A few days ago, in her column in the Daily Telegraph, Victoria Coren Mitchell, commenting on our present times, wrote;
Most of us have veered sharply in one of two directions: into the future or into the past. Some have relaxed into a rather 18th-century life of sketching, singing and snoozing, with an hour’s constitutional each day to take the air. Others have grabbed the 21st century by the throat, downloading Zoom and Skype, taking mass online Zumba classes and launching podcasts.
Now as somebody who never quite got on with the twentieth century it is obvious which way I would go. So today I found myself regulating my Beaureau. My wife had pointed out that several generations of spiders had created interesting artworks between my larger Galilean thermometer and Rush Light holder, so I spent several hours turning this.
Discovering the desiccated remains of arachnids, and other invertebrates, small tools of various dates and part of a Mammoth tooth (in other words the usual things one has on a desk).
But how, you might ask if you have managed to get this far, is this Georgian?
Well, I remembered a passage in the diary of Edmund Rack of Bath, which not only mentioned tidying a desk but also covered the problem of toilet paper shortage!
January 14 1780
In the morning regulated my Beaureau and put the useless papers on a string for necessary purposes.