Wednesday, April 14, 2010


I think I've said it before here - 'the past is a foreign country, they do things differently there', which in the past I have mistakenly attributed to Hemingway. It wasn't. It was L P Hartley, and it's the first line of 'The Go-Between', which, I have to say, I find strangely ironic, since I haven't read it for forty years. Some places are worthy of  revisiting, others certainly are not. The future, therefore, represents places that one might like to visit - if in optimistic frame of mind, or, places which one knows one is going to be compelled to visit if the black dog is yapping at one's heels.
I'm often confused by those who ask me 'is the glass half full or half empty?'. What trickery is this? The contents measure precisely 50% of available capacity, no more and no less. Which leads me to suppose that if the half-empty glass represents a nostalgic, whisky-sodden, watery-eyed gaze at the past, and the half-full one pictures a future which might be either rosy or very thorny, I find myself, by default, it would seem, living in the present. This being so, the present contains roses and thorns in more or less equal proportion. Taking the long view isn't really a very good idea when one lives in the present, small, well-wrapped serendipities are spotted, often out of the corner of the eye, like a vibrant flower in a desert. Grace is a strangely transparent, almost leisurely, commodity...


  1. "Rosa damascena" the mythical Rose of Damas is still cultivated at the limit of the Moroccan desert, in the oasis of Keela M'Gouna.,
    The bushes bear very few thorns.
    A vibrant fuchsia pink, they give the sweetest extract you can dream of for pastries. Rose water is especially famous for its soothing effect on stressed skin...

  2. 'the past is a foreign country, they do things differently there'

    So where have I been that I've never heard such great quote? And so marvelously precise... lol The esoteric quality of your writing never fails to provide fodder for contemplation... of some sort. ;)


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