I greatly admire those who devote time and energy to the study of extremely arcane, obscure, or specialised subjects. Such as Robert Killick-Kendrick, whose obituary appears in today’s Grauniad. Though he was “a man of many interests, which included guitar playing, choral singing, hiking and photographing the numerous butterflies that visited his garden”- and possibly sharing his wife’s major preoccupation (she is “an expert on sand flies”) – our hero is particularly to be acclaimed for this:
He also made a study of domestic animals’ bells, ranging from elephants in India to hunting dogs in southern France, which resulted in a scholarly, but sadly uncompleted book, illustrated mainly with his own photographs.
Incidentally, elsewhere in the Grauniad today, in the Weekend magazine, there is a photograph of what must surely be the most coveted Christmas gift of the year – of any year! – an Alain De Botton action figure. Curiously, there is no trace of the photo, nor indeed of the accompanying article, on the website.