Archive for the ‘Orwell’s Diaries’ Category

The Orwell Diaries – Day 69

Friday, November 7th, 2008

Note: Each day that one was written, The Orwell Prize will be posting an entry from Orwell’s Diaries on the 70th anniversary of its composition. You can read the AuthorScoop preview here.

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Excerpt from today’s entry:

November 7, 1938:

In an old stone tank near the house found the decayed head of what may be a dog but I think is a jackal. There are said to be some in this country. In either case a very complete skull, so have put it up on a stick for the insects to get it clean.

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The Orwell Diaries – Day 68

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

Note: Each day that one was written, The Orwell Prize will be posting an entry from Orwell’s Diaries on the 70th anniversary of its composition. You can read the AuthorScoop preview here.

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Excerpt from today’s entry:

November 6, 1938:

After the recent rain the streams in the fields are much swollen, & water tortoises are everywhere. Today saw 10-20 of them, & often 3 or 4 at a time. They are generally sitting on the mud & leap into the water when one approaches. After a while they come to the surface & remain with eyes & nose just out of the water, like the frogs in Spain, diving at once at any alarm. They seem able to move very rapidly.

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The Orwell Diaries – Days 61 – 67

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

Note: Each day that one was written, The Orwell Prize will be posting an entry from Orwell’s Diaries on the 70th anniversary of its composition. You can read the AuthorScoop preview here.

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Excerpts from the past 7 days’ entries:

November 5, 1938:

One egg.

November 4, 1938:

One egg.

November 3, 1938:

The half-starved donkey which I think was bought recently by M. Simont has discovered that the goats are given barley & comes across to rob them of it.

November 1, 1938:

Immediately round our house it is an area mainly of vegetation and fruit gardens. There appear to be some good peasants who cultivate fairly considerable plots and keep them in fairly good order. There are also large and well-ordered market gardens, generally walled off and owned by Europeans or rich Arabs – generally the latter, I think. Contrasting their ground with that of the ordinary peasants, one sees the enormous difference made here by having the capital to run water conduits.

November 1, 1938:

Passing a flock of sheep & goats today, a goat had just given birth to a kid. The shepherd picked up the kid & carried it & the mother hobbled after them, crying to the kid, with the placenta still hanging out of her. Goats will eat leaves of prickly pears. Others grazing at thorn bushes go down on all fours & creep under the thorns almost like a cat, to get at a few green leaves.

October 31, 1938:

Put paraffin on water in the fountain yesterday. About 30 square feet, & about a cupful of paraffin covered it. Mosquito larvae all dead by this morning.

October 30, 1938:

Fine, not very hot. One egg.

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The Orwell Diaries – Day 60

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Note: Each day that one was written, The Orwell Prize will be posting an entry from Orwell’s Diaries on the 70th anniversary of its composition. You can read the AuthorScoop preview here.

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Today’s entry:

October 28, 1938:

One egg. Many black beetles squashed in the road. Inside they are brilliant vermillion. Men ploughing with teams of oxen after the rain. Wretched ploughs, with no wheel, which only stir the soil.

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The Orwell Diaries – Days 53 – 59

Monday, October 27th, 2008

Note: Each day that one was written, The Orwell Prize will be posting an entry from Orwell’s Diaries on the 70th anniversary of its composition. You can read the AuthorScoop preview here.

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Excerpts from the past 7 days’ entries:

October 27, 1938:

Large numbers of black beetles, about 1” long, crawling everywhere, evidently brought out by the rain. Have sowed sunflowers, sweet peas & marigolds. The other seeds not up yet, as it has been much cooler (we are having fires every evening.) The ground here is lumpy & unpleasant to work, but at present not many weeds – more when this rain has taken effect, perhaps.

October 25, 1938:

Much cooler. Yesterday overcast & cool all day, with occasional sharp showers. Violent wind & storms of rain in the night. Fire last night & this morning, not absolutely necessary but acceptable.

October 23, 1938:

Soil here is extremely deep, at least 4’ without any change of substance. Rather light & reddish, though it dries into a kind of brick, & said to need a lot of manure.

October 21, 1938:

Still very hot. Last night unbearably so till quite late at night.

October 20, 1938:

The charcoal braziers generally used here are quite satisfactory for cooking. They are generally about 1’ across by 8” deep & either have very many holes in sides or a double bottom with holes in the top one. The charcoal can be started with very little paper & wood & smoulders for hours. A few strokes with the bellows gets it into a fierce heat. A small tin oven is placed on top & bakes fairly satisfactorily.

October 18, 1938:

Saw a lizard this morning, walking up the window pane. About 4” long, rather stumpy, resembling an alligator, prickly tail. The first lizard seen in Morocco.

October 16, 1938:

This morning a disaster. One hen dead, another evidently dying. Forget the name of the disease, which has something to do with the throat. The hen is unable to stand & head droops forward. The dead one had evidently perched for the night & then fallen off the perch. May have something to do with perching in the rain, as they all did so, though I put up another perch for them under cover.

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The Orwell Diaries – Day 52

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

Note: Each day that one was written, The Orwell Prize will be posting an entry from Orwell’s Diaries on the 70th anniversary of its composition. You can read the AuthorScoop preview here.

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An excerpt from today’s entry:

October 14, 1938:

Today milked the small goat (which is probably not in kid) for the first time. For a long time could get no milk at all, though the udder was large & obviously contained milk. Finally discovered that if instead of running my hand down the teat in the ordinary way, I took hold of the whole quarter & squeezed as if squeezing out a sponge, the milk came quite easily. Apparently a different configuration of udder.

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The Orwell Diaries – Day 51

Monday, October 13th, 2008

Note: Each day that one was written, The Orwell Prize will be posting an entry from Orwell’s Diaries on the 70th anniversary of its composition. You can read the AuthorScoop preview here.

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Today’s entry:

October 13, 1938:

Today fairly cool, & up to about 10 am almost chilly in the shade. This evening another violent dust-storm followed by rain.

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The Orwell Diaries – Day 50

Sunday, October 12th, 2008

Note: Each day that one was written, The Orwell Prize will be posting an entry from Orwell’s Diaries on the 70th anniversary of its composition. You can read the AuthorScoop preview here.

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Today’s entry:

October 12, 1938:

Curiously enough, among the general misery of the animals here, the sheep are very good. They are a long-tailed kind, fairly large, apparently fat (the mutton is quite good & tender) & with very thick, firm coats. They are very docile & tend to huddle all together in a bunch, which makes them easy to manage. When buying a sheep a man carries it across his shoulders, where it lies completely docile like a large slug. A man will ride a bicycle holding a sheep like this.

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The Orwell Diaries – Day 49

Friday, October 10th, 2008

Note: Each day that one was written, The Orwell Prize will be posting an entry from Orwell’s Diaries on the 70th anniversary of its composition. You can read the AuthorScoop preview here.

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Today’s entry:

October 10, 1938:

Midday temperature (indoors) today 26°, ie. about 78°F. This is much cooler than the last few days. This evening cool enough to wear a coat.

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The Orwell Diaries – Days 47 and 48

Thursday, October 9th, 2008

Note: Each day that one was written, The Orwell Prize will be posting an entry from Orwell’s Diaries on the 70th anniversary of its composition. You can read the AuthorScoop preview here.

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Excerpts from the past two days’ entries:

October 9, 1938:

Arab drug kiff, said to have some kind of intoxicating effect, smoked in long bamboo pipes with earthenware head about the size of a cigarette holder. The drug resembles chopped grass. Unpleasant taste & – so far as I am concerned – no effect. Sale said to be illegal, though it can be acquired everywhere for 1 Fr. For about a tablespoonful.

October 10, 1938 (Marrakech):

Immense prevalence of blindness here. In some of the poorest quarters it is possible to pass three or four blind people in 50 yards. A few of the blind beggars are probably imposters, but the main cause is no doubt the flies which which every child’s eyes are constantly crusted. Curiously enough children below a certain age, say 5, appear not to notice the flies.
 

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The Orwell Diaries – Day 46

Monday, October 6th, 2008

Note: Each day that one was written, The Orwell Prize will be posting an entry from Orwell’s Diaries on the 70th anniversary of its composition. You can read the AuthorScoop preview here.

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An excerpt from today’s entry:

October 6, 1938:

The Arabs do not sit very gracefully in the saddle, but have complete mastery of the horse, which goes forward, changes pace & stops all with a loose rein & apparently mostly from the man’s voice. The mule is always ridden on the hindquarters. It is evident that the tractability of animals here is due to their being constantly handled from childhood.

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The Orwell Diaries – Day 45

Saturday, October 4th, 2008

Note: Each day that one was written, The Orwell Prize will be posting an entry from Orwell’s Diaries on the 70th anniversary of its composition. You can read the AuthorScoop preview here.

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An excerpt from today’s entry:

October 4, 1938:

Still very hot in the middle of the day. Huge lumps of camel-fat (presumably from the hump), very white, like pork fat, on sale in the bazaar. Said to be only eaten by “people from the mountains.”

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The Orwell Diaries – Day 44

Thursday, October 2nd, 2008

Note: Each day that one was written, The Orwell Prize will be posting an entry from Orwell’s Diaries on the 70th anniversary of its composition. You can read the AuthorScoop preview here.

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An excerpt from today’s entry:

October 2, 1938:

The Spahis ride stallions. Arab saddles, but not blinkers. Horses of different colours. Donkeys here, when male, are always uncastrated.

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The Orwell Diaries – Day 33

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

Note: Each day that one was written, The Orwell Prize will be posting an entry from Orwell’s Diaries on the 70th anniversary of its composition. You can read the AuthorScoop preview here.

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An excerpt from today’s entry:

October 1, 1938:

Camels vary greatly in size, also in colour, some almost being black. Ditto donkeys, which range from reddish fawn to almost black, the latter the commonest colour. Saw yesterday a donkey, evidently full grown, less than 3’ high. The man riding it had one foot on the ground.

 

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The Orwell Diaries – Day 32

Sunday, September 28th, 2008

Note: Each day that one was written, The Orwell Prize will be posting an entry from Orwell’s Diaries on the 70th anniversary of its composition. You can read the AuthorScoop preview here.

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Today’s entry:

September 28, 1938:

Distinctly cooler at night. Last night used blanket all night. Red hibiscus in flower.

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The Orwell Diaries – Day 32

Saturday, September 27th, 2008

Note: Each day that one was written, The Orwell Prize will be posting an entry from Orwell’s Diaries on the 70th anniversary of its composition. You can read the AuthorScoop preview here.

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Excerpt from today’s entry:

September 27, 1938 (Marrakech):

All the troops here are said to be standing by and ready to move at a moment’s notice. On the fortified hill immediately west of the town there are guns which command the Arab quarter “in case of trouble”. Nevertheless the local French show an utter lack of interest in the European crisis, so much so as to make it impossible to think that they believe war will break out. There is no scramble for papers, no one broaches the subject of war unless prompted and one hears no conversations on the subjects in the cafes. A Frenchman, questioned on the subject, says that people here are well aware that in the case of war “it will be more comfortable here than in France.” Everyone will be mobilized, but only the younger classes will be sent to Europe. The re-opening of schools has not, as in France, been postponed.

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The Orwell Diaries – Day 31

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

Note: Each day that one was written, The Orwell Prize will be posting an entry from Orwell’s Diaries on the 70th anniversary of its composition. You can read the AuthorScoop preview here.

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Excerpt from today’s entry:

September 25, 1938 :

The reason for the galls always present on camels’ joints is that these are what they kneel down on, usually on stones etc. Nearly all camels here also have galled backs. It is said that a camel can often only be managed by one man whom it knows, & that one must at all costs avoid beating them. Relative to size they carry a much smaller load than a donkey. Some of them have flies & maggots burrowing into the galls on their backs, without appearing to notice it. Children also pay very little attention to flies, which are sometimes crusted in sores all round their eyes.

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The Orwell Diaries – Days 29 and 30

Saturday, September 20th, 2008

Note: Each day that one was written, The Orwell Prize will be posting an entry from Orwell’s Diaries on the 70th anniversary of its composition. You can read the AuthorScoop preview here.

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Excerpts from past two days’ entries:

September 20, 1938:

The earth walls here are made out of earth which is dug out at a depth of 4-6 feet, either because this is different earth or because at this depth it is easier to find it damp enough to be workable. It is a peculiar chocolate colour & it dries into the light pink distinctive of this town. Having been dug out it is mixed with rubble & a little water, then cast in sections in a wooden frame, just like cement, but when in the frame it has to be packed together very hard with heavy rammers. When one section is hard enough to stand unsupported the next is made, & the joints do not show, the mud setting almost like cement.

September 19, 1938:

Goldfinches extremely common here. Storks it appear are migratory & do not appear here till mid-winter. Great variations in temperature.

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The Orwell Diaries – Day 28

Tuesday, September 16th, 2008

Note: Each day that one was written, The Orwell Prize will be posting an entry from Orwell’s Diaries on the 70th anniversary of its composition. You can read the AuthorScoop preview here.

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Excerpt from today’s entry:

September 16, 1938 (Marrakech):

Yesterday (15th) in spite of sensational news of Chamberlain flying to Berlin, with which the papers made great play, there was utter lack of interest here and evidently no belief in war being imminent. Nevertheless there have been large transfers of troops to Morocco. Two of the French liners which run Marseilles-Tangiers-Casablanca were more or less completely filled with troops. There has been a large increase recently in the local Air Force and 125 new officers are said to have arrived.

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The Orwell Diaries – Day 27

Monday, September 15th, 2008

Note: Each day that one was written, The Orwell Prize will be posting an entry from Orwell’s Diaries on the 70th anniversary of its composition. You can read the AuthorScoop preview here.

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Excerpt from today’s entry:

September 15, 1938:

Caught a water-tortoise, about 8” long, outside the small zoological gardens here (evidently it had not escaped from within, though of the same kind as those kept inside.) It was in an irrigation ditch, swimming against the current & only succeeding in remaining about stationary. When turned onto its back it was unable to turn over. It smelt abominably, though active and apparently in good condition.

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