Ladydale Diary

St. Teresa of Avila, 2020

I’ve mentioned on more than one occasion that Susannah has an affectionate relationship with our neighbours, the squirrels. Every morning they loiter expectantly outside the door from the kitchen to the deck, waiting for Susannah to handfeed them peanuts. Imagine Susannah’s shock when she noticed movement in the dray in the neighbouring tree and realized that the critter was not a squirrel but a racoon, presumably eating a late brood of newborns. She ran out onto the deck and began shouting at the raccoon in an act of futile protest. The scavenging interloper merely looked down at her nonchalantly from the safety of the abyss of about fifty feet which separated them. A further concern was our chickens and ducks, which were now free-ranging in the vicinity, having been released from the pen a half hour earlier.

Shooting our unwanted and uninvited guest was not an option because the trajectory of any bullets fired would be in the direction of the houses on the other side of the hill.

It was at this point that the Robin Hood of Ladydale stepped into the fray. I refer to my very self. Armed with Evangeline’s toy bow and error, I began taking aim. My first shots went woefully astray necessitating trips into the woods to retrieve the arrows and replenish the quiver. Eventually my aim improved, causing the increasingly concerned racoon to lie low. In the photograph the racoon can be seen peering out from the dray from between the two orange arrows. After all the arrows were either embedded in foliage in the vicinity of the dray or had been lost in the woods, Susannah came up with the great idea of getting rid of some of the ugly coffee mugs which clutter the cupboards. I began hurling these at the masked trespasser, a couple of the mugs exploding and shattering over its head like makeshift grenades.

Needless to say, we never really expected to hurt the racoon, nor did I particularly even want to do so. The idea was to scare it, in the probably forlorn hope that, in the future, It might think twice about using the trees beside our house as a happy hunting ground.

Although the foregoing episode has eclipsed anything else that happened this week, at least in terms of unexpected drama, the week itself has been anything but uneventful.

Last Friday I gave the keynote address on “Law and Literature” to the online conference of the Catholic Bar Association.

On Saturday, we met up with friends at a Rosary Rally for Life in downtown Greenville.

Sunday was, of course, Mass, followed by a gloriously relaxing afternoon of relative inactivity.

On Monday, I phoned the St. Austin Review’s graphic designer to give the final corrections for the next issue, which has now gone to press. It’s on the theme of “The Pilgrim Fathers: 400 Years On”.

On Monday evening, we continued the discussion of Hamlet in the online Shakespeare class that I’m teaching for the Albertus magnus Institute.

On Tuesday, I wrote a further 2,000 words of my book before leaving for north Georgia to give a talk on “The Evangelizing Power of Beauty” to the local chapter of Legatus, an organization for Catholic business leaders.

Yesterday (Wednesday), having driven back home in the morning, I taught the final class in the course on Dante’s Divine Comedy that I’ve been teaching for Homeschool Connections. Then, in the early evening, I recorded an hour-long interview with Deal Hudson on my book, Old Thunder: A Life of Hilaire Belloc, for his “Church and Culture” show on Ave Maria Radio. Almost immediately after the conclusion of this interview, I taught my online class on “Imaginative Literature” for Memoria College, ascending into heaven with Dante and Beatrice.

Today, I wrote my weekly essay for the Imaginative Conservative and then recorded a session of the FORMED Book Club with Fr. Fessio and Vivian Dudro. We hosted my friend Michael Kurek as our guest author, thereby concluding our discussion of his book, The Sound of Beauty.

This afternoon, I hope and plan to record the three weekly podcasts for the Inner Sanctum, prior to a 4pm meeting with my colleagues at the Augustine Institute. And then, as the final item on today’s agenda, I’m giving a keynote address to an online Catholic homeschool conference.

Tomorrow morning, I leave for Oklahoma to give some talks at Clear Creek Monastery, a place I’ve been hoping to visit for many years. More on that in next week’s Ladydale Diary. Until then, it’s adieu from yours truly, aka the Robin Hood of Ladydale.