Saturday, November 15, 2014

apropos de nuffinque

... this is a second attempt at one i "facebooked" earlier this week

Sunday, November 9, 2014


I have woken early, immediately known I cannot go back to sleep, and then knowingly gone to the station at Clapham Junction far too early to catch the first train on my journey west.

The coffee shop will not open in time, although nowadays I am not an addict.  So I mope and loiter, on the street and then in the street-level precinct, before proceeding along the deserted passage towards the platform, passing other staircases to other platforms as I go.

At the foot of the very first staircase, a tiny movement “in the corner of my eye” catches my attention.  It is a tiny grey mouse.  I can’t remember the last time I saw one, and so I stop to stare.

How very like a toy mouse.  In the shadows this grey fluffy ball of energy is only just visible, smaller than a table-tennis ball, whizzing to and fro in its state of perpetual hunger, whirring legs out of sight, the long tail held dead straight and horizontal, the eyes mere pinpricks of reflected lamplight.

Footsteps approach in the echoing passage and my reverie is broken.  I become self-conscious about my fascination and turn to leave.

And I find myself face to face with a very pretty bouncy strutting bright-eyed teenager, going home in party clothes.  On her nose she has painted a black spot, and beneath it she has sketched out with mascara some cat’s whiskers.

Friday, October 31, 2014

3BT, no, four ! no, five !!!!!

In the wee small hours, a small bespectacled drunk with a rasping Balkan accent gets on to the night bus as i’m going in to work, and he refuses to show a pass or a ticket.  He stomps to the back seat of the bus and sits down with his arms folded.  When the driver stops the bus engine and asks him again, the drunk accuses him of being insulting and untrusting, and the air turns blue as he vainly attempts an appeal to the silent passengers for sympathy.  The driver opens the doors and very politely asks him to leave, but the drunk refuses with another flock of expletives.  Sighing, I get up and walk through the bus to have a word with the man.  I could probably pick him up and carry him out.  Instead, i sit quietly beside him, tell him the only rude person on the bus is himself, and then i remove his spectacles and get off the bus myself, and walk briskly away in the direction of travel.  He follows in something of a panic, whining that his glasses cost over £300.  With a smile, i stop and hand them back, and then skip back on to the bus.  As the driver shuts the doors, which always seems to take forever, the drunk rushes up and gets one foot on the threshold, but i place my hand in the middle of his chest and out he goes again !  And off we go.

( Earlier, at Clapham Junction, a cherubic young woman wearing tiny red devil's horns was practising some really elegant dance moves by the bus stop for ten minutes ... and she really could dance ! )

Later, at first light, Ashdown Forest turns pink.

Twelve hours later, as I slump grey-faced on the way home, the head of the slender lady sitting next to me on Vauxhall station is suddenly illuminated in a late afternoon sunbeam.  She has silken red hair and orange freckles. And how they do glow !  Halloween colours !  Hurrah !

The loved one struts in from a good day at the library and presents me with "Enemies At Home", the latest Lindsey Davis.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

ashdown forest

most days of the week, often before seven, i cross the ashdown forest on my way from gatwick to crowborough

this week, because the loved one is away in japan, my sleep pattern has been chaotic

i sometimes wake up two hours earlier than my alarm time ... which is three

so this morning i was suddenly afflicted with sleepy body and mind and just had to stop the truck

i walked from the road across to friends' clump, only a few yards, to let the cool air and the scent of pine trees revive me

however there was no peace ... indeed, the noises of war reached me because i found myself discomfortingly close to a military firing range ... and they began firing off their rifles as if the taliban had just arrived

i thought it wise to walk away in case of stray bullets, but continued my journey in a revived condition

Saturday, October 11, 2014

sometimes i forget which is which ...

van gogh did he find the time to write so well ?

"What I think is so good about the moderns is that they don’t moralize like the old ones.

It seems coarse to many people, for instance, and they’re angered by it: vice and virtue are chemical products like sugar and vitriol"

was marcel proust jimi page's wicked uncle ?

and if you think you might ever bother to read it ... here's a link to the discussion from melvyn bragg's epic series of discussions of everything under the sun ...

the red shoes ... a very nice bit of context

Saturday, October 4, 2014

from that series of poems that will lurk through the rest of your life, part 99

In my craft or sullen art
Exercised in the still night
When only the moon rages
And the lovers lie abed
With all their griefs in their arms,
I labour by singing light
Not for ambition or bread
Or the strut and trade of charms
On the ivory stages
But for the common wages
Of their most secret heart.

Not for the proud man apart
From the raging moon I write
On these spindrift pages
Nor for the towering dead
With their nightingales and psalms
But for the lovers, their arms
Round the griefs of the ages,
Who pay no praise or wages
Nor heed my craft or art.

retablo del amor ... the jury at the national art exhibition in madrid in 1910 didn't like this painting ... but when julio romero de torres showed it in barcelona the following year, their city museum was glad to buy it there and then

borrowed from ...