It’s all a matter of balance, really

Wednesday March 1, 2006

I heard somewhere that today is not only St. David’s day, all daffodil-significant, but that it’s been marked as the first day of Spring. The first of these is easy enough to verify, though there’s a marked scarcity of daffodils round here just now. The second seems a little too close to wishful thinking for comfort and, to my great amusement, emanates from the Met. Office, giving rise to some small controversy, including Questions in the Commons. Like, on what authority has the season been advanced from March 20 or 21, away from the vernal equinox? ‘Statistics,’ replies the Met. Office.

Which just goes to show that my suspicion of those who base their authority on statistics is well founded and my distrust of politicians even more so.

I’m happy enough to call it the first day of Spring, though. Let’s face it, I’ve been looking forward to Spring ever since the end of last Summer, and that’s long enough in all conscience.

Looking at the strangely moveable world of the Christian calendar, today is also Ash Wednesday, marking the beginning of Lent. Now this is a really odd coincidence. A contradiction, even. The first day of Spring is generally regarded as the beginning of rebirth and renewal, whereas the ministering priest marks the foreheads of the faithful with ash during the traditional Ash Wednesday service, commanding each of them to “remember you are dust and unto dust you shall return.” Which seems a deeply depressing way of celebrating renewal.

If I took all of this seriously, I’d be complaining that my brain hurt. As it is, I smile, happily, at the eccentricity and contrariness of the small detail of our culture. Well, you do have to smile, don’t you?

I was gifted with a rather more personal and smile-making event today.

“You really are fed up with this chasing the conveyancers business, aren’t you,” observed Graham when I ran screaming into the garden at his suggestion that I ought to phone the estate agents this morning.

“You could say that.”

“Tell you what, then, you hide away and think beautiful thoughts, and I’ll take over phone duty. And the chasing.”

“What’s the snag?”

“No snag. I think you’ve put in your time on it all and now it’s my turn. Sort of load sharing.”

“Well, that’s the nicest thing you’ve said to me since the last nice thing. Thanks.”

“You’re welcome.”

And true to his word, he picked up the phone and put in a call to the agent, to be promised a return call. Which, surprise, surprise, did not emerge.

GRRRRRR!” said Graham when office hours came to an end with no sign of the promised call back.

“Don’t you grrrrrr me,” I said. “I’m thinking beautiful thoughts, remember?”

The minor exercise in domestic havoc that ensued proved the point that there’s more to life than thinking beautiful thoughts. It’s all a matter of balance, really.


A nice cup of tea
phonecam photo



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