I wrote this a week ago in an internet free environment…
I’m in Aberdeen with Sara and Rowen and today sparkled with sunshine and rain, the train ride up here was glorious and filled with golden light and green moors and the sea, space around me in all directions, freedom stretching out side to side. And tonight I am absurdly happy. Very few people know happiness I think; I am so lucky.
A great chat, a tramp along a dirt path through the woods alongside a burn, and then a right up the hillside past fields with horses and a high stone wall to Rowen’s school to pick her up. A wee rest and then down to visit Sara’s brother past fields of pigs. We made pasta with fresh vegetables picked from their garden and romped with three tiny puppies who all finally fell asleep in my lap, and played tig and took a walk with the two dogs Bonnie and Meg down the road to the woods. We lost Meg and had to go back to look for her and then lost some time on the great bales of hay. My first time on bales of hay, you can jump and fall and roll around and it is soft almost like I imagine a cloud would be. There is honestly little better in the world than playing tig on bales of hay and clambering up and around and over and falling and not minding a bit. We lost Meg again, Meg was asserting her right not to go for a walk, so back to the house we went and then back home. And watched the empire strikes back munching on biscuits. Nevis the small black mouse had been released to enjoy his freedom a while in the living room, and it took some time to find him. I was having some misgivings about sleeping on the floor in said living room with Nevis running about, not enough to fall asleep somewhere else of course. But I have woken to find myself face to face with a mouse before, in the good old desert days, I can’t say I enjoyed it particularly. Luckily he was found underneath the chest and put to his own bed and so the room is mouse free and I am sleepy.
And I think in spite of everything life is beautiful.
Ahhh, the Fourth of July…a bad day for politics, a good day for BBQ’s, beer, friends, fireworks, and farm animals. A full house, so to speak, of interesting and enjoyable activities. A lot of people seem to agree that the county fair is really the place to be on the fourth, and they come in all sizes, shapes, and colours, though I will admit there is a bit too much red, white and blue for my taste! I actually spotted an American flag fanny pack, which delighted more than depressed me really. My sense of the absurd rarely marches with my politics, which is probably my saving grace.
The National Pig Racing Association. Just roll that on your tongue for a moment as you close your eyes and imagine the possibilities. It’s like Nascar…with pigs. And sawdust. The country music was rocking, the crowd breathless with anticipation, the nascar flags flapped in the wind, and the tall Texan cowboy taunted us as the clock ticked down and the sunlight flashed from his NPRA belt buckle…
The race was finally ready to start, the first set of pigs in their gates, the oreo cookie placed on the tray at the finish line, and far too many people were in between me and the race track…still, I managed a few shots, and the little bastards were very cute!
My pig lost! Dolly Porker was unseated I’m afraid, so I had to pin my hopes on the second race, and Lyndsy Lowham. Kevin Bacon looked like a close contender but I knew Lyndsy could do it…so here are the big ugly bastards:
And I won! Well…the pig won. We figured 2 races were enough, Monty, Leslie, little Josephine and I strolled through the holiday crowds, I sought in vain for veggie fare and settled for a bad quesadilla while they feasted on sausages…pigs are definitely good for more than racing, no? We saw a pig weighing 350 pounds…lying on its side (it’s debatable whether it could do much else!) in a frightening mound of flesh and THE biggest balls I have ever seen. I remember my grandpa’s pigs on the Devonshire farm when I was five, I doubt there has been anything much more frightening then the ominous sound of something incredibly large and stinking on the other side of a wooden door, I don’t even remember what they looked like, just that they were bigger then me and undoubtedly wanted to eat me.
At any rate, the other highlight was the Preservation Hall Band, New Orleans jazz at its technical best, it was brilliant and I danced…so did Les and Jojo. And then we sat in the shade and enjoyed life to its fullest…no BBQ and no beers til after we got back, and in San Francisco the fog was too thick to see the fireworks, even though we climbed the ladder up to the high rooftops and stood a while in the swirling greyness listening to the booming
wanted to write this yesterday, damn california power outages messing with myspace! I was going to talk about my weekend and how incredibly and horribly hot it was, and why, apart from some pleasant drunkeness with friends and air-conditioned bookstore diving, I spent most of the time on the couch watching videos. My ego desired some explanation of that…
But it’s old news now so I just wanted to note that I saw the new Pirates of the Carribean (lovely air-conditioned theatre, forgot to mention it), a bootleg copy of the 40 year old virgin (hell of funny after all! Just wanted to mention the point, first made by Bev, that the show in Tijuana is NOT a horse show but a donkey show. Still disgusting and so so wrong), a scathing documentary about Enron, the second season of the Office, and finally, the meat of today’s entry, East Side Story, a charming documentary on socialist musicals behind the iron curtain. Now I shall whet your appetites by telling you that there were MULTIPLE scenes of beautiful women in tight fitting gray overalls and kerchiefs, that harvesting wheat looks like so much fun I’ve a mind to do it over my upcoming holiday and I’ve already bought the dress I’m going to wear, and that songs about the fatherland and the joy of work really CAN be fun! While I was afraid that the quality wouldn’t compare to Astaire and Rodger’s flics, the number that really turned me around was one on the joys of feeding pigs, apparently you let them out of their pens while sweetly singing come here come with me little pigs, and then you all dance down joyfully together to the trough.
There’s an interesting parallel in American bluegrass, I’m so glad the cold war is over so I can say this! There is a great song, the version I know is by Ralph Stanley whose chorus goes “I’ve got a pig home in a pen, corn to feed him on, now all I need is a pretty little girl, to feed him when I’m gone.” All I have to say is that capitalism and the resulting urbanisation of our society seems to have robbed us of so many rural porcine delights, and the tender declarations of love so inspired! And I now scorn my childhood fear that my Devonshire and genuine pirate-speaking grandfather’s pig would have eaten me if it ever had the chance…My opinion, however, that chickens are evil incarnate has not changed, and I thank god everyday that they are not bigger than we are.