Sunday, 3 October 2010
Sausages, Simply Red & Simpering
If you filter the world and its goings on through the newspapers and tv alone, its almost obligatory to take a pretty dim view of proceedings. And there is a lot of dim and grim, there’s no doubting it. And that, coupled with the wearying routines of most peoples working day leaves little energy for wide eye wondering at well, natures wonders. I get irritated by, rather than amused by, the harmless posturing squealing chatter of a group of actually, fairly decent teenage girls. This isn’t an original sentiment, I know . Its RH Davies "What is this life if, full of care, We have no time to stand and stare" and Ferris Bueller "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it" And to be anything other than smartly cynical in the gimlet eyed and purple bloated face of politics, economics, populist entertainment and adverts cashing gold meercats in car supermarkets or whatever ,would leave you wide open to the charge of being the greenest goofiest simpering chump who ever dared evince a Chewbacca like groan. Fair enough, there is plenty, ( and always plenty more to come) to be waspishly cynical and despairing about. Or even just things to be quietly ,intensely sad about - I’m thinking here of some friends who have had recent news of a terminal illness, a thing that can’t be soothed or bargained or loved away. I’m thinking of someone close who’s just lost a job, someone else who’s just had twins but now diagnosed with cancer. Much to be despairing about. And Piers Morgan mugging all over the telly, and Mick Hucknall, warbling mercenary little goblin not having the decency to call it a day. In casual conversation with a wise friend a couple of years ago ( I forget what we were bemoaning - it may have been a State Of The Nation opinion piece - or more likely a theatrically appalled dissection of yet another disappointing meal out. My friend has the most remarkable track record here. She attracts bad food and shoddy service the same way Greggs stock sausage rolls - constant, reassuring, inevitable If we ever get the time ( to stand and stare together), I’d love to give you a run down of her personal top ten bewilderingly thwarted attempts at simply enjoying a meal. One of her recent triumphs was being served the same ratatouille , at 4 distinctly advertised different courses over the duration of an evening. By the cunning insertion of a handful of raisins in one serving, an imperceptible change in temperature in another , serving it in a shot glass in the next and lastly ‘dressing’ the next serving with ( not hiding, definitely not hiding) rice, 4 different courses were indeed claimed by the restaurant. Room Restaurant, Manchester, I’m looking at you. And you’re not even looking away embarrassed are you ? Anyhoo…..there we were, bemoaning something) and we concluded that the best you can do, really, is to make your little corner of the world as pleasant as you can for as long as you can. No more revelatory that than the old adage of Count Your Blessings, but I think we only tend to do it when a crisis is on.... So I consider myself lucky in that I get to be involved in Happy Occasions - baking for weddings, parties, special occasions etc. And I consider myself lucky in that walking through Manor Park yesterday, I saw a lolloping fat brown spaniel chase hopefully chasing a lithe squirrel. And it made me laugh - the squirrel outpaced the spaniel, shot up a tree and sat there in regal regard at the dog. And the chubby spaniel whined and pawed the tree trunk a bit, and then, in what I can describe only as a kind of gallic shrug of his doggy shoulders, literally turned tail , cocked his leg and peed on the tree. Take that squirrel ! And I felt lucky that I saw a home made poster advertising a Hoe Down in a church hall, and I felt lucky to meet someone who is always good company for lunch, and I felt lucky to be able to pause and watch the tail end of a good humoured bowling match in the park. And I saw oak and sycamore leaves on the ground, and properly noticed autumn for the first time. And I’m happy that the Wheat sheaf ( where I had said lunch) has won an award for its sausages . I feel lucky to live in a place where a local pub makes sausages with local ales and local meat and wins awards. I’m happy that people give awards for sausages. And that people bother about community and raising money in church halls. I’m lucky to have been out again for lunch today, with good friends and lucky to be involved in their wedding ( who else would make the cake ?) I'm lucky I remembered to look around. Today the BT Infinity Advert with the shooting star light things make me go soppy. Today I’m the greenest goofiest simpering chump you ever did see. Aside from Piers Morgan.