On the barrier where the road bends round
the edge of the hill, over the long sloping field,
someone has changed the artificial flowers.
Their polyester red and white and yellow
is loud once more, shouting, vulgar
with the intrusive bad taste of a fresh grief,
among the tired, turning season's speckled
weeds and seeds: the rusted spikes of dock,
hawksbit and knapweed, ragwort, mallow,
ladies' bedstraw, Queen Anne's lace,
and here and there still the pale scarlet
bloodsplash of a poppy.
Anyone going into Tartapain bakery in Yffiniac, and possibly other bakers here, with a large baby or small toddler will be offered 'a piece of bread for the baby?'. This comes from a prepared stock of handy-sized chunks of baguette behind the counter. Tom says that the London bakers of his childhood also used to give away ' a bit of bread and buppy for the baby.' Here though, the bread is unbuttered, and probably chewier than that was. Presumably a child weaned and teethed on baguettes would never have to be cajoled or fibbed to about curling hair to be persuaded to eat its crusts. Indeed, with much French bread, refusal to eat the crust could mean going rather hungry...
I allow myself momentarily to succumb to the lure of the Vitrine Magique catalogue. Though almost tempted by the 36 tiny stick-on wooden ladybirds, the hand-weeding tool with the specially angled metal blade (both at a euro), and a rather sleek little olive stoner (2 euros, and I have one on the garlic crusher anyway), I do not give in, emerge triumphant and throw the catalogue in the recyclables bin.
A most excellent Archers omnibus. I've not listened to 'The Archers' much of late, but it's a well-known truism that this doesn't matter a scrap, since like riding a bike, once one has ever learned to listen to it, it is possible to pick it up again after an interval of weeks, months, years or even decades with very little difficulty. From Jim's sublime lachrymae rerum chat with Kathy ( "it can be hard to be not quite in the inner circle of mourners...") which had me shedding tears into the breakfast things, to the deliciously ridiculous Aldridge/Carter clash of the snobberies - Jennifer's posh landed airs and graces against Susan's rural working class aspirations - over their children's wedding party, happily resolved in shared excitement at the prospect of a multi-coloured cupcake tower wedding cake, which had me giggling into my Sunday midday sherry, altogether a hugely satisfying listen.
Who knows this knows.
Rock, shadow, water, root. From the old railtrack, found on the Cheapcam.
And finally a bit of Rilke:
Praise the world to the Angel, not what's unsayable.
You can't impress him with lofty emotions; in the cosmos
where he feels more feelingly, you're a mere novice. Therefore show him
some simple thing, formed by generation after generation
until it's truly our own, living in our hands and in our eyes.
Tell him things. He'll stand more amazed; as you stood
beside the ropemaker in Rome or the potter by the Nile.
Show him how happy a thing can be, how innocent and ours,
how even lamenting grief decides finally on form,
serves as a thing or dies into a thing...
(9th Duino Elegy, trans. Snow)
He might well be right.