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When the silver rays of a refined full moon descend upon Blandings Castle, the ancestral home of Clarence, ninth Earl of Emsworth, queer things start happening.

Would-be brides find themselves quarantined, so obdurate mothers may breathe easy. Romantic aspirations get into a jumble. Phantom faces keep popping up, proving the theory advanced by Dr E. Jimpson Murgatroyd that excess consumption of tissue restoratives results in such hallucinations. A diamond necklace goes missing, thereby creating conditions which could lead to a nasty divorce.

But Gally is there to set things right, acting like an elderly Christopher Robin, leaving everybody happy, loving young hearts united, and nothing for anyone to worry about.

Here are some of the gems from Full Moon which fans of P G Wodehouse may relish.

 

When clotted cream becomes audible

Her reverie was interrupted by the opening of the door. The pencil of light beneath it had attracted Colonel Wedge’s eye as he started forth on his mission. She raised her head from the pillow and rolled two enormous eyes in his direction. In a slow, pleasant voice, like clotted cream made audible, she said:
‘Hullo, Dad-dee.’

Some basics of Cardiology

To say of anyone’s heart that it stood still is physiologically inexact. The heart does not stand still. It has to go right on working away at the old stand, irrespective of its proprietor’s feelings. Tipton’s, though he would scarcely have believed you if you had told him so, continued to beat. But the illusion that it had downed tools was extraordinarily vivid.

The proceedings at reunions

Few things are more affecting than these reunions of old buddies after long separation, but they involve too many queries as to what old What’s-his-name is doing now and whatever became of old So-and-so to make good general reading.

When business magnates behave like Roman Emperors

You don’t know my father-in-law, of course. He’s a bird who looks like a Roman emperor and has a habit of hammering on the table during conferences and shouting: “Come on, come on, now. I’m waiting for suggestions.”

 

 

Einstein and Gally

There were men in London – bookmakers, skittle sharps, jellied eel sellers on race-courses, and men like that – who would have been puzzled to know whom you were referring to if you had mentioned Einstein, but they all knew Gally.

A beleaguered garrison in India

It was with something of the emotions of the beleaguered garrison of Lucknow on hearing the skirl of the Highland pipes that he came at long last out of a sort of despairing coma to the realization that the dressing gong was being beaten, and that for half an hour he would be alone.

When a gnat bite depreciates radiant beauty by between sixty and seventy per cent, Sugg’s Soothine helps

As Veronica Wedge stood gazing at Tipton Plimsoll with her enormous eyes, like a cow staring over a hedge at a mangel-wurzel, no one could have guessed that a few brief hours previously the nose beneath those eyes had been of a size and shape that had made her look like W. C. Fields’s sister.

Uninspiring dinners at English country homes

Too often, in English country houses, dinner is apt to prove a dull and uninspiring meal. If the ruling classes of the island kingdom have a fault, it is that they are inclined when at table to sit champing their food in a glassy-eyed silence, doing nothing to promote a feast of reason and a flow of soul.

 

The Thinker (Auguste Rodin)

 

A meditative state

He went back to the bed and sat down again, his chin on his hand, motionless. He looked like Rodin’s Penseur.

When an ex-fiancé spoils the fun

Ex, one says, for where he had once beheld in Frederick Threepwood a congenial crony and a sidekick with whom it had been a pleasure to flit from high spot to high spot, he now saw only a rival in love, and a sinister, crafty, horn-swoggling rival at that, one who could be classified without hesitation as a snake. At least, if you couldn’t pigeon-hole among the snakes bimbos who went about the place making passes at innocent girls after discarding their wives like old tubes of toothpaste, Tipton was at a loss to know into what category they did fall.

Trouser seats

The face which now looked up into his was one which harmonized perfectly with the trouser seat. It was the face, as the trouser seat had been the trouser seat, of a tortured soul.

A perspective on future sons-in-law

There are fathers, not a few of them, who tend to regard suitors for their daughter’s hand with a jaundiced and unfriendly eye, like shepherds about to be deprived of a ewe lamb.

A bad bit of casting

His eyes rested on Prudence and in them now there was nothing but affection, gratitude, and esteem. It amazed him that he could ever have placed her among the squirts. An extraordinarily bad bit of casting. What had caused him to do so, of course, had been her lack of inches, and he realized now that in docketing the other sex what you had to go by was not size, but soul. A girl physically in the peanut division steps automatically out of her class if she has the opalescent soul of a ministering angel.

The perks of wearing a false fungus

Every young man starting out in life ought to wear a false beard, if only for a day or two. It stiffens the fibre, teaches him that we were not put into this world for pleasure alone.

Of Clarence and jellyfish

‘My dear boy, I have been closely associated with my brother Clarence for more than half a century, and I know him from caviare to nuts. His I.Q. is about thirty points lower than that of a not too agile-minded jellyfish.’

 

 

Poet Robert Burns

It is a truism to say that the best-laid plans are often disarranged and sometimes even defeated by the occurrence of some small unforeseen hitch in the programme. The poet Burns, it will be remembered, specifically warns the public to budget for this possibility.

The density of face fungus

Too little, the chronicler realizes, has been said about that beard of Fruity Biffen’s, and it may be that its concealing properties have not been adequately stressed. But reading between the lines, the public must have gathered an impression of its density. The Fruities of this world, when they are endeavouring to baffle the scrutiny of keen-eyed bookmakers, do not skimp in the matter of face fungus. The man behind this beard was not so much a man wearing a beard as a pair of eyes staring out of an impenetrable jungle; and, try as she might, Lady Hermione was unable to recall any more definite picture than just that.

A puma of the Indian jungle

Throughout this well-phased harangue Lady Hermione had been sitting with twitching hands and gleaming eyes. It had not occurred to the speaker that there was anything ominous in her demeanour, but a more observant nephew would have noted her strong resemblance to the puma of the Indian jungle about to pounce upon its prey.

The Aunt, the whole Aunt, and nothing but the Aunt

Lady Hermione was still sitting behind the teapot, as rigidly erect as if some sculptor had persuaded her to pose for his Statue of an Aunt. In all the long years during which they had been associated it seemed to Freddie that he had never seen her looking so undisguisedly the Aunt, the whole Aunt, and nothing but the Aunt, and in spite of himself his heart sank a little. Even Lady Emily Finch, though her mental outlook was that of a strong-minded mule, an animal which she resembled in features as well as temperament, had been an easier prospect.

An unbridgeable gulf

The Hon. Galahad snorted sharply. Himself a bachelor, he was unable to understand and sympathize with what seemed to him a nephew’s contemptible pusillanimity. There is often this unbridgable gulf between the outlook of single and married men.

When equanimity gets ruffled

‘She’ll divorce me.’

‘Nonsense.’

‘She will, I tell you. American wives are like that. Let the slightest thing ruffle their equanimity, and bingo! Ask Tippy. His mother divorced his guv’nor because he got her to the station at ten-seven to catch a train that had started at seven-ten.’

 

 

Poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge

There is a widely advertised patent medicine which promises to its purchasers a wonderful sense of peace, poise, neural solidity and organic integrity, and guarantees to free them from all nervous irritability, finger-drumming, teeth-grinding, and foot-tapping. This specific Tipton Plimsoll might have been taking for weeks, and the poet Coleridge, had he been present, would have jerked a thumb at him with a low-voiced: ‘Don’t look now, but that fellow over there will give you some idea of what I had in mind when I wrote about the man who on honeydew had fed and drunk the milk of Paradise.’

The omelette gag

‘But you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs. Not Shakespeare,’ said the Hon. Galahad. ‘One of my own. Unless I heard it somewhere. Besides, Freddie’s agony will be only temporary.’

Of lovers’ impulses

The primary impulse of every lover, on seeing the adored object on a balcony, is to shin up and join her.

Cactus in a trouser seat

What urged him to retreat was the thought of having to meet Lady Hermione again. It stimulated him to action like a cactus in the trouser seat.

A family’s average of mental anguish

It is fortunately only very rarely that in any given family in the English upper classes you will find two members of it who have drained the bitter cup in a single afternoon. The average of mental anguish is as a rule lower.

 

Full Moon is only one example of the virtuosity of Plum, whose narratives are littered with similes, literary allusions and insights on human behaviour. These amuse, entertain and educate.

 

(Related Post: https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2015/03/19/some-juicy-quotes-from-stiff-upper-lip-jeeves)

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  1. Mahatma Gandhi held that “To remake ourselves as human beings, our greatness lies not so much in remaking the world – which is the myth of atomic age – as in being able to remake ourselves.”
  2. Jacquelyn Small, the French psychologist, stated, “We are not small human beings trying to be spiritual, we are spiritual beings practicing to be human”.
  3. Proust: We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us.
  4. Johann Goethe: Self-knowledge is best learned not by contemplation, but by action. Strive to do your duty and you will soon discover what stuff you are made of.
  5. Albert Einstein: The only source of knowledge is experience.
  6. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr: A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.

(Yours truly has contributed some of the chapters in the book and has also edited it.)

(Related Post: https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2019/03/18/some-quotable-quotes-which-appear-in-the-book-on-leader-mindsets-part-2)

 

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Here are some more gems of wisdom from the book:

  1. I am what I am.
  2. Samuel Johnson: There lurks, perhaps, in every human heart a desire of distinction, which inclines every man, first to hope, and then to believe, that Nature has given him something peculiar to himself.
  3. ‘I Am Something’ mindset believes that I am neither above you, nor below you. I am neither in front of you, nor behind you. I am neither away from you, nor near to you. I am along with you. I am however different and distinct. So are you.
  4. Mukesh Ambani, Indian industrialist: In the journey of an entrepreneur, the most important thing is self belief and the ability to convert that belief into reality.
  5. Maxwell Maltz: Low esteem is like driving through life with your hand brake on.
  6. The significance of being insignificant.
  7. Ravi Thilagan, Management Educator: ‘I Am Something’ is assertion. ‘I Am Everything’ is aggression and ‘I Am Nothing’ leads to submission. ‘I Am Something’ perhaps leads to courage and humility in right proportion?

(Yours truly has contributed some of the chapters in the book and has also edited it.)

(Related Post: https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2019/03/11/some-quotable-quotes-which-appear-in-the-book-on-leader-mindsets)

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  1. Dr S Radhakrishnan, former President of India: Man is the cause of the problem, as also its solution.
  1. Sri Aurobindo, the great thinker: Mastery means the knowledge of handling certain vibrations; if you know how to handle these vibrations you have the mastery. 
  1. Jean-Paul Sartre: Everything has been figured, except how to live. 
  1. Confucius: It’s better to light a small candle than to curse the darkness in our lives.
  1. Ekanath Easwaran: M K Gandhi’s faith in the power of the individual formed the foundation for his extremely compassionate view of the industrial era’s large scale problems as well as of the smaller but no less urgent troubles we find in our lives. One person can make a difference. 
  1. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, former Prime Minister of India: What matters is this/That there must be expanse with height /So that a man /Is not fixed and dead as a stump /But blends in and belongs with others. 
  1. Dr Ananda Reddy, Director, Sri Aurobindo Centre for Advanced Research, Pondicherry, India: The mindset of ‘I Am Something’ presents a judicial combination of management and philosophy.
  1. Marcel Proust (French Novelist, 1871- 1922): Love is space and time measured by the heart.

(Yours truly has contributed some of the chapters in the book and has also edited it.)

(Related Posts:

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2019/02/04/a-brand-new-way-of-increasing-leadership-effectiveness

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2019/02/10/a-word-about-the-book-on-leadership

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2019/02/19/key-takeaways-from-the-book-on-leader-mindsets

https://ashokbhatia.wordpress.com/2019/02/26/of-leadership-and-its-myriad-lenses)

 

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“He had just about enough intelligence to open his mouth when he wanted to eat, but certainly no more.”

“At the age of eleven or thereabouts women acquire a poise and an ability to handle difficult situations which a man, if he is lucky, manages to achieve somewhere in the later seventies.”
(Uneasy Money)

“There are moments, Jeeves, when one asks oneself, ‘Do trousers matter?'”
“The mood will pass, sir.”
(The Code of the Woosters)

“He had the look of one who had drunk the cup of life and found a dead beetle at the bottom.”

“I could see that, if not actually disgruntled, he was far from being gruntled.”
(The Code of the Woosters)

“She looked as if she had been poured into her clothes and had forgotten to say “when”. 

“I always advise people never to give advice.”

“A melancholy-looking man, he had the appearance of one who has searched for the leak in life’s gas-pipe with a lighted candle.”
(The Man Upstairs and Other Stories)

“There is only one cure for grey hair. It was invented by a Frenchman. It is called the guillotine.”

It was a confusion of ideas between him and one of the lions he was hunting in Kenya that had caused A. B. Spottsworth to make the obituary column. He thought the lion was dead, and the lion thought it wasn’t. – 
(Ring for Jeeves)

“And she has got brains enough for two, which is exact quantity the girl who marries you will need”. 

“She fitted into my biggest arm-chair as if it had been built round her by someone who knew they were wearing arm-chairs tight about the hips that season.”

(Carry On Jeeves)

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