Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Eccentricity | When being blunt doth not sit well

Digital montage (2020) Roy R. Behrens
Wilfred Scawen Blunt, diary entry dated June 17, 1893—

The party was to meet at the pier of the House of Commons and go up the river in two steamers. As we did not know precisely where the pier was we stopped outside the House of Lords [aka House of Peers] to ask a policeman.

Dialogue:

I: “Can you tell me where I shall find the pier of the House of Commons?”

Policeman: “No, sir, indeed, we have plenty of peers in the House of Lords, but I have never yet heard of a peer in the House of Commons.”


•••

Osbert Sitwell (brother of Edith Sitwell and Sacheverell Sitwell) whose father was Sir George Sitwell (1860-1943) (British writer, politician, and notorious eccentric), in The Scarlet Tree (Book IV of his Osbert's autobiography)—

When younger he [his father] had invented many other things; at Eton, for example, a musical toothbrush while played Annie Laurie as you brushed your teeth and a small revolver for killing wasps.

According to a Wikipedia biography of Sir George Sitwell

He banned electricity in his household well into the 1940s and made his guests use candles. He deliberately mislabelled his self-medication to stop anyone else using it. Sitwell lived on an exclusive diet of roasted chicken.

William Blake Poster (2011) Roy R. Behrens