Thursday, June 12, 2008

The big boot and the ice cream cone on the pavement

I have been sending out job applications and doing tax returns, a mixture of boring and worrying which is just right to bring on stress mania followed by migraines. I feel better today after an afternoon in the dark, so my apologies for lack of blog visits and comments. I shall soon be back out on patrol.

Last week went well, with two D’AC concerts, lessons and culminating in the “Saturday night could have been a horror” show, where I had to help another teacher’s singing class perform with some amateur musicians. I think we pulled it off in spite of some shaky moments. After we performed Amazing Grace, I was approached by a bald man with a white beard who resembled a garden gnome. He wanted to know whether I was the one with the strong/loud voice. It is ambiguous in French, but I suppose that neither meaning is particularly complimentary. One of the singers standing next to me started to sob audibly during the rendition. I thought that I had either sung over her part and so spoiled it for her, or moved her with my gospel improvisations. It was, of course, nothing to do with me. Her father had died the Thursday before and it had been his favourite hymn. She told me afterwards that, coming on top of her child being treated for leukaemia, it had all been too much for her. Ah, the cathartic quality of music…

That big boot just keeps coming out of the sky. I’m sorry. I ought to explain that reference. When my parents died the children were very young and we needed something to explain the inexplicable - the fact that anyone can die at any time, and it is a good idea to live your life in the present, whilst planning for the future. The big boot of the Monty Python cartoons seemed to represent this rather well. To this we added the concept of the ice cream. When someone dies, it is as though their ice cream has fallen onto the pavement (a disaster that we can all identify with...especially when aged six). If they die when they are old, they have very nearly finished their ice cream down to the last lick, and so it is a bit less sad and a natural end to things. However, when a nearly full ice cream cone drops, it is a great loss.

Slugman was supposed to go and work in the South of France next week. But he heard today that the daughter of the theatre company owners was knocked down by a car outside their house and is in a coma. His trip is cancelled. She was mentally handicapped, so already it seems that she hadn’t had the fairest portion of ice cream.

We swim on through the sea of random events, trying to make sense of it. I’m off for a walk with Porridge….

8 comments:

Mike said...

I like the ice cream analogy. It's almost perfect for young and old and for those a few scoops short of a full cone.

Mrs. Chili said...

I love the ice cream analogy.

I wish I had something of value to offer here, but I don't. Just know that I read, and I'm here...

meggie said...

I love Mike's comment. Exactly!
I often wonder about the fact that the Big Boot seems to come down in a series, as if it is dancing on our pitiful lot, or just gets the jitters, & can't stop.

Stuart and Gabrielle said...

Hi Rosie/Gillian and thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment on our blog.

For your chicken questions: I wouldn't worry about which breeds to have for eggs and eating, we've got a right old mixed bag that have interbred to create a unique and interesting collection of chickeny mongrels. Bantams (barbary) and Silkies (negre soie) go broody often and make very good mothers, so it's useful to have a couple to put fertilised eggs under. Eating-wise, your free-range chickens will have a more varied diet, so will have a better taste but will be less bulky and slightly tougher, as they actually use their muscles to get around. The bantams and silkies aren't so interesting for eating. Also, if you buy proper breeds, you'll pay more. We cooked one of our young cockerels last night, using lemon, tarragon and white wine, slow cooked in a terracotta chicken brick and it was stunningly good.
We have chosen to fence our vegetables in, rather than our chickens. It is an ongoing battle as they like pecking and scratching wherever takes their fancy but, when we see how well they do on it, we're determined to continue to let them free-range.
We've never lost a chicken to a fox, just a few to two neighbours' dogs, a situation that has been resolved with some polite negotiation. Our chickens get rounded up between 4 and 5pm into their fox-proof pen. I can give you more details if you get in contact by phone, email me at s.anderson@aliceadsl.fr and I'll email you our phone number.
We like your music, Gabrielle is playing her violin along with a mate and his guitar in our local bar this Sunday.
Best wishes...

Mouse said...

The Buddhists would say that there is no sense to be found in life...
Would that I could adopt their philosophy of the impermanence of everything, it would make things so much easier to bear at times
I drove past a house in Guingamp whose wall was covered in bouquets of sad flowers marking the spot where three teens, one of them the daughter of a woman from the Breton dance class, were killed in a car accident
Impermanence and suffering and acceptance...

katydidnot said...

ice cream mmmm. i got distracted.

hexe said...

I love the ice cream analogy. I may have to use it with my own little ones as three of their great grandparents are in their eighties.

Hope you are feeling better :)

Dick said...

Little to add to the comments above, other than to say how important it is within a family in which the parents are non-believers for there to be a sharing of a sense of the inexplicable. Kids need security and support; they don't need to be fobbed off with fairytale explanations of troubling phenomena. Vive le principle de la glace!