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The Owl and the Pussycat. And a long procrasti-rambling rant.

"To think is easy. To act is hard."                                                     Goethe
Never were words more true - think about it. I think about the things I want to do; thinking about them is easy. Getting down to doing them is so hard that most of them go un-done. And little wants and wishes pile on top of last year's wants and wishes and the big wants balance precariously on the top of the heap, for a while propped-up by to-do lists and well intentioned plans but too soon they too are replaced or forgotten and sink into the bog of lost dreams. But these are small, personal things. And small personal inactions. What of the bigger things that we think about?

We can all think about the big things such as world politics and economics. We can all worry about them. But to act on our thoughts? That can be hard. It risks taking us beyond our comfort zone. It risks making us confront those who would perhaps disagree with us. It is easy to think - to worry - to hope. G…
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On finding paddles and taking a long procrasti-ramble up an idiom

Lord Byron - that maverick, troubled thinker and poet - said

If I do not write to empty my mind, I go mad
I haven't written for a while. Perhaps I have gone mad.

Indeed, perhaps I have ...

Perhaps the whimsy that is the word jumble in my head resides in Aristophanes's cloud-cuckoo land. Either there, or perhaps it has flown away with the Celtic fairies of my youth. Don't you just love a good idiom?

Idiom - derivation: probably from the Greek idioma meaning private or peculiar phraseology (ref. Oxford Dictionaries online); definition: a group of words that when presented in a particular order take on a meaning that is not obvious from the meanings of the individual words eg. over the moon, on the ball, piece of cake, hit the sack, let the cat out of the bag, and method in my madness ... which there is. But mine is innocent; not the murderous method of Hamlet's madness. And if you'll give me the benefit of the doubt, I'll cut to the chase and deliver the goods as …

Life in the slow lane - Part One.

Recent hypothetical text message from parent to adult son -

Been in the garden all day. Time for a bath first then I'll leave, with you by 8. Chilly here - have you had snow? See you soon. Lots of  love xx
PS. Bought too many aubergines yesterday - would you like some?

All very mundane; boring even? Hmmm.

In an effort to save time or appear somehow with-it or hip or whatever term is used now to mean 'not ancient', the parent could instead have sent this -

Been in the garden all day. Time for 🛁. Chilly here - do you have ❄️. 
PS. Would you like some 🍆? Lots of X

Yes, I punctuate my texts.

Punctuation, however, isn't the point here. Or rather it's not the only thing unmasking me as someone who is not hip/cool/sic or lit (which list, of course, proves without a doubt that I am none of these things).

No. The point is that with the insertion of a few emojis, I changed an innocent message about gardening, the weather and vegetables, into something x-rated and made myself …

A sunset, a dog walk, some aphorisms and a ramble about Commonplace books

The dust of exploded beliefs may make a fine sunset.




It is funny how we sometimes stumble upon something that inspires us to turn detective; to ask questions and then stay up too late researching the answers. 
For example, consider the quote above - I had a photograph in need of a quote and I found this one about 'sunsets' (the word I looked up) and exploded beliefs (not what I was expecting). The words are  by Geoffrey Madan, 1895 - 1947, whose father had the marvellous name Falconer (disappointingly he wasn't one) and was master of Brasenose College, Oxford and librarian of the Bodleian. I'm guessing that with such an academic pedigree the young Geoffrey would have been introduced to books at a young age. And that this lead at some point to the compiling of lists of quotes and aphorisms for which he is or was famous. 
*Short interlude here while I remind myself (and you, perhaps... ) exactly what an aphorism is. Think of a phrase or sentence that is brief and to-the-p…

Dickens, dogs and tangled leads

Procrastination is the thief of time ...



I know this and yet I continue to allow procrastination to steal away my time every day. Charles Dickens also knew this which is perhaps why his completed quote reads

Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.

I wonder if he found it as frustrating as I do?

Dickens was born on February 7th 1812 which makes this the 207th anniversary of his birth -  not his '207th birthday.' I'm being pedantic perhaps, but there is no wheeling the double-centenarian out in a chair, brushing the dust off his lips and watching him blow out a forest of candles.

I wonder what he would make of his fame, if he could see his books still in print today. And marvel at the many films and television series. And hear us quoting him in everyday speech - words like butterfingers and flummox were brought into everyday use by him. He used devil-me-care in Pickwick Papers and this continues to be used as an apt description of reckless behaviour. Everyone knows …

#2019 Connections, characters and a stone ball.

Half-way into January. A small step into a new year. And I am another year older. How did this happen?

I could answer part of that by reminding myself that as I was born in January and have just had a birthday I am a year older. But half-way into January (over half-way now - several days have passed since I started this blog) and a small step into a New Year; how did these happen?

Time doesn’t stand still. I've said that before. In November's blog. I called it out as a cliche then too. It is. But if cliches can be good and I think this is a good one. Time is animated. Time moves. I wittered on about this at length. In November. Two months ago. Two months filled with frantic present hunting; over-eating; over-spending; under-sleeping; and wrapping (always late on Christmas eve - so late that I risk Father Christmas finding me sitting on the floor surrounded by paper and string - the sellotape always runs out at about 11.57pm on Christmas Eve, doesn't it? - hot chocolate insul…

Time and dreams. And a mountain or two.

Time doesn’t stand still. Not for any man or woman. Time is physics. It proceeds and there is nothing that we can do about it. Not yet anyway. Probably not ever.

While perhaps it's not great writing to start with a cliche (or even a few), the standing still of time, as sometimes observed in a moment of awe, is something we can perceive. Sometimes. Okay, time doesn't actually stop. But it feels like it does. Insert here any moment when for you time 'stood still'; that moment, perhaps, when you had raced to summit a mountain and - with your feet standing on the highest point, your body in that state of elated exhaustion - you watched as the rising sun crept long pillars of light above the distant horizon. And you realised - literally standing still - that you were holding your breath. 

The sun of course went on rising and time did not actually stop. At moments like these, we tell ourselves that it did; just for a moment. But that is an illusion. A mere mistaken perception.…