Why I love LeCarre in These titles mean nothing.

  • May 17, 2021, 8:31 a.m.
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Page 255 of Ballantine paperback of The Night Manager. First couple paragraphs of chapter 17 - how many/much depends on my non-existent typing skillz.


There was Crystalside and there was Townside, and though the two were separated by a mere half-mile as the frigate bird flew, they could have been different islands, because between them sat the hillock proudly called Miss Mabel Mountain, the highest point in all the islands far around, which wasn’t saying much, with an apron of haze hoisted around her midriff, and the broken-down slave houses at her feet, and her forest where shafts of sun shone like daylight through a broken roof.

Chrystalside was meadowed as an English shire, with clusters of umbrella trees that from a distance could have been oak, and English cattle fences, and English ha-has, and vistas of the sea between soft English hilltops artfully landscaped by Roper’s tractors.

But Townside was dour and blowy like Scotland with the lights on, with scraggy goat fields on the slant, and tin shops, and a cricket field of blown red dust, with a tin pavilion, and a prevailing easterly that flicked the water in Carnation Bay.


A ha-ha, as referenced in the middle paragraph, is a recessed landscape design element that creates a vertical barrier while preserving an uninterrupted view of the landscape beyond. The design includes a turfed incline that slopes downward to a sharply vertical face. Wikipedia

pic here https://www.google.com/search?q=ha-ha&rlz=1CAVHDQ_enUS949&oq=ha-ha&aqs=chrome..69i57j35i39i362l7j69i59l2…7.1477j0j15&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Ha-has look like animal control devices - picture also shows that purpose. They look expensive and difficult to maintain, though a lot of livestock management is expensive and difficult to maintain.

Talking ha-has and animal control, our neighbors are missing half a dozen beautiful red Angus heifers who escaped after being introduced to a new location. I assume they will show up but they’ve been on the lam for several days.

I’ll keep you informed.

gattaca May 17, 2021

Do cows wander away, I wonder? I suppose so, if they are grazing.

woman in the moon gattaca ⋅ May 17, 2021

Have you ever seen a western movie? Cows have minds of their own, they get scared, they are curious, and they are always hungry. Fences are mere suggestions. Well good fences are more than suggestions but often fences aren't good.
These were moved from their home to a totally new location. One escaped, then returned, then re-escaped along with her compatriots.

Marg woman in the moon ⋅ May 22, 2021

That made me laugh so much - it just sounded like a whole planned operation - Right guys I’ve done a trial run and it works so tomorrow night we’re all going ...... :)

noko May 17, 2021

Oh, I heard about Ha has on a garden segment about lawns the other day!

woman in the moon noko ⋅ May 18, 2021

Small/big world.

noko woman in the moon ⋅ May 18, 2021

They said that they were developed back when people started having lawns so that the sheep could graze the lawns but wouldn't get too close to the manor house where the workman scythed the grass carefully and the women followed with baskets to pick up the shorn grass.

Jinn May 18, 2021

I would be nervous if those were my cows. Cattle rustling is still a thing because the price of beef is still high and may go higher soon .

woman in the moon Jinn ⋅ May 18, 2021

They are beyond nervous. It's a complex parent/child farming operation. I didn't hear anything yesterday. Son and I discussed 'rustling' and concluded it would be a hard thing to do. Cattle are worth money though and as I said these are nice ones.

Jinn woman in the moon ⋅ May 18, 2021

I hope they find them. I read that ranchers in the West still get alot of cattle stolen by thieves. They just find them grazing remotely and drive up livestock trailers . I was shocked as I thought those crimes were in the past . Horses are being stolen too and of course any valuable breed of dog :-(

NorthernSeeker May 18, 2021

Ha-has look like something that might have to be pumped out after a big rain. I loved the Night Manager but I have only the sketchiest recall of it now. I'm sure at the time I didn't look up ha-has so thanks for that information.

Serin May 23, 2021

The prose is lovely. And I'm glad you explained the ha-ha because I'd encountered them before but forgotten what they were.

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