Wondering what to write – and, indeed, wondering whether I actually would manage to get whatever I wrote posted as the phone company have let me down – I remembered the “Thing That Must Not Happen” as described in Dorothy Sayers’ Murder Must Advertise:
Now, when you see in a newspaper a blank white space, bearing the legend: “THIS SPACE RESERVED FOR SO-AND-SO LTD.,” it may mean nothing very much to you, but to those who know anything of the working of advertising agencies, those words carry the ultimate, ignominious brand of incompetency and failure. So-and-so’s agents have fallen down on their job; nothing can be alleged in mitigation. It is the Thing That Must Not Happen.
Continue reading “intentionally left blank”
Occasionally, offices, hotels and bars choose books as a decorative element in their communal and public spaces, particularly if they have such a suitable setting and furniture as the room in the photo.
Of course, such lovely old shelves require a certain standard or style of books and, all too often, these are bought for the bindings rather than the content.
Continue reading “a sense of order”
Somewhere in a lock-up unit in Spain, in a box surrounded by other boxes filled with books, is my copy of The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge.
It’s a simple, moral story of love and truth, where faith and magic work together to set the world to rights; It’s also one of the books I turn to when I’m in need of comfort. (At least it was before I had to leave it in storage and it will be again, I am sure.)
Continue reading “comfort reading”
The word yellow has been wandering through my mind in search of something to connect with.
It could connect with bulldozer. It could connect with huge chunky slablike somethings that hang in the air in much the same way that bricks don’t. It could connect with the small, leech-like Babel fish.
It could connect with the eyes of a huge eagle with circles tattooed on its wings, or with Kate Schechter’s battered Citroën 2CV.
It could, of course, just connect to fields like the one in the photo, and the rapeseed flowers that are spreading across the English countryside at this time of year: a veritable Suffusion of Yellow.
The sun shone when I walked to the market this morning and again when I walked to the supermarket this afternoon, which gave me the opportunity to take photographs of spring flowers, swelling leaf buds, and even a small tortoiseshell butterfly.
The traditional yellow daffodils with proper trumpets – the ones I think of as King Alfreds – are mostly past their best, but there are all sorts of other varieties in bloom still, including some utterly gorgeous pheasant’s-eye narcissus. The tiny black bugs in the eye of this one make its colours even more like the butterfly in the top photo.
Continue reading “symmetry and disorder”
I think many people would say that 2016 has been a strange year. Perhaps some would even describe it as “less than satisfactory”.
For me personally, the year has had some appreciable highs, made more obvious by some fairly noticeable lows, and although I’ve done quite a lot, I haven’t managed to achieve as much as I would have liked.
Continue reading “second chance”
When I lived in Spain I used to complain about how long the holiday season lasted: it seemed to stretch all the way from the fiestas at the beginning of December until past Twelfth Night.**
Here in the UK, though, much as I was bemoaning the supermarket aisles crammed with marzipan, iced cake and mince pies back in October, Christmas seems to be a bit of a flash in the pan.
Continue reading “almost over”