Sunday, December 14, 2008

In the name of the blog

I decided to change the name of these collective mutterings from the seemingly innocuous 'Come On In The Water's Fine' (because in fact there is a bloody great rip just inches below the glass-like surface that will drag you wayyyy out into the grey-green fathomless depths, smack bang into the gaping, terrible maw of a white pointer) to something a smidge more upbeat, id est 'Keep Passing The Open Windows'.

For those unfamiliar with the phrase, it comes from John Irving's wonderful 'Hotel New Hampshire', and is basically an appeal not to defenestrate oneself, a bit of a understated literary 'buck up, old chap' encouragement. (Come to think of it, my other great inspiration comes from Scarlett O'Hara who opined "after all, tomorrow's another day" which pretty much says the same thing, just differently.)

I'm a huge fan of John Irving. That is, I'm not physically a huge fan of his, though having said that I'm certainly of the more volumptuous (so much funnier and more descriptive a word than 'voluptuous' - I wish I'd thought of it) persuasion. I should amend that previous statement anyway, viz: I am a huge fan of John Irving's novels after and including Hotel New Hampshire; I don't hold much truck (or any other motor vehicle - they're just too heavy) with the earlier ones, which all felt like less interesting drafts of the book that ultimately became Hotel New Hampshire. He's one of those writers whose books make me cry not just because he tells such marvellous, original tales involving dysfunctional people you still manage to care about, but because his writing is just so fricken brilliant, and I implicitly understand mine is not and will never be. Sigh.

Anyway, my good friend Google revealed that there's a song by Queen with this same title, so I present a verse of said song (I mean, it wasn't said as in spoken, I was just being pompous and using rather archaic English, so sue me) that nicely conveys the tone I wanted to capture.

Do you know what it's like to be alone in this world
When you're down and out on your luck and you're a failure?
Wake up screaming in the middle of the night
You think it's all been a waste of time
It's been a bad year
You start believing ev'rything's gonna be alright
Next minute you're down and you're flat on your back
A brand new day is beginning
Get that sunny feeling and you're on your way

Just believe - just keep passing the open windows
Just believe - just keep passing the open windows

Perfect - just the right
soup├žon of optimism amidst the general melee and malaise.

Friday, December 12, 2008

It's that time of the month of the season

The niggling actually starts before now; that sense that I really should've thought about Christmas and the presos for the rellos before Christmas was actually imminent.

I pretty much gave up buying gifts for friends - I mean, it sucked in a major way that as a singleton, I got to spend a bomb buying pressies for Bob, Bobette and their two ankle biters Bib and Bub when all I got in return was a plate of home-made, gone-soft biscuits with slightly burnt edges. (Don't get me started on the whole birthday present thing.) Not believing in Santa, I can't even leave them out with a glass of milk (and perhaps a dash of Tia Maria, always the perfect partner for cow juice) for him to tuck into as he wends his weary way in and out of chimneys and air conditioning ducts.

Then there's the tired routine of turning up at every Christmas gathering as the spare wheel. Trust me, everyone's a couple amongst my family and friends, except for the kids (and there's WAY more than a couple of them). It doesn't matter how ragged and tense, how bored or how boring a couple has become with each other over the years, Christmas has the effect of causing them to rally, to unconsciously re-weld the cosy bond that brought them together all those years ago and make me feel like the little match girl, freezing alone on the streets with only a box of matches to give her warmth. (Hmmm. Must remind myself that in Sydney's ugh-I-hate-hot-summers summer, houses DO burn really well.)

So ho, ho maybe I should become a ho and at least I'll be given something this Christmas, even if it's an STD.