30 September 2012

Jagdsinfonie (L. Mozart)

28 September 2012

Der Alte Fritz (Old Fritz)

26 September 2012

25 September 2012

Morning Routine

I've long believed a well-ordered life is essential to contentment and success. Good habits, as Aristotle tells us, lead to virtue. With this in mind the other evening I was reading my unique hand-autographed copy of American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis. The following passage came to my notice:

"My name is Patrick Bateman. I'm 27 years old. I believe in taking care of myself, and a balanced diet and a rigorous exercise routine. In the morning, if my face is a little puffy, I'll put on an ice pack while doing my stomach crunches. I can do a thousand now. After I remove the ice pack I use a deep pore cleanser lotion. In the shower I use a water activated gel cleanser, then a honey almond body scrub, and on the face an exfoliating gel scrub. Then I apply an herb-mint facial masque which I leave on for 10 minutes while I prepare the rest of my routine. I always use an after shave lotion with little or no alcohol, because alcohol dries your face out and makes you look older. Then moisturizer, then an anti-aging eye balm followed by a final moisturizing protective lotion."

I can identify with Patrick's daily regimen. My morning starts with a cup of tea before 5:30AM whilst I read the news or listen to CNBC. In warmer weather I'll swim 30 laps in the semi-olympic-sized pool, followed by 200 stomach crunches, 40 bicep curls, and 20 overhead shoulder presses, depending on my schedule. I aim for a lean, muscular physique; it doesn't require much effort to show definition. During colder months or when I'm feeling like it, I'll head to the local gym for 30 minutes on the ergometer or treadmill. If I wake up with a woman, I may substitute my regular routine with a round or two of vigorous sex, which works my pecs, abs, and glutes. And prostate.

In the shower I apply various body washes; my favourite at the moment is Neutrogena. My after shave lotion is by L'Occitane, which I've been using for several years. I supplement it throughout the day with frequent applications of aloe moisturising lotion with UV protection. Moisturiser is essential, as I spend quite a bit of time in the sun and water. The benefit of using it, I find, is that my bronzed skin has remained so healthy and young-looking that colleagues and girls think I'm several years younger than I actually am. In addition I wear at all times sunscreen with SPF 30 and vitamin E.

I top off my routine with a dose of scent from Creed, Truefitt & Hill, Royall, or, more recently, Acqua di Parma.

Do you have a morning routine, and if so, what is it?


"Well, it's eighteen months or so ago since I first met Sir Henry Curtis and Captain Good, and it was in this way. I had been up elephant hunting beyond Bamangwato, and had had bad luck. Everything went wrong that trip, and to top up with I got the fever badly. So soon as I was well enough I trekked down to the Diamond Fields, sold such ivory as I had, and also my wagon and oxen, discharged my hunters, and took the post-cart to the Cape. After spending a week in Cape Town, finding that they overcharged me at the hotel, and having seen everything there was to see, including the botanical gardens, which seem to me likely to confer a great benefit on the country, and the new Houses of Parliament, which I expect will do nothing of the sort, I determined to go on back to Natal by the Dunkdd then lying in the docks waiting for the Edinburgh Castle due in from England. I took my berth and went aboard, and that afternoon the Natal passengers from the Edinburgh Castle transhipped, and we weighed anchor and put out to sea.

Among the passengers who came on board there were two who excited my curiosity. One, a man of about thirty, was one of the biggest-chested and longest-armed men I ever saw. He had yellow hair, a big yellow beard, clear-cut features, and large gray eyes set deep into his head. I never saw a finer-looking man, and somehow he reminded me of an ancient Dane. Not that I know much of ancient Danes, though I remember a modern Dane who did me out of ten pounds ; but I remember once seeing a picture of some of those gentry, who, I take it, were a kind of white Zulus. They were drinking out of big horns, and their long hair hung down their backs, and as I looked at my friend standing there by the companion-ladder, I thought that if one only let his hair grow a bit, put one of those chain shirts on to those great shoulders of his, and gave him a big battle-axe and a horn mug, he might have sat as a model for that picture. And, by the way, it is a curioas thing, and just shows how the blood will show out. I found out afterwards that Sir Henry Curtis, for that was the big man's name, was of Danish blood. He also reminded me strongly of somebody else, but at the time I could not remember who it was.

The other man, who stood talking to Sir Henry, was short, stout, and dark, and of quite a different cut. I suspected at once that he was a naval officer. I don't know why, but it is difficult to mistake a navy man. I have gone shooting trips with several of them in the course of my life, and they have always been just the best and bravest and nicest fellows I ever met, though given to the use of profane language.

I asked, a page or two back, what is a gentleman? I'll answer it now : a royal naval officer is, in a general sort of a way, though, of course, there may be a black sheep among them here and there. I fancy it is just the wide sea and the breath of God's winds that washes their hearts and blows the bitterness out of their minds and makes them what men ought to be. Well, to return, I was right again ; I found out that he was a naval officer, a lieutenant of thirty-one, who, after seventeen years' service, had been turned out of her majesty's employ with the barren honor of a commander's rank, because it was impossible that he should be promoted. This is what people who serve the queen have to expect : to be shot out into the cold world to find a living just when they are beginning to really understand their work, and to get to the prime of life. Well, I suppose they don't mind it, but for my part I had rather earn ray bread as a hunter. One's half -pence are as scarce, perhaps, but you don't get so many kicks. His name I found out— by referring to the passengers' list—was Good—Captain John Good. He was broad, of medium height dark, stout, and rather a curious man to look at. He was so very neat and so very clean shaved, and he always wore an eye-glass in his right eye. It seemed to grow there, for it had no string, and he never took it out except to wipe it. At first I thought he used to sleep in it, but I afterwards found that this was a mistake. He put it in his trousers pocket when he went to bed, together with his false teeth, of which he had two beautiful sets that have often, my own being none of the best, caused me to break the tenth Commandment. But I am anticipating."

H. Rider Haggard, King Solomon's Mines (1885)

22 September 2012

The Biltmore

Santa Barbara

21 September 2012

Tea And Parties

"...what I feel we ought to do at this juncture is to dash off somewhere where it's quiet and there aren't so many houses dancing the 'Blue Danube' and shove some tea into ourselves. And over the pot and muffins I shall have something very important to say to you."

P.G. Wodehouse, 'The Amazing Hat Mystery', Young Men In Spats (1936)

20 September 2012

Rugby Polo

For the summer season I picked up a few Rugby shirts from the San Francisco store to augment my existing collection. Here is one of them (at left). It fits exceptionally well. The candid image, snapped by my crack team of photographers, reveals part of the design. The back of the shirt contains the word 'ENGLAND' and a large number '11'. I no longer play rugby, but I once did; I have the broken nose to prove it. Still, while wearing the shirt, I've been asked if I played for England, which of course is not the case, just as it is not the case, despite inquiries, that I am a cop, military officer, nazi, or Russian gangster. I just naturally look the part. Which I suppose is a good thing. At least I'm not mistaken for a bearded academic, dirty hippy, or politician.

19 September 2012

Anse Intendance, Mahé, Seychelles

A few years ago my beautiful young bride (now ex-wife--first of several, I imagine) and I spent a week of our three-week honeymoon in a villa overlooking this, the famous Intendance beach on the southwest coast of Mahé, the main island of the Seychelles. By day we drank champagne after a large breakfast, lounged about the sun-drenched swimming pool with various European bankers and their supermodel wives, and then repaired back to our quarters for a mid-afternoon romp. Afterwards we cooled off in our private pool overlooking the pounding surf. For supper we visited one of the nearby restaurants, and then met on the verandah for wine, cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, and conversation with fellow guests. My petite blonde bride, fluent in French and Arabic, charmed the gathering and quickly made friends. We settled down as the evening drew on, the women chattering away, the chaps drinking whisky and smoking cigars and discussing the rugby scores, business opportunities in Dubai and Qatar, and the global economy. The evening wind and rain tore through the landing, giving us a light soaking. Down below the surf intensified.

All You Need Is Me (Morrissey)

16 September 2012

la plus belle aventure

"Toutes les faims mènent à Dieu"

Jean-René Huguenin

12 September 2012

Flashman: Death Or Glory

06 September 2012

Tiger Hunting In The Raj

05 September 2012

Do Something

'If you know some guys you can connect with, and who are on more or less the same page philosophically, make sure you make time for them. Set aside time to create that history and build that trust. Even women who are "like one of the guys" will have a chilling effect on that process. Men are not honest with each other in the same way when women are present, and establishing trust requires honesty. Men are going to want to have girlfriends and wives and families and other connections with women in their lives, and that is all well and good, but as I said, you can't expect men who don't really know you to help you through tough times. Put in the effort. Eating and drinking together is fine, but it makes more sense to plan tactically oriented outings. You need to learn how to read each other and work together as a group. Go to the shooting range. Go hunting. Play paintball. Go to the gym. Take martial arts classes. Join a sports team. Take a workshop. Learn a useful skill. Fix something. Build something. Make something. Get off your ass and do something.'

Jack Donovan, The Way Of Men (2012)

02 September 2012

True Light

"We have come from God, and inevitably the myths woven by us, though they contain error, will also reflect a splintered fragment of the true light, the eternal truth that is with God. Indeed only by myth-making, only by becoming 'sub-creator' and inventing stories, can Man aspire to the state of perfection that he knew before the Fall. Our myths may be misguided, but they steer however shakily towards the true harbour, while materialistic 'progress' leads only to a yawning abyss and the Iron Crown of the power of evil."

Locals Only !