I have pointed out on many occasions that looking at things from different angles and perspectives can result in a very different view and understanding of any situation.
I’ve also expressed a tendency to look upwards and be positive about things. But this week I was reminded that sometimes the view is better when you look down on things.
As seen in the picture above, the cathedral in Birmingham was rather spotty viewed through the autumn trees at ground level. But I had the chance to go up to the sixth floor of one of the building in the square and it was definitely a better – and clearer – view.
Here, then, is a poem about points of view.
What’s it like? he asks, as she suddenly
strips off her cardigan and morphs the TV guide
into a makeshift fan. It’s winter;
doesn’t it have advantages?
At 5 am, she thrusts the quilt aside; bare feet
and legs jut from the bed and she fights
the pillow, desperate to find a patch of cool.
Does it hurt at all? What do you feel?
She tears her hair back from her face, swearing
she’ll have it all cut off. Does your temperature
actually rise? He stifles thoughts of contagion,
stretches a tentative hand to her brow, and wonders
how to harness all the unexploited natural energy
of menopausal flushes round the world.
“Spring forward; Fall back.” – the mnemonic my father taught me to remember which way the clocks needed to be altered at the beginning and end of British Summer Time.
Fall back is also one of those marvellous English phrasal verbs – known by many EFL students as “frazzle” verbs, presumably because of the effect on the mind of trying to memorise them – where a main verb is combined with a particle (adverb, preposition, or both).
Continue reading “fall back”
It’s that time of year again. The time of year when, all around, trees show us how things should be done: how easy it is to cut all ties and shake off old habits; to get rid of everything that really isn’t needed, ready to start again afresh.
Sadly, we tend not to be as good at decluttering as our deciduous neighbours.
Continue reading “letting go”
I was out and about before the sun was up this morning and rushing off to the station.
That meant I didn’t have my good camera with me – it’s too heavy for general use – and I didn’t really pause to frame and focus, so the pictures I took of the misty morning in the park are not worth the pixels they’d take to display nor the bytes they need for keeping.
Continue reading “morning and evening”
At first glance, it may look as if the rather snazzy spider in the photo is lying on her back waving her legs in the air. In fact she was dangling a few inches above the kitchen counter, suspended from the ceiling by a thread. It’s probably just as well that I saw her before I put the mixing bowl down and started measuring out the flour to make scones.
She was the second spider I had to ask to leave the house this morning. I don’t suppose either of them really fancied being outside in the rain, but I decided I’d be happier if they left the premises, even if they weren’t.
Continue reading “de-bugging procedures”
It’s nearly thirty years since Douglas Adams wrote Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency and introduced the Electric Monk to the world:
The Electric Monk was a labour-saving device, like a dishwasher or a video recorder. Dishwashers washed tedious dishes for you, thus saving you the bother of washing them yourself, video recorders watched tedious television for you, thus saving you the bother of looking at it yourself; Electric Monks believed things for you, thus saving you what was becoming an increasingly onerous task, that of believing all the things the world expected you to believe.
I remember reading that and feeling a kind of recognition.
Continue reading “background conversation”
It’s really too hot for thought, so I’ve dug back into the archives for something to suit the weather.
Heat swells to stuff the corners
of the room, tucking itself up
to pad the picture rail, deadening
the walls. We lie at the edges
of a king-sized bed, white cotton
smooth beneath us. You reach across
and touch me. Sweat breaks
under the weight of your hand.