I have tons of energy, etc. Then lunch comes and I’m pretty sleepy the period afterwards even though I eat a fairly light lunch. By the end of the day, I’m usually really hungry for a big dinner and my energy level is way lower, my enthusiasm is lower, and I just am not as good of a teacher as I am in the morning. I’m going to start eating a snack during my plan period in the afternoon, the only problem is that I usually am busy doing something so I forget!

    But yeah, food is absolutely a joy and eating a nice, full meal of fresh, good quality food can make my day. The days I get by on a granola bar and some cashews? yeah… not so much. But sadly you can’t really enjoy a nice lunch when you only have 25 minutes, assuming no students need something over lunch. But that’s a whole nother thread in and of itself.

  31. Re: Ina, Paula, Nigella etc….

    I don’t know…I think Ina Garten is awesome and has a great life: entertaining in her fabulous Hamptons home, cooking in her gorgeous kitchen, having the local boys over for dinner in the garden, driving around town in her convertible BMW, being happily married etc- all while BEING FAT. I am not trying to be classist-certainly not many of us can aspire to Ina’s lifestyle- (or would want to)but I think its fucking fantastic that there is a show featuring a fat woman being attractive, vivacious and living a full life. Even if its about food, I’ll take it. These niceties are usually reserved in the media for thin and/or conventionally attractive people. She honestly inspired me on my road to size acceptance. I would watch Barefoot Contessa and think: INA’S FAT, AND SHE’S FUCKING FABULOUS.

  32. Dayglow–can I recommend lasagna for breakfast? :-) Only if you can stomach it, obvs, but when I was a kid, my mom used to make dinner foods for breakfast and breakfast foods for dinner, which definitely helped. These days, I like having a good solid lunch instead (not a morning person, cooking is too much) but it sounds like your schedule precludes that. I know, completely gross for lots of people, but it worked for me.

    This thread makes me want to go back and watch Babette’s Feast. And then have a dinner party.

  33. “Three Men in a Boat” has to be my favourite book ever. I have read it when down, I have read it when up. It has been a constant and comforting pleasure in my life. It is an old book, way way old, my parents and grandparents loved it…it is so HUMAN.
    OK, I am English, right?
    So, there is the bit where they are desperate to eat. (Food is good, eh?) They have a tin of pineapple rings. They don’t have a can opener. So, they attack the can with everything at their disposal: knives, teeth, stones… In the end, in their despair and anger, they discard and hurl the can in the river…….
    …..some time later, they notice pineapple rings floating to the surface….floating off down the river….and they are anguished….

    …and they also try to make tea (they are English) (food is good: tea means milk and sugar…) by boiling water drawn from the river….but while the water is coming to the boil, and they are dreamily contemplating life…they see a dead dog floating down the river….you have to read this bit…they pour the tea into the river and contemplate life and death a bit philosophically and just go to sleep. Without their cups of tea.

    And, I love the section where they get lost in the maze and keep on passing the crossroads with the discarded “baby doughnut”.

    This was all written over 100 years ago!

    Long-time lurker, but couldn’t resist registering and commenting because of the book reference. Love the site, love the attitude, love seeing views of modern and free American and other women. (I’m 60, old feminist…)

    And please read the original book, it will cheer you up and enrich your life! It’s genuinely funny!

  34. I’ve been off the thread for a few weeks now. I had to move because my landlady stopped paying her mortgage. Then I got the stomach flu and had to go to the ER. Then I found out today that my dog has benign tumors on his feet. I’m about to leave for a conference tomorrow, and I’m trying not to freak out.

    Ahem, thanks for indulging me. On to the topic . . . one thing that I’ve been working on in therapy is to slow down and enjoy my food and let my tummy and my soul feel satiated. I tend to eat mindlessly when watching TV or reading, and so it means that I just sit quietly and really enjoy every bite. It’s not about trying to slow down so I eat less–I can eat what I want. It’s about satisfying physiological and emotional needs by feeding myself. When I do this consistently, I feel calmer, as if I am taking care of my needs on many levels.

  35. That is totally going on my “to read” list. Especially apropo as I’m getting sick and feeling bad about purchasing the food I really want, since it is expensive and hard to make on my own. Now I think I’ll go grab a bowl of that soup tomorrow.
    Also, lol your actual title.

  36. Not having a varied diet plays merry hell with my depression. I won’t lie, I pretty much bite everyone all the time, so I don’t think being full makes me a nicer person. I think being full helps me focus on not biting people who don’t deserve it, not that those people appreciate the difference. (Anger makes too many people uncomfortable. Fuck em.)

    I laugh more when I’ve eaten, I’m happy more when I’ve eaten a varied diet, but I’m still a meanie poopoo head.

    I could go for a steak right about now, I don’t know if it would make me jovial. A big side of spinach salad might do it, and slice of apple pie.

    Gawd I miss real food.

  37. Ugh, the bit about kittens (and animals being brainless and soulless) distracts me too much to get anything good out of that passage. (Although I’m sure they are appropriate for the time and place in which it is set.)

  38. Oh, FJ, I really REALLY like this. A lot. ESPECIALLY the last bit; holy crap. I’m late to the praise, but I’m giving you my own one-woman standing ovation. Thank you for this post.

    I’m just getting to the point in intuitive eating where I can distinguish – and actually NOT JUDGE in a moral sense – different states of hunger and fullness. When I’m pleasantly full is when I’m happiest, when I sleep best, and when I have the most to offer others. Yet even knowing that, it was a lot of work to detach the physical sensation of hunger/dieting from a prim feeling of righteous self-denial and single-minded focus. (When, in fact, I found it hard to focus and harder to be generous with others, because I needed to EAT. I mean, I suppose it is true that I half expected that, while dieting, others might be likely to treat me better because I was taking steps to make sure I didn’t take up too much space — and surely they’d, I dunno, SENSE my bid for approval and be nice to me as a result? Mm, not really, actually.)

  39. the bloggiest book of the 19th century

    I am going to have to pick a nit here.

    The bloggiest book of the 19th century is Diary of a Nobody, which has been set up as a blog, just to prove that point.

    However, I love 3MinaB with a wild, unholy passion. And you must see the TV version of it, which includes a youngish Tim Curry.

    I don’t know how many people here are familiar with the works of Astrid Lindgren (not sure if she is as popular overseas)

    Pippi Longstocking is big in the US, but not so much her other works, alas.

  40. “We cannot work, we cannot think, unless our stomach wills so”

    But we don’t want women to do those things anyway! If you starve away their bodies, starving away their minds might be a wonderful bonus!

  41. I love this post, and the comments to it!

    Aside: I was typing “How to Suppress Women’s Writing” into Google and the first search it suggested for “how to suppress” was… yep… “hunger.”

  42. Aside from my sister and mother, I never heard of anyone else who has read this book! My sister and I can’t actually talk about it because we laugh so hard it causes us pain. I am absolutely delighted to see this book mentioned. My favorite part: the stinky cheese episode. Oh wait, Uncle Blodger hanging a picture. No–the part where the fisherman curses his family. Um, the pineapple tin. It’s all priceless! Thank you!

    (Oh, and you’re so right about the eating part, too!)

  43. The picture was hung by Uncle Podger. Thanks for reminding me about the smelly cheeses.

    Then there was Harris falling into a hole in the ground; Harris in Hampton Court Maze; the fish in the pub which had been caught by the entire village; the pineapple (of course!); the lock photographer (“look out for your nose!”); the young lovers with the tow-rope (“but what happened to auntie?”); and so many more.

    I must read that book again.


  44. I love that bit of the book, and I love the book, but I have to disagree with you: Diary of a Nobody is the bloggiest book of the Nineteenth century!

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