lxxiii : Watch silly things to do
The Winter Olympics are coming in handy for insomnia. Ice dancing … and chocolate. Yep; it was a long one.
Today I explored outward from Salisbury; only a mile or so, on a dulled afternoon. Most of the houses are bog-suburb-council-house-bungalow, with a few oldies still wedged in among.
Eking out brick with flint is a real Wiltshire ploy; pity about the tactless street furniture.
The basic cottage underneath is probably old, but the excessive grooming makes it look like something from a film lot – as if it is thatched with plastic rather than reed or straw.
The church also shows a traditional mixture of materials – fairly recent by church standards, but may be sitting on older foundations. I gave a black mark because it was locked at 2.30 pm – but maybe the local vandals are chronic.
Then this rather forbidding building. I would be hard put to say why it would look completely alien in my own home territory – something to do with the colour of the brick, and perhaps the roof line. Judging by the numerous revisions, this one has been around for a while.
This peach of the vernacular shows classic flint chequerwork in its lower portion; not sure if the dressed stones are very dirty chalk or, as I suspect, greensand (of sentimental memory).
How do you know you have knitted half a ball of wool when you have no accurate scales? Like this …
I wandered into town looking for such comestibles as were necessary for dinner. Being perverse, charity shops were my first destinations, to pick out a couple of books – standbys in this bookless house.
With even greater perversity, the Hunt for the Teapot took over the morning. Charity shops failed me on this one. A fearfully cute little pot I found in one place must, on closer inspection, have been given to the charity shop because, at any attempt to use it, the lid would have dropped out and showered the user with scalding tea. The Hunt took me to supermarkets, cheap shops, ironmongers and at last an expensive cookware shop; where I found a gratifying bargain and concluded the Hunt.
The teapot, though not glamorous in any way, asserted its symbolic value as soon as I got back. And I am already becoming intimate with the tablecloth.
After a long and busy day, involving public transport (including taking the same bus twice), signatures, a trolley full of gubbins, sunshine (thank goodness), huge sausages for lunch, and two kind people, I have come to rest in an attic.
This is part of the route I walked this afternoon.
A river of a nondescript but pleasing kind, rather full thanks to our recent downpours:
A steepish downhill bit, feeling quite aerial above the low roadway:
And a view they don’t put on the postcards:
The experiment has begun.
I went in search of light relief this morning; a middling old churchyard full of sunshine and crocuses and leucojums is no bad place to start. (Click a thumbnail for the gallery)
I rather like this as a title for a blog post (though not going to publish the post to which it belongs, and the title is not particularly funny without it). I wish it held the seed of a poem, but that is probably wishful thinking.
The cosmic omitted chicken post itself is quite dull. Instead I offer an image from today; the waves were best seen from indoors, while we absorbed wraps full of shredded duck (no relation).
… disinclining me to appreciate small things as much as usual. Here, however, I may mention two pleasures of the senses:
A home-made swiss roll bulging with summer fruits, raspberry preserve, and double cream – a potent consolation in its way;
and the Falcon Heavy launch (hardly small, but very brief). My rational part has its doubts about the value of the programme, but seeing the two side boosters settling out of the sky on their tails was pure magic. Pity they lost the core, but perhaps a good thing to keep down corporate hubris.
Now I’m going to watch those boosters separate and land again (for the eleventh time or so). Oh the improbability of it.
lxxii : Crawl on the floor
Kneeling down and bowing before the oven: severe demands of the inanimate object, without any of the dubious pleasures of idolatry. I refused to offer it Pow, Woosh, Zip, Whizz or any other such pricey commodity, confining myself to elbow grease and savage abrasion with a steel scourer, until they had removed a judicious quantity of black. And skin.
It doesn’t do much for insomnia, though.
… and a law unto itself. Having given mine over to the acquisition of facts, academic analysis, and sleeplessness, the arrival of a poem was unexpected. It is always fascinating to see what turns up; on this occasion there is a slightly inverted relationship to the day thoughts, as the poem is about going to sleep, but the reproachful tone is a considerable surprise.