Friday, January 21, 2022

so sweet and so cold

I've been sitting in bed not wanting to get out because the next step would be  going to the bathroom and having the 30 second cold shower (before the hot one) that is on my taking-myself-in-hand agenda. See the last post.

So here I am blogging, as a delaying tactic.

Do I feel better as a direct result of following my new agenda? or do I feel better because I have something else to focus on besides feeling fed up? Who knows? It's been working anyway. 

I began on Monday and have been doing well. I've managed all the daily things on the list, including the cold shower. Yesterday I nearly chickened out of that, but managed to push through. 

The biggest challenge has been not being rude to rude motorists. I barely managed this on Monday: I said something charming in a sarcastic voice. They never hear me either way, but I suspect that shouting rude things is not very Quakerly.

The best idea has been to read a poem in bed first thing, partly because it helps to counteract the news, but then, when is it not a good idea to read a poem?  I have a shelf full of poetry books in the bedroom but hadn't picked one up since Christmas. This week I've been reading from Billy Collins' collection Sailing Alone Around the Room. Check this poem out as an example.

Going outside within an hour of getting up is also good. I saw the sun shining on the clump of snowdrops that come up first every year. They are along the lane and back onto a wall that faces east. 

They're the snowdrops that make a guest appearance in Even When They Know You.

And talking of poems, and Even When They Know You, do you remember this snippet of conversation between Joe and Jane?

‘I’m sorry, I’ve crushed the marsh marigolds. Forgive me, they were so-’

‘This is just to say I have crushed the marsh marigolds that were by the spring, and which you were probably saving for dinner. Forgive me, they were delightful, so bright and so jaune.’


‘Well, you think of a word for yellow that has one syllable!’

Did you realise it was an allusion to this poem by William Carlos Williams?

This Is Just To Say

I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

The format of this poem is often copied and used in parodies, and this week a writer called Tom Sutcliffe put this on Twitter:

It is not for me to say whether I ate the plums that were in the icebox. As you know Sue Grey is investigating this matter We await her conclusions so sweet and so cold

(note to non-Brits - this is a reference to our disgraced and disgraceful Prime Minister, his Party, and his parties.)

And now I need to get upstairs and persuade myself to take the cold shower. 


marmee said...

Oh that parody is wonderful!! As to the rest, the word is that cold resets the vagus nerve ( if reset is the right term) . I think it is why my icy swims cheers me up soooo much!

Sue Hepworth said...

Thanks for telling me that about the vagus nerve, Marmee. I’ve read up on it now and it’s fascinating. Laughter is another thing which does that. I obviously have not been laughing enough lately.