Friday 12 February 2010

The Latin Language of Love...

"Whiskers on kittens"

Here is just one delight (well quite a few actually) from Modern Delight a collection of essays based on J.B. Priestley's "Delight" published in 1949. There are a veritable gathering together of delights by many people a few of which are contained here. My favourite choice out of all of these is from Sue Townsend who is one of my favourite authors. (Although, I confess, I have many favourite authors!) I do love her sense of humour and the way she writes. So here goes....

By Sue Townsend:

"Running a thumbnail down the silver-papered ridge of a Kit Kat, waking up and seeing it has snowed in the night, lighting a fire using Zip firelighters, opening the fruit of a horse chestnut and finding the glossy brown nut inside, watching clouds, re-reading a favourite book, listening to the music of John Adams, taking off and landing in an aeroplane, the island of Tobago, piri-piri chicken cooked on the beach with baby new potatoes and a tomato salad. Running out of cigarettes and finding a packet in an old handbag, a bottle of vinho verde so cold that condensation runs down the sides, a Chanel suit, birdsong in an English wood, receiving a handwritten letter on good-quality paper, cornflowers in a vase, grandchildren’s home-made birthday and Christmas cards, watching footage of Aneurin Bevan addressing the old Labour Party at Blackpool, walking barefoot on an oriental carpet, buying a boxful of the full colour range of Lakeland pencils for an artistic child, sitting down to dinner with slightly drunken friends, waking up and realising that it is not a dialysis day, watching Larry David in Curb Your Enthusiasm, hand-feeding giraffes, teaching a toddler to splash in puddles, watching Citizen Kane, listening to Leonard Cohen’s Alexandra Leaving (nearly as good as Bach’s Cello Suites), picking up the week’s current Private Eye."

And so, what are Hadriana's delights?
Finding an article online when the original article will now be screwed up at the back of a drawer, being able to Google "Sue Townsend and KitKat" and getting good results, playing in deep snow, imparting my enthusiasm for area - the current and the past, the smell of our children especially in the nape of their necks, walking through the countryside when in a bad mood and feeling said mood lifting skywards, travelling on steam trains and toy trains, getting warm again after losing all feeling in my hands and feet, slurping a random divine cup of cappucino, receiving a phone call from a friend just after I'd been thinking about them, driving along the A69 from Carlisle eastwards and seeing the whinsill ridge come into sight in the distance, managing to drive my car without smashing into any other car, going into a second hand bookshop and walking out with about twenty books, being pushed off the ice (when in a car!) by a passing helpful stranger and feeling the panic inside my chest fly away, drinking and holding a boiling hot cuppa, hearing a song on the radio which I absolutely adore and had forgotten about, understanding something (which happened in the past) more deeply when the jigsaw pieces finally fall into place, taking photos of any part of Hadrian's Wall and the surrounding countryside, unearthing my old A-level Latin books and reading Catullus's poem about the sparrow ("passer") of his lover, Lesbia, and his "We live and we love, Lesbia" poem [vivamus mea Lesbia atque amemus], adding a new word like "clerihew" to the long-getting longer-vocab-list-in-my-head and actually remembering it, catching the strain of some flamenco or Arabic musical refrain in the distance, running and getting on a train in the nick of time, renovating a house and falling upon a time capsule of old newspapers, stumbling upon a hidden gem either in Northumberland or Cumbria, getting my son or my daughter to laugh after they have just been in tears, eating and/or drinking anything delicious, hearing and smelling the sound of a Gaggia coffee machine, discovering anything fabulously new to eat or drink, talking to an old friend on the phone after a long length of time and picking up from where we left off, writing on nice paper with a superb ink pen, watching favourite films especially Jeff Bridges in "The Big Lebowski", hearing our children mimicking us in one way or t'other, watching a Monty Python sketch when they were at their superduper best, crying with laughter at a great Billy Connolly joke which I've seen [at least] 100 times over, feeling great again about life and love after having been down in the dumps, marvelling each day and getting the best out of life, experiencing everything again better...than I have done for years, laughing at life's stupidities and really seeing the funny side, re-reading any book which I have enjoyed, seeing a new bird or animal out in the wild, picking up a book which I had dismissed and getting something out of it, tickling our dog's tummy, reading a blog post and getting a good vibe from it, the sensation of a clean house, re-watching any episode of "Cold Feet" except the last ever two because I am a big softie, the even greater sensation of having conquered the Eiffel Tower of ironing at long last, watching Alan Bennett's "The History Boys"...and yes, running a finger down the silver paper of a KitKat, discovering some dark scrumptious chocolate at the back of the cupboard when there was that thought that hubbie had eaten it all............Indeed, little sparrow, can I stop?

So...Go on then....What are your "delights" on a very nearly St. Valentine's Day? I can't wait to hear them!

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