In this blogposting...
*Pariah of the Week
Now, read on, Macduff...
A big thankyou to Maureen, who sent me the pictures above of ‘painted hands’. Apparently, the bloke that does them takes four hours over each one, photographs them, gives them to the world and - naturally - washes them off. Even though some of you may already have seen some of them, I make no apologies for featuring them here.
To use Maureen’s description...awesome. Specially that swan.
AGEING: ONE MAN’S VIEW
A friend of mine pointed me in the direction of these observations about ageing, and how we regard growing older. The author was George Carlin, a thought-provoking and very unconventional American stand-up comedian almost in the Bill Hicks mode. He died in 2008.
Do you realize that the only time in our lives when we like to get old is when we're kids?
If you're less than 10 years old, you're so excited about ageing that you think in fractions. "How old are you?" "I'm four and a half!" You're never thirty-six and a half. You're four and a half, going on five! That's the key.
You get into your teens, now they can't hold you back. You jump to the next number, or even a few ahead. "How old are you?" "I'm gonna be 16!" You could be 13, but hey, you're gonna be 16!
And then the greatest day of your life . . you become 21. Even the words sound like a ceremony . . YOU BECOME 21. YESSSS!!!
But then you turn 30. Oooohh, what happened there? Makes you sound like bad milk! He TURNED; we had to throw him out. There's no fun now, you're just a sour-dumpling.
What's wrong? What's changed? You BECOME 21, you TURN 30, then you're PUSHING 40. Whoa! Put on the brakes, it's all slipping away. Before you know it, you REACH 50 and your dreams are gone.
But wait!!! You MAKE it to 60. You didn't think you would!
So you BECOME 21, TURN 30, PUSH 40, REACH 50 and MAKE it to 60. You've built up so much speed that you HIT 70!
After that it's a day-by-day thing; you HIT Wednesday!
You get into your 80's and every day is a complete cycle; you HIT lunch; you TURN 4:30; you REACH bedtime. And it doesn't end there. Into the 90's, you start going backwards; "I Was JUST 92."
Then a strange thing happens. If you make it over 100, you become a little kid again. "I'm 100 and a half!"
May you all make it to a healthy 100 and a half!!
...will take place at 1100 on Thursday 3 December at the Biscuit Factory on Stoddart Street in Newcastle. As Hildie has already had the temerity to point out (in a comment to posting 178), this is the day before I make it to 61. So, if there isn’t a good turn-out, I’ll sulk - as if I was four and a half.
And NEVER forget: a splendid time is guaranteed for all.
PARIAH OF THE WEEK
Forget the fairylike artiness of Keats’ Ode to Autumn - you know, ‘season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’ and so on. Mellow fruitfulness be damned. The best poetic description of this particularly vapid time of year was written by Victorian poet, author and social satirist Thomas Hood. For reasons that will become clear, it’s called...November.
No sun--no moon!
No morn--no noon!
No dawn--no dusk--no proper time of day--
No sky--no earthly view--
No distance looking blue--
No road--no street--no "t'other side the way"--
No end to any Row--
No indications where the Crescents go--
No top to any steeple--
No recognitions of familiar people--
No courtesies for showing 'em--
No knowing 'em!
No travelling at all--no locomotion--
No inkling of the way--no notion--
"No go" by land or ocean--
No mail--no post--
No news from any foreign coast--
No Park, no Ring, no afternoon gentility--
No company--no nobility--
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member--
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds--
...(still on the subject of the dreary month of November), the French, who have always been keen observers of the English, have a proverb: 'In October the Englishman shoots pheasants. In November, he shoots himself.'
Just about says it all, really.
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