The Cork Board

Morris covers the bases

“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be beautiful or believe to be useful.” – William Morris

The more I think about this the more I realise that it covers just about everything. Even if someone owns up to collecting something that just seems odd to you. In a recent random chat with an acquaintance of mine he confessed to owning every Middlesborough FC replica shirt since 1982. What a bombshell? And why? He’d never even confessed to being a Middlesborough fan before. ( I have a 1989 one for Wolves that I can still get into – just.)

1982 – 2022
Withered, more than the shirt …

But I got to wondering – why do we collect things? There’s an answer all over the web, of course, including that Freud thought it came down to toilet training – wracking my brain right now – what did Mum say “PUT the SEAT DOWN”. Not putting the seat down as a growing boy might explain my collection of Grateful Dead tapes or Dickens novels in later life. Phew, I did wonder.

I find it hard to get rid of books though it has to happen. I can safely say that the ones I own haven’t been read yet or will be read a second time one day. 😉

The great Javier Marías died this week. One of my favourites authors. I still have all the Marías books I ever read because they will be read again – and I still haven’t read all his work anyway. I can highly recommend ‘The Infatuations’ or ‘Berta Isla’ for starters. He’s not everyones cup or tea, glass of rioja, but his stories always have a thought provoking angle.

And, also passing recently was The Queen (capital T capital Q).Not a royalist myself so approaching this from the point of view of a family losing its matriarch. It must be difficult to simply sit and reflect with all the pageantry and ceremony going on. Possibly more disturbing for the future of our country is the way in which the police have summarily dealt with individuals making peaceful protests. A new policing bill slipped by everyone while Johnson was distracting us with another outrageous lie which makes it almost impossible now to hold a peaceful protest in the UK without facing a maximum 10 year jail term. Yes, that’s right. Whilst sewage laps at the shore of this sceptered isle we have quietly become a hard right-wing state perhaps, at the moment anyway, just to the left of Hungary. One man was arrested for holding up a blank piece of paper. The police didn’t realise until too late that they had a protesting lawyer on their hands and so found themselves the wrong side of the debate about his arrest and let him go. Cyclists have been advised not to go for a club ride on Monday, the day of The Queen’s funeral, in case it offends someone. Yet the roads will be wonderfully quiet.

So, the plan is, Scotland to win independence in a new referendum in the light of the changing of the guard so that I can cross the border north and seek asylum carrying my Dickens and Marías collections with me.


Kynance Cove last weekend while we took a break. No sewage.

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