today & tomorrow

                           Here lies another day

           During which I have had eyes, ears, hands

                    And the great world around me;

                 And with tomorrow begins another.

                          Why am I allowed two?

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WONDERFUL WONDERFUL WONDERFUL WATERSHIP DOWN

Back in the summer, I picked up Watership Down from a bookcase at home, and read it again.  I’ve read it twice more since then.

Which makes about 5 times in all 🙂

Wd_cover I find that when I really love something, repetition means nothing to me – going over the same narrative again just means to sink deeper into something you love anyway.  As you probably know, I’ve been doing this for years with the Lord of the Rings (I have at least 4 different bookmarks in there at the moment, and all are ‘active’), but Watership Down is a new entry.

Back in August I told Maria to read it and, like the wonderful girl she is, she bought it and LOVED it, and now we go bunny-hunting on Blackford Hill.

Woundwort_bigwig The Film:
I first watched the animated version when I was quite young, and of course General Woundwort scared the monkeys out of me (which is a good thing – I don’t need no monkeys).  I’ve not seen it for years, and then got it out on Friday so that Maria could see it before she went home for Christmas.  And now I’m enchanted again!  It’s not the best film ever, for sure, and certainly nowhere near as good at the book, but it’s got the same SOMETHING, and I just love it.  The voices, the characterisation, the scenary.  I can wallow in it.  Even the music does it.  I want to whistle it all day.  The Lord of the Rings music does that to me too, although the films themselves generally don’t.

Blackberry_on_watership_down In the last few months, I’ve come to the opinion that everyone should have at least one thing that they are truly geeky about – completely unashamedly.  Well, I think I have two things now 🙂

So, this is Christmas

I’ve been wondering what would have happened if Joseph had decided not to marry Jesus’ mum.  I think he had the option, and making big life decisions based on what you dreamt last night is a bit airy-fairy at the best of times.  Maybe Mary would have had to run away and live with Elizabeth’s family (like she did in the early stages of her pregnancy), and then Jesus & John would have grown up together.  That would have been interesting.  But how then would Jesus have got born in Bethlehem, in line with prophecy?

And what would have happened if the Magi had gone back and told Herod where Jesus was, and what his parents’ names were, their home town and everything.  Herod didn’t die until a few years later – maybe even a decade later – and could have pursued them that whole time.  Maybe Mary & Joseph would have had to run off to somewhere further than Egypt (like Armenia or Ethiopia or Morocco or New Zealand), and maybe one of them would have been killed.

And what if the shepherds hadn’t bothered coming?  Would there have to be a lot more wise men in nativity plays, so that there are more parts for boys?  Or would some of them get to be angels?

saying hello, saying goodbye

Edinburgh seems to have turned into an unofficial centre of the universe recently (or at least a popular stop-off point en route across the galaxy), meaning that I’ve been able to see a small-but-handy collection of my long-lost brethren without having to bother doing the travelling.

From Sheffield – Jono and his Bromheads
From Auckland – the actual legend himself, Patrick Dodson
From San Francisco – Dyball, the spy who photographed me
From Nova Scotia (via Helsingborgs) – cousin Julia-the-happy-tourist

And since we’ve had a nice collection of locals sleeping on our campbed too, our home has felt like the very vanguard of hospitality and international relations.

But now the Christmas dispersal is kicking in, and tomorrow The Wonderful Girl is leaving me in order to get reacquainted with her puppy (and family).  I have been wondering what I will do on Saturday afternoon, after her flight, so that I don’t end up moping or watching tv – I think I should decide in advance rather than turn into Dusty Springfield.

And then, just another few days, and I’ll be in Devon, loving my lovely Devon family, going for long moonlit Devon walks, and eating large Devon desserts.  Last Christmas was in NZ and I’m so looking forward to doing it all PROPERLY: with my delicious family; stoking the fire; doing all our traditions which we don’t realise are traditions …

Life on the Ledge

Balancing on the five inch window ledge, shivering in the bluster of another Edinburgh ‘breeze’, she looked down.  It didn’t seem such a good idea now – not so free, not so glorious – but what could she do?  The window itself was now shut, and even turning around didn’t seem all that possible.  She sat still and waited, delaying.

Despite the initial thrill of being four storeys up (and exposed to the watching world), life on the ledge was becoming boring.  She looked around, looking for distraction.  A few of the windows opposite displayed the shapes of strangers, unaware of her perilous position.  One was hanging their laundry on a rail above a radiator, another seemed to be reading a magazine in front of the television (although she couldn’t see the television).  She stretched her neck slightly, just to be sure.

Too far.  Another gust rattled up the side of the building, throwing her off balance.  She teetered for one terrified moment, looking around frantically for anything that might help her.  But gravity took hold: an empty breezy silence for slightly more than a second, then a dull crack, as she crumpled helplessly into concrete.

                                               —- epilogue —-

I just went downstairs to collect my mint plant from its resting place.  The fall had broken her pot (hence the crack), but she seems to be alright, bless her.  I don’t think I’ll leave her on the ledge again.