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.

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