Have a very merry Christmas—
It’s off to bed for a few days to look after myself…
I thought the arrow was an especially nice touch!
Many thanks to the surgical team at the William Harvey Hospital…
I managed to find time for a refresher shower shortly before the cat decided it was morning for the third time, knowing full well I’d either soon be summoned back to bed by her or unnecessarily shoved there by the brass monkeys.
You know the sort of thing— the 30 minute wake-up plunge squeezed into 90 seconds, with water that’s underdone for this time of year. I was hopping about chattering in fear of being caught short and shorter between a bout of hypothermia and an outdoors at its worst, in the chops.
We’ve had some particularly serious and chapping weather today; and it’s been miserable. Last night it was howling around the garden, in the way and of the type that used to smoke my cigarettes for me— all whilst slapping me about for good measure. Liveners they may be, but they’re insolent all the same.
It is observations such as these that really can inspire one to start looking at such things in a hurtful way, as though its infliction of injury is quite deliberate.
I can certainly imagine worse ways of looking at weather, but none quite so British or appropriately condescending as categorising it in terms of their manners.
And as such, it really would require a condescending name:
I’ll leave it to you to imagine the extent to which a bag of Atlantic wind would have on your patience; or how amused you’d be were it on someone else’s, but I assure you there really are weather equivalents to:
Obviously, I’ve allowed myself several moments to savour some of the more beastly behaviours of the uncontrollably uncultured and pondered their meteorological twins— and I must confess to much delight in doing so.
There would be something endearing about a forecast focussing on how noisy the weather was going to be; on its brashness; whether it would be rude, brazen, vulgar, impudent, discourteous, unmannerly, uncivil, cheeky, uncouth, crude, crass, gross, rustic, rough, common or churlish…
Or to what percent we ought expect a state of being or funny-business to swirl about us. How it may veer from a general gentlemanliness to being distinctly unladylike, lacking in gallantry, spine, spirit, heroism, pluck or consideration, or in a moment— being chock full of it!
It’s not what I had in mind exactly once the cat had finished her nonsense earlier, but I’ve decided there’s little virtue in describing how to make smash out of chewing gum— or spoiling how amusing applying good etiquette to shitty weather can be.
It had been Chip’s turn to impress the judges of the science fair for as long as he could remember; you were born for this he told himself, just five short minutes and it’s over…
He took the stand, avoiding the small damp patch left over from the experiment Tina had performed with the goldfish and bag of washing powder only seconds before— took a deep breath and began.
“If Einstein had’ve had scurvy the world would be a different place— however, he did not and so the ‘model of the universe’ is incomplete. It’s almost as if the way we’ve looked at the sky because of this, has been determined by the very darkness of space itself— and in doing so— left darkness occupying the thoughts in spaces we should have left retaining their brightness. Take the apple for instance— the true ‘model of the universe’ and inspiration for centuries of health, thought and enlightenment. If [they] hadn’t been so eager to get to ground, then Newton wouldn’t have been so inspired to’ve been so quixotic with his numerals; William Tell wouldn’t have been immortalised by a cowboy and sailors wouldn’t have had so far to go with only a paddle to skull to shore.”
It’s going well he thought, not daring to look up… right then—
“Instead of looking to numbers, which is understandable since mathematicians seem to like them; which is foolish, since there are few of us who know what to do with them besides pulling the odd face and nodding knowingly— and smirking. We should look elsewhere.
“So, if Einstein had been a poet, he’d have chosen a different route, and perhaps weighed his own impressions with his own collection of grimaces. Had he been a carpenter instead of a clerk, or perhaps a gardener with a keen interest in botany— the development of something tangible, like explaining the movement of clouds, would have been cultivated instead. He would also have found the apple and in it— the solutions he wanted so desperately to prove; since a mathematician without proof is just a scientist practising; a gardener without a crop just goes hungry for a little while— so the ‘knowing’ is preferable to the ‘perhaps’ of thought.
“An apple has a core, a seed, a skin, a stalk and a leaf; through which a branch, a trunk and a network of roots affiliate. They connect, create and make anew— much in the same way a human conditions itself in similar circumstances. So I ask you: how would a scar affect a dream? You sleep to heal and dream to co-ordinate but: a scar is a tissue that disrupts the surface: it is a raised imperfection; imperfections are distortions which need negotiating, meaning obstacles, meaning what?”
Chip surveyed his audience, having paused dramatically. That’ll get ’em he thought—
The purpose of the rough, is to reproduce without the impediment of a lumpy bed. The bark, the ground, the leaves— the skin of the apple— and it’s through which and its cycles we come to the ‘model of the universe’…
“Let’s throw away the universal constant because we don’t need it, not today— because although ‘the speed of light’ is inextricably wrapped up with the ‘time’ we need for the fruition of proof— and not least because I’m burdened by using a two dimensional ‘model of the universe’— combined with the long-time over-looked projection of ‘apple-time’— which is like space-time but better for you; both nutritionally and for the purposes of understanding. Especially if you happen to be a lesser exponent of ‘mathematical aptitudes’. This is mainly because there are none required whatsoever.”
He took a small pause and though he observed a distinct lack of fidgeting; he found some of the bewildered gawping a little discomforting. He took some water and continued…
“The nineteenth-century author Charles Lamb wrote: “Nothing puzzles me like time and space, because I never think of them.” Had he considered the benefits of consuming more fruit in his adolescence, he just might have been pondering differently— realising how ultimately fruit-ile and flawed his reasoning, or lack of it was. You see time flies like an arrow— and just because I like the sound of it: ‘fruit flies like a banana’. But what if they did not and what if ‘time’ could not fly at all. What if it fell?
“Let us consider the implications of such a concept shall we? If ‘time’ falls, it means that ‘time’ can be caught— meaning the future is tangible and can be stopped. In other words: if an arrow was aimed at an apple and [it] moved— the arrow would move to hit [it]. The probability of a hand interfering with the natural determinant of an apple striking the ground by catching it, would also curve the trajectory of the arrow— although, because the interruption could be construed as a ‘distortion’— by the rules we’ve already conceived of— though slight and tersely I may add— it’s of worth to note which would be struck first— ‘the hand’ thus resolving the offending variable— or ‘the apple’ to which the attraction originated…”
Chip looked up from the pages he’d been shuffling to a blank room filled with blank faces. The judges at the front of the hall began whispering amongst them selves— twitching their eyebrows as they did so, before the tall gentleman with the distinguished forehead took to his feet.
“Let me see if I’m understanding you correctly; you say the universe can be explained using an apple. And you prefer this method, to that of one of mathematics? In fact you’d dispense with mathematics altogether!”
“That’s correct sir.” said Chip.
“Then why may I ask, an apple? Couldn’t the same be said about an orange— or anything else that grows on trees for that matter?”
“Well, no sir. I do not believe you could.” said Chip. “Not only is it unlikely that Sir Isaac Newton even ever saw an orange— not up close or anything. But I don’t even like oranges…”
I think my blog-watching will take a few days yet…
Skill without imagination is craftsmanship. Just as, imagination without skill gives us modern art. Tom Stoppard made that observation, no doubt with, The Prudence and the Pill in mind: Nothing unites the English like war. Nothing divides them like Picasso.
Modern Art, it’s true— is considered with derision by many and as absurd by most, typified by nothing better than The Turner Prize. It is greeted each year with anticipation and enthusiasm, but for all the wrong reasons. With a glint in their eyes and half-baked chuckles wrestling in their throats, our newsreaders announce the short-list and their creators’ achievements, knowing full well that that we: the unenlightened ones, will be hooting and cursing in equal portions wondering what on Earth it’s all about?
Rachel Whiteread won the award in 1993, with her creation “House”. You may remember it: a Victorian Terrace was filled with concrete then its outsides were taken away, and so astonishing was its impact, the local council waited an entire year before tearing it down.
More recently though we had my personal favourite: Simon Starling, who ingeniously turned a boat into a shed, then back into a boat. Imaginatively titled: Shedboatshed (Mobile Architecture No 2). It was supposed represent the, slowing of things down, and about trying to retard the incredible speed with which we live.
The only thing I could tell was being slowed however, was the boat’s ability to float.
But of course it did. It made perfect sense. It made as much of it as being described ‘eccentric’ did to Mr Starling— which wasn’t a great deal, in fact he took great umbrage at the description— an act I found more bewildering than his former dinghy.
There’s little wrong with ‘form’ of any kind going hand-in-hand with hand and head, but when hands and bloockls become inseparable, even indistinguishable from the bullshit and bafflement which surrounds it; perhaps it’s worth trying to take the intellectual out of the art, or better still, away from it altogether.
How about bringing a little accessibility back? How about something like:
I’d have galleries handing out different coloured gum upon entering, to be chewed; there’s a little ‘shaping’ for you right there, where it matters— on the building blocks. It’s contemporary, very pop; and like all art— not everyone’s cup of tea— so it’ll either be chewed over or not— with verbals or mandibles, it doesn’t matter…
Towards the end of the gallery I would have a canvas for the used gum and a bin for that which was not. I like the irony but none of the significance which could easily be spun— but it’s as close as I can imagine, art for art’s sake, becoming more than a spectator sport, at least indoors anyway; and the kids would love it…
Unfathomable perhaps, but it also just happens to be both a trick and a rhetorical question, because everyone knows there’s not a wider selection of swill to be found anywhere in the world, than on wine-menus. But while descriptions of wines at least only pushes the boundaries of creative writing without affecting its taste; with cosmetics— mainly in the hair-care range, there seems to be a desire to push the very boundaries of nature itself— which isn’t nearly so tender to the tongue.
So much so, I feel my dream qualification is finally on the verge of being realised: the field of un-natural science, where I can finally combine my skills to create a superior face-cream that “reduces the appearance of being a raddled old hack.”
A major supermarket chain has in the meantime created its own wonder of nature with its exclusive: Physique hair-care range, which “cleverly uses magnetic-like forces to create the style you want.” Quite how cleverly and magnetic-like, remains to be seen, but I distinctly recall something about attraction and repulsion as long ago as ‘little’ school, and while it would be the perfect means to keep the proximity of boys and girls’ faces to a minimum, the last thing we’d want would be a generation of boys’ heads being thrust together uncontrollably, particularly at such an impressionable age.
Maybe the Volume Collection just employs good old-fashioned electro-static forces— the force that dares not speak its name in applied trichology since being implicated in the dreaded “fly-away hair” scandal of ’87 or more recently— as proposed right here, with the unlicensed testing on old-aged pensioners: an essential read I assure you.
And then there’s the Control Collection for smooth sleekness, as opposed to that ‘other’ type of sleekness that lacks both? Perhaps it was developed for bonces with surface tension issues, we may never know. I on the other hand have more reason to fear:
Gukk: using the strong nuclear force to stay all day
Which doesn’t sound much like a barn-burner to me; rather something you’d evacuate the whole farm for… and then at least give the surrounding villages a heads-up.
At least it’s not as mind-bogglingly stupid as responding to “permanent, light reflecting colour”. with totally non-light-reflecting hair dye; for a completely natural look..
Which under some circumstances, I agree might be cool! If it wasn’t so f@#$%*£ stupid…
Besides. I have a follow-up!
Walter De La Mare, Miss T.
As much as I used to love turning into a mouse, it kind of gets to you after a while. The ears are pretty cute if cute’s your thing, which it’s not, wasn’t or ever likely to be, so I’m looking for something else to be— and if I’ve learnt anything over the last few days, it’s that the female of species is distinctly off-limits.
You could say I’m on the market for a new barrel— a furry one, something that floats and preferably— something that tastes goood. Especially since I am having an extended vowel sound day…
I was chatting with my friend Delfinus some time ago about a similar subject. She’s from Illinois and unfortunately for her, had a peculiar blood condition which left her symptomatic of something rather less than alive, so there was not much else to do other than find a way to laugh at it. This was all pre-vamp chic, so being bitten by a vampires wasn’t quite the vogue it is today; and for a Christian: becoming affiliated with the dark side, had certain social quandaries and a similar ring to a teen-aged boys first foray into Playboy ownership.
Why else do you think we would’ve been discussing eating our neighbours pets?
She was philosophical about it, though it did get her down at times. It can’t be easy making friends with people and then eating them, can it? I’d even toyed with the idea of getting Hag to give her a few tips on what species of flesh tastes best and how to prepare it when you are in a spot— perhaps even consider opening an eatery for other Lords of the Undead, calling it Killer’s, specialising in corpses to go. But then again, I thought it for-the-best that not too many people find out about either of them, unless there were to be incentives like how to carve a wooden steak.
Like I was saying first of all, this mouse charade had to stop. I loved the ‘eeek-ing’ and I loved the fact I got to eat my weight in cheese whenever the transformation took place; but Autumn had started to give me looks. Brave she may not’ve beeen— since ‘positively cowardly’ is the only ‘pc’ in her routine— but when it came to getting a scamper on with only a couple of ‘eeeks!’ to defend myself, there are few realistic stands worth a chance in hell to bet against surviving— even if there was nothing remotely regimental about my cat.
This I suppose is still a dilemma, because it’s only a matter of time before I get eaten by something. And if I’m gonna get eaten, I want to taste goood!
Call me old fashioned, but I can’t remember the last time I went to a restaurant and found mouse on the menu— cat on the other hand? So I think I’m justified therefore, to conclude that they aren’t the best tasting rodent on the face of the earth. I wouldn’t even like to begin to imagine how much meat you’d get off one… Well, not again:
The last time I did, I declared that we should get a discount on the blind ones, only to be told that they were Chef’s speciality— reared in complete darkness in a cage strapped to the back of retired pit-ponies; something to do with the price of canaries spiralling out of control— and since they were gong to be killed anyway, it was cost effective to use them instead of the birds.
‘It all adds to the flavour’, said one old boy. ‘Thems there mices are bloody ‘eroes. Taste better then them others do too. ‘
To which I added very little but a wry smile and decided to try the fricassee’d panda. There is no doubt in my mind, that if they tasted like chicken there’d be millions of them— so dispute that at your peril.
So mouse-meat would not fill you up and in all honesty, would probably be bland. I find rabbit a little bland and they have a great deal more going for them then mice— but they don’t really have enough variation of sound to warrant a full coolness rating; much like the Martians, but they get discounted owing to their leathery skin; and our future monkey overlords who haven’t yet been introduced to the narrative— and besides I’ve already stated that I consider their meat to be a little tasteless.
I suppose what I’m trying to say is, that if I had to eat someone or something, I’m betting it’s the ones I love that tastes better. Take Autumn or instance. My special lady she may be, but if it came down to having to eat her or some dog of the street. I’d eat her. If I had the choice to eat someone I had genuine affection for or a contemptible prick— I’d choose my friend…
This wouldn’t land me in good stead if mine were the only family left standing after a catastrophic event leaving the globe unpopulated. Between the green blood coursing through Toebag’s veins and Hag— I’d rather suffer the fate of the Stephen King’s Survivor Type as opposed to tucking into either one of those two. At least I know I’d taste sweeet.
Since I’ve failed miserably in my attempt to make a point by neglecting the original reason for making it in the first place and ended up making several completely different ones; I’m not sure whether I should elaborate on my meat theories— which are rather wonderful; further my discussion on the animals I fancy becoming when the moment takes my fancy; why Hag would make such a poor hor d’eourve; pointing-pictures, monkey kings; the website that does tell you how to prepare rogue flesh when you are in a spot; or why cosmetic labels are linguistic wonders.
I guess either way it’s going to be a busy week.