Archive for the ‘language’ Category
I’m checking into hospital on Monday 11th Feb for another bout of neurosurgery (round 4) so all my psychic energy will be focussed on that.
And if you were to ask how I felt about this, I would reply:
Vexed, displeased, irked and gutted
Fed-up and put-upon,
Hemmed in by events,
Squeezed by fate
A bit like this picture in fact
I have just spent most my morning admiring the sporadic flocks of migrating birds on their way north in the early spring (while at the same time catching up on Radio 4 podcasts of The News Quiz).
The birds winter in North Africa (lucky them) and then rendezvous in the environs of Algeciras in Morocco to await to their turn for streaming funnel of avian life crossing the Dire Straits to Gibraltar and beyond. My particular contingent then wheel west along the Algarve coast until they reach the Cape of Sagres before turning north and eventually crossing in front my bedroom window – left to right using the narrow corridor of pine and eucalyptus forest between the village and the ocean.
later they will build their nests in the bosky fields of Hampshire (lucky them).
A miraculous cycle of nature, a spectacle laid on just for me. The message is clear – relax and be in harmony with nature. Go with the flow.
The view from my bed in the morning
After lunch (stewed chicken with pasta – a culinary mésalliance in my opinion) I return to my room for a nap/siesta/snooze/40 winks from I wake 30 minutes later. I then dutifully carry out my physiotherapeutic exercises. First an isometric routine for beginners (even I, handicapped as I am) can do them in my chair followed by a lurch/stomp/stumble on my walker/Zimmer frame down the corridor outside my room.
Up the corridor to the right is a bathroom into which I enter/slip/pop to lean back against the radiator for my straighten-the-back-to-improve-my-posture exercise (with some deep breathing thrown in). After a while I get tired/bored with the straighten-the-back-to-improve-my-posture exercise and put my hand into my pocket where I encounter my mobile phone (not a «smart» phone but-pretty-intelligent-for-the-price) and take a rather eery picture of myself, taking a rather eery picture of myself, taking a rather eery – OH JUST SHUT UP WILL YOU!
I return back down the corridor to the end and turn right to admire the fine view of our local church (I don’t mean that the church per se is particularly fine – just the view of it).
After tea (the old dears can’t be doing without their tea, you know – it’s a lifetime habit, useful survival skill as well in case they starve to death between the twin fueling stations of lunch and early dinner. They dunk (good word) their bread or biscuits into heavy outsize cups of tea or milky coffee made from turnips (you have to be a weightlifter to be able to raise them to your lips) instead they crouch devotionally in front of the heavy cups and spoon the resultant pap into their mouths) so after tea, I spend time in my atélier working on my lastest painting.
Back in my room I’m beginning to run of steam.
«… Fragments, that I have shored up against my ruin»
And at the end of the day the sun sets at the orbiting rim of our world.
I fell in love with my own language
When I was in my mid-thirties
You know how it is
First I noticed it
Then I felt drawn to it
Lastly I fell for it
Hook, line and sinker.
Those old tribesmen
Round their fires at night
Little dreamt that their
Mode of communication
Would journey to the stars
English is on a roll
Sibilant and sinuous
Fed by the dual rivers of
Romance and Germanic
Lyrical fused with bluntness
Softness with violence
Probes the four quarters
Of the spinning world
And as a bonus
It’s the idiom of rock and roll
Yes, English really rocks
Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact.
Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.
The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius
Did you know that the word «halcyon», as in halcyon days,
comes from the ancient Greek word for a «kingfisher»?
How’s that for a completely
And totally irrelevant piece of etymology?
The police are looking for this this man in connection with his last blog:
The general public is warned not to approach him directly but to get in touch with the local authorities, as he is dangerous and armed with a scathing, acerbic and mordant wit.
He has been known to use the following (banned) literary devices:
litotes, metaphor, paradox, paronomasia, periphrasis, epizeuxis, episthrophy/antistrophy, antithesis, oxymoron, cacophony, scesis onomation, assonance & alliteration, brachylogies, anaphora, satire, irony and even sarcasm.
Sometimes he ventures trenchant and pithy observations on the Human Condition.
He quips puns & one-liners;
Cracks jokes & jibes;
Banters & jests;
He’s a wise guy.
And lastly he looks a bit creepy.
I would suggest nabbing him after lunch as he is nodding off for a post-prandial snooze in front of a TV show featuring a woman who makes her own pumpkin-jam according to special secret recipe from her village … yawn … yawn … snore … snore.
I don’t feel old. I don’t feel anything till noon. That’s when it’s time for my nap.
I have just been watching Kenneth Branagh’s majestic version of Hamlet and marvel once again at the beauty of our language.
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there’s the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause: