26 October 2020

Fax of Life

 Always Look on the Bright Side......




I was never a huge fan of Eric Idle, but I did spend many an evening in the '70s with my friend Duncan and a bottle of 140 proof Polish Pure Spirit, laughing carelessly at Monty Python's Flying Circus.....

I also cannot confess to being abducted by the charms of The Life of Brian, but I will say that Idle's concluding song as he is crucified remains with me, if only for its catchy refrain.  The lyrics may not be up there with the greatest poets, but the cheeky, whistle-along, upturned sentiments provide something of a fillip....

And we need catchy refrains and fillips these days.....

[Duncan, by the way, worked, in a pin stripe suit, for the local authority in Preston; he once recounted to me a day when he had had to appraise a policeman's accommodation.  He sat on a sofa between the copper and his wife, while the former rolled a sizeable joint.  I don't know why? the rozzer lamented, but we don't seem to have many friends....

Duncan later moved to Finland, where, he reported, nothing happened during the week.  At the weekends, I heard, people endeavoured to become as drunk as possible and to make as much love as was available....  

I haven't heard from him since.]

Finland, Finland, Finland
The country where I quite want to be
Your mountains so lofty
Your treetops so tall
Finland, Finland, Finland
Finland has it all, Finland has it all

Michael Palin




Amanita Muscaria (Fly Agaric) is in season. A fungus associated with elves and fairy tales.  It has a long history of use in religious ceremonies, particularly in Asia. For over 4,000 years it was the ingredient in a sacred and hallucinogenic ritual drink called soma in India and Iran; while the Siberian shamans would give it out as a gift, sometimes via their own urine, in northern winter..... 




One year I collected a grand crop of these attractive mushrooms, and baked them in the oven.  They sort of melted into a confection of brown sludge.  Despite an inclination to sample such, I decided it was better medicine to bin them all....

But then poppies, late flowering specimens here anticipating the armistice, also have their secrets.....




But then, narcotic or hallucinogen, you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing....




Hey!  These are the fax of life.....




To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;



Some things in life are bad
They can really make you mad
Other things just make you swear and curse
When you're chewing on life's gristle
Don't grumble, give a whistle
And this'll help things turn out for the best
And

Always look on the bright side of life
Always look on the light side of life





These are dark days, and for many they are darker than for me, or you. I worry about some of our leaders, whose busy lives and limited incomes must make them so unhappy.....




Amanda and I walk in the bright autumnal woods. Nothing is what it seems. The turning leaves lunge at us, or speed past as if there was no tomorrow....




I note a holly tree, the bright berries symbolic of a famous sacrifice some generations ago. They whistle past me, like shot from a 12 gauge tearing life from limb....




One of my favourite trees won't stand still.  Life is alive, bright, quick and sparkling. It's not how I think I feel, but as I watch this tree dancing its lonely one-step, I wonder....




Beech leaves similarly dazzle me.....




And a silver birch rushes past me, glad to be alive.....




If life seems jolly rotten
There's something you've forgotten
And that's to laugh and smile and dance and sing





You know the old chestnuts are the best....




Though, yes, there may always be a sting somewhere.....




Life's a laugh and death's a joke, it's true
You'll see it's all a show
Keep 'em laughin' as you go
Just remember that the last laugh is on you


I take some solace in the colours of nature, the vibrance of life as it turns.  The seasons work their magic, touches of hope at the end of every tunnel.  

All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.

I take some solace in that billions have died - all those that went before, have gone and none complain.  And I take solace in that within another few decades all - Trump, Johnson, Cummings, Gove, Patel, Corbyn, Putin, Jimmy Carr, and me - will be dust.... And few will care - least of all us.....

You know, you come from nothing
You're going back to nothing
What have you lost? Nothing

Always look on the right side of life






To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die......





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