Friday, February 14, 2020

Whimsy, or Whumsy

If your fingers are anything like mine and instead of hitting the right keys at the right time and in the right order, they are missing them, hitting the wrong ones or splodging 3 down at the same time, so that what should read "green" actually reads "fgrweemn". I feel like Homer in the Simpsons episode where he eats to be fat enough to work from home and then can't work the telephone keypad. "If your fingers are too fat to dial, smash the numbers with the palm of your hand, you terrible, terrible person." Or something. 

Anyway, today is Valentines or Galentines or Palentines or Petentines or just another Friday. However you wish to consider this day (I haven't done Valentines for years and frankly this one freaked me out: what was I supposed to do? What was I supposed to buy? Why is he not like normal people and happy to mainline salted caramel? Why did I not fall in love with a woman and thereby have a multitude of sad, cheap shit to chose from in the shops?), I think we all need some whimsy to carry us through the storms predicted this weekend. 

And that's just from those who brought Val. Day stuff but didn't get anything in return. 

I'll keep you posted on that one. 

These gorgeous creations are automaton (which I have a soft spot for anyway, much like I do stop-animation films) created by Rowland Emmett, the genius behind the designs for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, an illustrator for Punch and one of those people that I really wish I known and met when he was alive. 

Whimsy, beautiful design, attention to detail and a blatant call on your curiosity, I love these so much, I'd knock down some of my house to get it in. But I'm not allowed to. However, there is a touring exhibition of A Quiet Afternoon in Cloud Cuckoo Valley (see images above). If you go along and have to elbow a middle-aged woman with unruly hair out of the way, that'll be me. Say hi while you're elbowing.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Taking Steps

I think, right now, it is okay to feel overwhelmed. To feel like the skies are always dark, the work always repetitive and the hugs not always forthcoming. To feel like there are so many problems you don't know where to start (and that's before you even get to the big world stuff). To feel like there are so many things to learn about that there is not enough time in the world. To feel like you are shouldering so many burdens you may break. To feel that you are always the one dishing out the support, love and affection, whilst always being at the end of everyone else's queue for the same.

It is quite alright to think, to know, that you cannot face going out, staying out, partying out because all that really appeals is solitude and time to think. It is alright to, when faced with this time to think, decide not to but merely watch re-runs or read whilst in your pyjamas. It is alright to eat the same thing on repeat, to not feel like cooking, to allow the craving to take over.

It is perfectly fine to hibernate, hunker down, bunker up, shut down. The world will still turn even if you don't make that dinner engagement. Oxygen will still be generated even if you don't see that must-see film. Humanity will continue to bimble and bicker outside your door even if you don't go to that pub.

It is okay to feel all this because you're human. And because it's still only fecking February, how are we not in March yet, dear god will this winter never end and if I have to close the door behind someone ONE MORE TIME, I may take it off the hinges and batter them with it while screaming "close the door!" over and over again.

And breeeeeathe.

So, what to do? Lie back and allow it to overwhelm, weeping into a giant bag of left-over Christmas crisps and a plateful of the Christmas cake that no one can really bring themselves to eat but needs must when the mood is this dire? Rage rage against the dying of the light, the leaving open of the doors or the endless rain? Grit your teeth and soldier silently on, mounting fury at the continued ignoring of your own needs making your eyes go flinty and mean, causing yet more crows feet? Add crows feet to the list of things to worry about?


Take the bath. Read the escapist book (I've been inhaling Barbara Pym and Muriel Spark like people inhale crack?). Buy the good bread, cheese and chocolate. Ask for, nay demand, the hug from those you love. Book the massage. Park the car in a country road and stand in a field for 5 minutes. Smell the baby's head. Light the candle. Buy the daffodils. Get out of the car and look at the snowdrops. Give a quid to the homeless guy. Give all your quids and a cup of coffee. Hold a perfectly smooth egg for 30 seconds and then make yourself the butteriest scrambled egg for breakfast. Make time for breakfast. Swim. Stare at the stars. Tick off the days. Know that it gets better. 

Buy an automatic closer for the goddam door. 

Winter's Tail

Well, we made it. Imbolc has passed with its promise of fluffy lambs, fluffy mimosa, fluffy pancakes on everyone's horizon. The change i...