Tuesday, November 24, 2009

TO 'EXPRESS' OR 'IMPRESS' - IS THAT THE QUESTION

My Front Door
Always wanted the house to look as if it landed in the middle of a wood!

Crikey, this is ridiculous. First of all I published the title of this blog before I'd even written it... so there's was no going back. Then I subsequently managed to delete two and a half hours of writing, when I proceeded to save it as an almost finished draft. All of this takes for e...v...e...r (yawn, yawn) with no broadband as, apparently, I live in the arsehole of Ireland's technological landscape. Anyway, certainly didn't expect to be writing another blog so soon, particularly after the long one on Sunday last. Mind you even though I'm English, I could talk for Ireland as 'they' say. I went on a bit like a spoilt child in the last blog...tiredness...selfishness?! Don't really like to admit I'm tired. If I say I'm tired, then I'm fairly, fairly knackered! Come to think of it, don't really like to admit that I'm being selfish, either...I suppose...well maybe... eventually!

Anyway, today is another day... and while I was having breakfast this morning, looking out at a garden that looked like something from Lord of the Rings 2... changing shape and direction because of blustering winds and whipping rain, my imagination drifted from a horticultural bent to one of a socio-political nature. Now the garden didn't set out to 'impress' me...it just did, as it 'expressed' itself this morning with a little help from extraneous elements.

I had already been thinking of the way our egos get in the way of self-expression, particularly during performance, and the mental and physical exercises that I use when working as a director to try to stop negative planes of thought landing e.g. :' I'm going to make an arsehole of myself doing that!', 'I can't do that!', 'I'll probably get it wrong!', 'I will look like a fat f....r in that costume, or 'I'll look like shit if I have to pull my face like that!'...the list is endless. As much as we hate to admit, most of us feel the need to 'impress', and that desire/need can almost certainly hamper the flow of creativity. Instead of getting lost in 'expression', that journey is interrupted with self-doubting questions about the quality of the 'impression' being made. Back to my garden...

The yellowing piles of redundant leaves reminded me of the unemployed in this country (40% of architects out of work...to name just one sector!) Surely the main aim of this useless, clueless government should be to come up with an innovative employment policy. As the leaves should be harvested as mulch for next year's growth, so should the brainpower of this generation for the benefit of the next.

The dirty-grey perspexed sky blocked out the Galtees...mountains of wisdom...nowhere to be seen. How many times do you switch on the television to an almost empty Dail or Seanad chamber. For every beautiful song, epic poem, or indeed, a life-changing piece of legislation, there are a hundred drafts pushed aside or binned. You can be as wise or as creative as be damned...magic doesn't just happen...it has to be considered and re-considered and worked at. Slog, lads, sheer slog, with a sprinkling of wisdom, if you wouldn't mind.

My beloved honeysuckle transformed into the snaking head of Medusa, reminded of the banking and financial institutions...'I'll get you any which way but loose!' (NAMA!... yeah right!)

The smug, evergreen cotoneaster, which is just about to burst into berried glory, as everything else in the garden is dying or taking a break, reminded me of the Drumms of this country, the discredited heads of FAS and Allied Irish Banks, Anglo-Irish Banks and more, who have been given bonuses for poor work and fat pay-offs for being caught with their hands in the till. They make me sick! This greedy government, who has allowed this 'I'm alright Jack' attitude to pervade this nation, should be lined up and frogmarched toward the nearest dole queue. For the life of me, I still find it difficult to believe that Fianna Fail managed to capture 24% of the poll during the last local and European elections. What does that say about us?

A towering buddleia, like the arms of distracted Irish fans arms waving for justice at Thierry Henry's open display of bad sportsmanship last Wednesday, reminds me that it needs taking care of. I am old enough to remember the thrill of Italia '90 and the promise of World Cup '94. It was electrifying...American visitors didn't know what was happening...all the shops were closed on the Main Street in Tipperary, while everyone, was in the pub, watching David O'Leary score the penalty in the Ireland v Roumania game, which took Ireland into the quarter-finals. When John Delaney, head of the FAI was asked, recently, would they, the FAI, grant a replay to France, if the boot were on the other foot, he said, only half- honestly in my opinion, that he didn't know. I think he actually meant 'NO'. Had Ireland got through the play-offs and Trap's army found themselves marching towards South Africa, the FAI would have stood to profit by 10 to 15 million euros. The same goes for France. Think of how much could be done for provincial clubs etc. with that kind of clobber! Sorry its time for FIFA to join the 21st Century and take care of this problem, by introducing the same technological evidencing systems that are very much present in other major sporting competitions.




The blue table and chairs...empty...but shifting...there is enough to go around if only we cared enough. The unlit pot-belly stove hints of hope, whilst the usually humming bamboo, was busily chattering warnings like a half-crazed soothsayer. Polyanthus peeping out to say 'Perhaps I should come back later!' Even the ivy was struggling to remain steadfast in its trust.

The only things in the garden that seemed to be taking all of this stormy weather in their stride were the birds. It was business as usual for them! Middle-class white-collar workers? Their message... In the midst of the heaving, seething confusion and mayhem of the present, perhaps its not necessary to destroy the old to start anew, but instead an urgent need for radical pruning and re-assessment of old burnt-out systems.
Finally I looked over at the trumpet and cornet, that hang stoicly from the contorted willow. (You can just about see them!) That tree suffered a stroke a few years ago, when I moved it from the front garden into the back. Seriously, one whole side of the tree died for a while, then with very little TLC made a miraculous recovery. I hung the musical brass there for the craic and because we're a musical family, and its no harm to remember, that even when the going gets tough, it helps to have a sense of humour.


Well I certainly never expected to be going on a political rant today, but that's the way my garden 'expressed' itself to me this morning. I have to say, I was much 'impressed.' Am I off crusading again...probably! Photos taken few weeks ago of fairly 'inanimate' autumnal garden, not yet chilled by the winter of discontent.


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