Shops always go to town on Xmas decorations and I was glad to see the local funeral director getting into the spirit of things this year with display headstones artfully dusted in fake snow along with fairy lights weaving in and out of the various display caskets.

I’m sure the bargain hunters will begin surfacing soon. I have my eye on a nice biodegradable wicker coffin in the window giving worms instant access to their Christmas dinner.

 

“Only those who risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go.”

TS Eliot

 

Ah, for those days… For many years afterwards their happiness haunted me. Sometimes, listening to music, I drift back and nothing has changed. The long end of summer. Day after day of warm weather, voices calling as night came on and lighted windows pricked the darkness and, at day-break, the murmur of corn and the warm smell of fields ripe for harvest. And being young.

If I’d stayed there, would I have always been happy? No, I suppose not. People move away, grow older, die, and the bright belief that there will be another marvellous thing around each corner fades. it is now or never, we must snatch at happiness as it flies

A Month in the Country

 

My boss insisted I read an email circular about voluntary redundancy at work.

“Why?” I asked knowing that I didn’t quality for the scheme.

“I have to make sure you’ve all read it,” she replied like some pre-programmed cyborg.

“Well, I don’t qualify and you know I don’t qualify so what’s the point?”

“The point is you need to know about it.”

“Why do I need to know about it? I don’t qualify.”

“I said are you going to read it?” (Her voice has crept up a couple quavers on the scale by now).

“No.”

Another productive day on the office.

 

“…. as to when I revisit civilization, it will not be soon. I have not tired of the wilderness… It is enough that I am surrounded with beauty… This had been a full, rich year. I have left no strange or delightful thing undone I wanted to do.”

Everett Ruess

 

“Please be mindful of your fellow human beings …”

The office kitchen seems to be a magnet for the dispossessed to voice their cant. Gandhi appears to have got a job in admin and is appealing to our better nature to not soil the kitchen with dirty tupperware and unrinsed tea mugs.

I will certainly be mindful to leave a rock hard half eaten plate of spaghetti in the kitchen next time I pass as a royal fuck you to the beatific one who insists on putting these posters up. I do wash my stuff up but feel obliged not to in future in the face of this fluffy booted fascism.

 

Is it just me or is Lord Voldemort related to the Tweenies?

 

There’s something about always pursuing tomorrow so you don’t have to think about today that quietly robs you of life.

I always wondered what Winston Churchill meant when he said ‘men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened.’

The illusion that being busy is the same as being productive and realising that majoring in minor things is just noisy static that gives you an excuse for not having the courage to take your nose of the grindstone and see where you are in life.

The sea will take you everywhere and nowhere if you don’t set your own course. Anyway, it  reminded me of this poem:

What is this life if, full of care,
we have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
and stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
and watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this if, full of care,
we have no time to stand and stare.

William Henry Davies


 

The quiet backwater of Christmas is almost upon us and work mercifully slows to a trickle. It is the season of internet surfing, extended lunch breaks and out-of-office meetings. Those who have fled leave their bounty behind for us jackals to feed on.  There won’t be a mince pie or Quality Street sweet tin left un-plundered by close of play next week.

My belly is already swelling like a watermelon from the pre-Christmas gorge but hamster mentality has seized those of us who remain and we grow fat and idle on the biscuits of the departed.

 

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