- Wastwater. I lived on Wastwater Rise when I was very little. It didn't have a view of the lake... or the screes or the tarns hidden up around the valley or the wind. When I think of home, that's it (or half of it, and the other half is Braystones beach and doesn't start with "w" at all). Especially in winter with the cloud down low and curtains of rain... and damp sheep.
- Which leads me neatly onto: wool. I love all yarns and, a bit like bookshops and art supplies shops, I can't pass a yarn shop without going in and succumbing to the temptation to buy. It could just as easily be tapestry yarn and canvas and a fresh supply of blunt-ended needles (I rust or at least badly deplate a needle in a day) as knitting wool and needles. The way wool takes up colour (and I'm not really in this colour malarkey) whether soft natural dyes or bright chemical dyes is just wonderful. The properties of the different breeds, the elasticity, the texture. Hand-knit, custom-sized woollen socks: absolute heaven.
- And while I'm knitting I can always listen to the wireless. These days I'm back to being a radio 4 groupie. It wasn't always the way. At nine or so, when I first started "borrowing" my mother's radio, I listened to radio 3, especially late at night when it broadcast the Open University. The background to daily life as a child was radio 4, tho'. It's quite pleasing to see this repeated in the next generation: when I tell Looby Loo to switch off the TV, it inevitably starts an argument as to whether she should turn to radio 3 (her choice) or radio 4 (mine). (It used to be that we turned to BBC7, but the reorganisation early last year that shifted the drama series just slightly (cheating me of Sherlock Holmes) and got rid of the "tween" oriented programs caused us to defect.) Interestingly, what Looby Loo often wants to hear is the news. So, mostly, radio 4 is the background to my life, especially In Our Time and Thinking Allowed and FOOC and Open Country. The drama isn't as good as I remember from years back and the horribly truncated classic serials just irritate. But access via the PC, downloading, and Listen Again all make life wonderfully flexible, especially with the...
- Wireless network. Such a good thing not being tied to a desk (even if I'm generally still trailing a power cord). The cats don't like it, if it means my laptop really is on my lap.
- Which leads us onto whiskers... on kittens (or fully grown cats), and whiffly barbels on catfish, and moustaches and sideburns and beards on men.
- Wood's good for lots. And it smells, has grain and texture, is flexible when young and enduringly solid when old. It's wilderness; it can be worked. It makes bows and spindles. It's in the fire on the and the washed-up bleached logs on the beach. I'm especially happy that it's made into casks that age sherry and are then reused for...
- Whisky, scotch. From the correct islands (Arran, Jura, Islay, Orkney). Neat. I get drunk in a different way with whisky to any other tipple (Absinthe excepted), not sleepy, the cogs in the brain well lubricated. One thing that's never affected by whisky is my...
- Walking. As a non-cycling non-driver, it's probably a good thing that walking makes me happy. It does, done outdoors (treadmills are fit only for ancient prisons) with suitable surroundings and enough urgency to arrive to keep the pace brisk. I think clearer walking.
- West. I orient myself by knowing that when the hills are on my right and the setting sun's over the sea on my left I'm facing north (and all's well with the world). Sunrise over the the sea? A nasty perversion invented by folk who don't know what's right and proper (and probably support the wrong cricket team and sport the wrong colour rose). West is the view from an empty Braystones beach with Man in the distance and a golden path across the waves towards it. West is waters warmed by the gulf stream, sheltered by Ireland, gardens growing plants more suited to tropical climes, rain, rain, rain. West is also the open sea and skies going on with no end.
- Words. 'Nuff said, really. Or, maybe, "Word over all, beautiful as the sky!" or sometimes "words fail, words fall, like rock, like falling stone". Measured, precise; slippery, ambiguous. Utterly necessary.
So, the meme:
Comment and I'll provide you with a letter of the alphabet (and I promise to stick to the standard 26-letter roman one, unless you fancy Greek or Cyrillic or the odd outlandish character). You then list, with whatever illustration or amplification seems fit, 10 things you love that begin with that letter.
Your Score: Semicolon
You scored 7% Sociability and 82% Sophistication!
Congratulations! You are the semicolon! You are the highest expression of punctuation; no one has more of a right to be proud. In the hands of a master, you will purr, sneering at commas, dismissing periods as beneath your contempt. You separate and connect at the same time, and no one does it better. The novice will find you difficult to come to terms with, but you need no one. You are secure in your elegance, knowing that you, and only you, have the power to mark the skill or incompetence of the craftsman. You have no natural enemies; all fear you. And never, NEVER let anyone tell you that you cannot appear in dialogue!
|Link: The Which Punctuation Mark Are You Test written by Gazda on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test|
So, a good while back, I wrote a sort-of song/rap about daemons.
( And if I hide it behind a cut, you can safely pass by the results of too much unhealthy thought about the various possibilities. )
Actually, I did a kind of Reader's Digest Condensed version too:
( Very silly. )
Mine's a pint, btw ;-)
Elle jouait avec sa chatte,
Et c'était merveille de voir
La main blanche et la blanche patte
S'ébattre dans l'ombre du soir.
Elle cachait - la scélérate ! -
Sous ces mitaines de fil noir
Ses meurtriers ongles d'agate,
Coupants et clairs comme un rasoir.
L'autre aussi faisait la sucrée
Et rentrait sa griffe acérée,
Mais le diable n'y perdait rien...
Et dans le boudoir où, sonore,
Tintait son rire aérien,
Brillaient quatre points de phosphore.
[here's hoping for preservation of accents during posting]
- Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
- I will respond by asking you five personal questions so I can get to know you better. If I already know you well, expect the questions may be a little more intimate! (but not that intimate ;-D)
- You will update your lj with the answers to the questions.
- You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the post.
- When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.
Avast and shiver me timbers! My dragon don't do Pirate speak. Aaarrr!
(In other words, I finally got round to buying some cheap off-site storage, since backing up files from the upstairs PC to the downstairs PC didn't strike me as a great deal of protection. And no, voice recognition software is definitively not configured by default to cope with Talk like a Pirate Day.)
... Andrew Motion's contemporary nursery rhyme, "The Man".
Mother! Mother! Why's that manThis appeared in The Grauniad's Are you sitting comfortably?
Behind us on the bus?
Sssh my darling, look away
And he won't look at us.
Mother! Mother! Why's his face
So angry and so cold?
Sssh my darling, never mind
And do as you are told.
Mother! Mother! Why's that clock
Tick-tocking on his chest?
Sssh my darling, take my hand
It's just the way he's dressed.
Mother! Mother! Why's the world
No longer passing by?
Sssh my darling, come with me
It's time we said good-bye.
It's superb. There's a historic particularity, which I often feel in the generality of a nursery rhyme. It's got the right language, the right use of repetition, and the right rhythm for a nursery rhyme. What I think marks it out is the handling of the final line of each stanza, the first three almost plonkingly pedestrian and exactly what a mother would say (I know I've said at least one of them), the final one just as banal but, with the double import of that goodbye--the commonplace au revoir and a fatal, final adieu--utterly shocking.
Wow. [with tears in my eyes]
Having failed previously to memetically post a poem--having thought variously of Milligan's "String" and Auden's "Shield of Achilles" and nowt in between--this is now my contribution.
From yonmei: When you see this in a friend's journal, quote Shakespeare!
Glittering in golden coats, like images [H IV, pt 1, Act IV, scene i, l. 110]That's one line. There's another from MND. And, of all of WS's plays, that's all I've kept close to me (the poems are different: I read the sonnets almost daily). For 10 years of compulsory study, it's not much. But then I always felt that Tennyson could be encapsulated in the one phrase "far as the wild swan wings" [The Palace of Art, l. 31].
Brevity's great, innit.