Gosh! On this day, ten long years ago, on Sunday 14 December 2003, the Hooting Yard blog came mewling into the world! Strange to think, is it not?, there was once a time that this website did not exist, to give pleasure to teeming millions dozens.
In order to celebrate a decade of Hooting Yard, I think I will post each day between now and Christmas an item from each calendar year. Not a “best of …”, nor even particularly my own favourites, but a fair jumble of potsages [sic] designed to instruct, enlighten, and entertain.
Readers may wish to join in the celebrations by making a donation to ensure Hooting Yard continues to flourish for the next ten glorious years.
This splendid quotation first appeared on Friday 19 December 2003.
In my own case I have imputed my early baldness to growth in intellectuality and spirituality induced by my fondness for and devotion to books. Miss Susan, my sister, lays it to other causes, first among which she declares to be my unnatural practice of reading in bed, and the second my habit of eating welsh-rarebits late of nights. Over my bed I have a gas-jet so properly shaded that the rays of light are concentrated and reflected downward upon the volume which I am reading. Miss Susan insists that much of this light and its attendant heat falls upon my head, compelling there a dryness of the scalp whereby the follicles have been deprived of their natural nourishment and have consequently died. She furthermore maintains that the welsh-rarebits of which I partake invariably at the eleventh hour every night breed poisonous vapors and subtle megrims within my stomach, which humors, rising by their natural courses to my brain, do therein produce a fever that from within burneth up the fluids necessary to a healthy condition of the capillary growth upon the super-adjacent and exterior cranial integument.
Eugene Field, The Love Affairs of a Bibliomaniac.
Eugene Field also wrote, among many other works, the children’s rhyme Wynken, Blynken & Nod. He had a childhood sweetheart with the marvellous name Captivity Waite. I wonder if she was any relation to the splendid Asenath Waite in H P Lovecraft’s The Thing On The Doorstep? Glubb… glubb… glubb.