The Cork Board, World Music

Searching for the elements of beauty


Three days after Christmas and the Monkeys have become hibernating mice. Mrs Monkey is curled up in bed reading. I am curled up on the sofa underneath a faux fur rug and a cat, reading. It is late morning and no-one feels like moving. Coffees have been made and drunk and we’re waiting for them to kick in. 

This seems like the most appropriate response to this year. And, whilst I applaud optimism, is probably an appropriate response to what’s coming up in 2021. Plague Island, as our tiny plot has become known, is facing jettisoning from the EU and the details, or lack of them, are becoming apparent hourly, to the alarm of many.

In the novel that I am reading a housewife is trying to catch the kitchen mouse, who is much smarter and evades capture, whilst the crow who sits on the chimney top tells him all the gossip.

A lizard is disappointed by the onset of autumn and goes off to find warmer lodgings.  Nothing seems unlikely anymore.

During my career as a this-and-that the one phrase that irritated me most was “throw the baby out with the bath water”. It was used far too often when better explanation would have been, well, better. However, urged by the clarion call of ending free movement and the eternal lie of regaining  sovereignty (we never lost it) we seem to have done just that. The prospects are grim for an empty bath, a few scud marks may remain where the water rose to joyous heights of cooperation, but the baby wriggles on the floor screaming its head off. ( I’d better stop this now.)

It really does take some mental energy to get your head around all this. I feel for people who are locked down alone and have been for ages. I see myself as resilient but the pessimist in me wakes everyday to the truth;

  • We’re leaving the EU in 3 days time with the barest of plans or understanding of what happens next.
  • Parliament has just one day to debate and vote (the Bill WILL go through).
  • Economic damage to our country is unfathomable.
  • A killer virus is rampaging outside.
  • Our country is physically cut off from its neighbours and borders are closed.
  • The people running the country are hiding away copious amounts of public money.

We are in the deepest hole and our only hope appears to be hope itself.

In the novel I’m reading, a mole, who used to be the village fortune teller, is considering making peace with the mouse, who was the village priest. It is all making sense to me now. The housewife has left her wedding ring by an open window not noticing the magpie. 

Mrs. Monkey and I have been searching for beauty where we can find it. Just 5 minutes of beauty now and again to embrace the breadth of humanity. This is beautiful, everything about it is perfect, and has been in my head for months. Sit back, calm down, enjoy …

… now go buy the album and support creative people at this time …

(The book I’m reading is “In the Wilderness” by Manuel Rivas.)

2 thoughts on “Searching for the elements of beauty”

  1. Always great to read your words and to know you are both well in these tricky times.
    Our overseas travels and adventures are but a mere memory.
    We too have hope of a new normal whatever that might be.
    Our chance meeting remains firmly in our mind. How lucky we were to meet you both
    Such beautiful music (thank you)
    Does this situation inspire you to pickup a fountain pen or dare I say it a keyboard and write more?
    Our thoughts are with you both

    1. Thank you for the kind words, Mal, and we do hope that you are both safe and well. We’re becoming a bit stir-crazy sometimes and now we have been locked down even harder for the next few weeks at least. Not so much as a wave through the window. Haha. We look back on our Cambodia trip with fondness – gosh, it was two years ago – and i still haven’t edited my film together (though I have started, at least). I am going to try to get into a better writing habit. Stay toooned …

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