Category Archives: defæcation

Latrine-cleaners and politicians

Dalrymple writes:

Someone has to do politics, just as people have to do other unpleasant jobs, such as cleaning lavatories.

Harmless futility of alternative medicine

Ayurvedic steam treatment for irritable bowel syndrome

Ayurvedic steam treatment for irritable bowel syndrome

The continued popularity of alternative medicine does not matter, writes Dalrymple. There may be cases

in which a belief in it prevents someone from seeking treatment for a serious but treatable disease, and thereby causes avoidable death. But most believers in alternative medicine also avail themselves of the orthodox variety.

Supposedly healing herbs and minerals

can be poisonous. I have seen people poisoned with lead and arsenic by Ayurvedic practitioners. But these cases are few and far between.

Screen Shot 2015-05-30 at 08.20.07


The number of people saved by alternative medicine

approaches zero,


I have long since ceased to be irritated by the irrationality of others in this matter, for we are all of us irrational about something and all of us in need of consolation at some time or other in our lives.

Screen Shot 2015-05-30 at 08.24.53

Propriety in the evacuation of waste matter



The singular habits of A.R. Powys

A description by his brother J.C. Powys of A.R. Powys, author of Repair of Ancient Buildings (1929) and secretary of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, comes to Dalrymple’s attention.

The account reads, in part:

Nothing in his life was at random. Nothing was wanton or wilful. In dress, in ablution, in food, in drink, in the minutest arrangements of his time, of the objects around him, of his rooms, of his garden, of his household utensils, in lighting a fire, in opening a bottle, in whittling a stick, in driving a nail, in hanging a picture, in washing a dish, in chopping a log, in cutting a loaf, he would always follow a carefully considered method of his own, for which when challenged…he would bring forth a most confounding and irrefutable weight of elaborate justification.Screen Shot 2013-03-07 at 20.00.24