Tuesday, November 30, 2010

three beautiful things ... also

at dawn, a big airliner lands during heavy snow and hurtles unchecked along the runway at gatwick for some distance ... until the pilot turns on the reverse thrust and whips up an enveloping cocoon of whirling snow

despite a previous week or more of deep frost and then snow, finding bags of miraculously clean and flawless charlotte potatoes in the supermarket

at dusk, emerging with those potatoes onto a street along which the snow is blowing almost horizontally in an icy wind, but in which the ambience is "tropicalised" by that marvellously ecstatic smoke that comes from roasting coffee

Saturday, November 27, 2010

questions, questions, questions!

what can you call the band of colour in the sky that's half-way between the turquoise and the orange?

it seems sort of almost greeny sometimes but mostly its a silver-grey.

Hmmmph !

if God loved philosophers (s)he'd have put clearly written labels on every thing.


stuck on page seventeen ...

... what insomniacs do.

my lips are sealed

a fabulous new cheese under development at a top secret research establishment somewhere in the south of england

Thursday, November 25, 2010

never ...

... eat anything that's bigger than your head

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

balcombe viaduct from the west

a handful of beautiful things

in the space of twenty minutes ... a kestrel hovering in a sunbeam, an old-fashioned bi-plane making a high circle beneath some raggle-taggle clouds above some raggle-taggle oak woods, and then a red helicopter following the line of the hills between reigate and dorking, followed minutes later by a yellow one

letters from two dear friends laying side by side beneath our letterbox

the loved one steps in from a long day at work, delves in to her bag, then flourishes aloft a brand-new re-print of posy simmonds' subtle masterpiece, "tamara drewe", winner of the grand prix 2009 de la critique bande dessinee

Monday, November 22, 2010

mirada del mendigo

the boy done good ... again !


a burning issue ... trumble's reputation tied to the stake

i really am enjoying angus trumble's new book, "the finger"


having rejoiced when discovering therein lay a chapter on gloves, my hopes of finally finding a cogent exegesis of david des granges' enigmatic 1636-ish group portrait of "the saltonstall family" were disappointed


botheration !

now i'll have to beg admission to the national art library and do my own bleedin' research

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Driving through the woods in the early fog which is rhythmically striped and punctuated by veering sunbeams as the road winds around the hills, and is frequently perfumed with different kinds of wood smoke from domestic stoves and from invisible bonfires smouldering in gardens and coppices.

As night falls, the loved one is filling the building with the sweet aroma of baking cookies whilst the Beach Boys Greatest Hits are playing.

Another twenty page letter to a wonderful friend is finally sealed up and addressed, ready to be posted after a whole week of hesitantly laboured paragraphs and too many lip-biting crossings out, and some unbelievably childish spelling corrections.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

i am too weak-willed to resist the temptation of offering you this gratuitous juxtaposition

... having just collected the book from battersea library and chuckled more than once on the journey home

Saturday, November 13, 2010

drafting my own obituary ... "among the poet's earliest influences ... hearing these verses created a life-long allergy to work, even though he was only eight years old at the time"

Take out the papers and the trash
Or you don't get no spendin' cash
If you don't scrub that kitchen floor
You ain't gonna rock and roll no more
Yakety yak (don't talk back)

Just finish cleanin' up your room
Let's see that dust fly with that broom
Get all that garbage out of sight
Or you don't go out Friday night
Yakety yak (don't talk back)

You just put on your coat and hat
And walk yourself to the laundromat
And when you finish doin' that
Bring in the dog and put out the cat
Yakety yak (don't talk back)

Don't you give me no dirty looks
Your father's hip; he knows what cooks
Just tell your hoodlum friend outside
You ain't got time to take a ride
Yakety yak (don't talk back)


I'm gonna raise a fuss, I'm gonna raise a holler 
About a workin' all summer just to try to earn a dollar 
Every time I call my baby, and try to get a date 
My boss says, "No dice son, you gotta work late" 
Sometimes I wonder what I'm a gonna do 
But there ain't no cure for the summertime blues 

Well my mom and pop told me, "Son you gotta make some money, 
If you want to use the car to go ridin' next Sunday" 
Well I didn't go to work, told the boss I was sick 
"Well you can't use the car 'cause you didn't work a lick" 
Sometimes I wonder what I'm a gonna do 
But there ain't no cure for the summertime blues 

I'm gonna take two weeks, gonna have a fine vacation 
I'm gonna take my problem to the United Nations 
Well I called my congressman and he said Quote: 
"I'd like to help you son but you're too young to vote" 
Sometimes I wonder what I'm a gonna do 
But there ain't no cure for the summertime blues


l'apres midi des cherubins chez micawber

Friday, November 12, 2010

a simple amusement ...

before it started raining, very early this morning while it was still dark, i filled a cardboard box with dry leaves and took it on my round, offering it to gullible, troublesome, and abusive customers, as a free sample

the way people respond to the offer of a free sample tells you a lot about human nature

the first shook his head and said rarther grimly there was nothing about free samples on the print-out for the day

the second was straight in to the box with the enthusiasm of a child on christmas morning

only one asked what kind of weirdo would bother to stuff dry leaves in a box

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Monday, November 8, 2010

has any one mentioned christmas yet ?

rain rain rain !

the world is windswept and awash in ashdown park

i step down with a splash from the shiny red lorry in to a puddle on which floats a green and yellow armada of gingko leaves

and as i raise my eyes, so a rain-soaked family group of eight grey dripping does tiptoe by

Friday, November 5, 2010

3BT plus 2

on putney heath, one owl hoots and another screeches as i walk past the black wood to the bus stop at a quarter to four in the morning ... and then they do it again, twice

i pass a shop in haywards heath outside which is an umbrella stand containing about a dozen feather dusters and i try to visualize an allegorical painting involving twelve virgins and michelangelo's david ... if only beryl cook was still alive

near turner's hill, twelve cock pheasants gleam on a grassy knoll

the wide window in peter jones' rooftop restaurant is hung with thousands of tiny white lights, reflected and double-reflected in the double glazing as if it were snowing stars ... beyond them, the sun has set and across the grey rooftops beneath a strip of pink and purple sky is the outline of harrods' illuminated dome traced in vibrant smudges of incongruous golden light

a violinist and a pianist enter the gilded norfolk room wearing deep purple and position themselves so that i often see the pianist's face through the crook of the violinist's left arm during their brilliant recital ... the violinist plays with her eyes shut, the pianist laughs with her eyes at every musical joke

Thursday, November 4, 2010

richard learoyd in ticehurst

you wouldn't necessarily have heard of ticehurst, its not famous

but i'm lucky enough to pass through sometimes on my way to or from a collection at traditional sussex cheeses

there's a posh second hand bookshop with a cafe but it isn't often possible to stop on these tiny streets in a big red truck

today i needed to post a letter so i stopped short of the village centre and walked up,

drank my coffee and wrote some extra pages in the bookshop then walked twenty yards to the village post office,

then thought, "why not stroll over to the corner and look up and down the street for signs of life ?

i didn't immediately notice this shop, can't think why

there are two huge framed magnificent photographs on display by a man called richard learoyd

one is of a dead heron, the other is of a dead hare

don't ask ... i don't know