Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Random ways of getting lost

I didn't come here today with a fully-formed idea, but I've let blogging slip and I had to get back on the horse. (That's a joke, the horse thing. You'll maybe work out why in a minute. If not, it doesn't matter.) So I thought I'd nick an idea from quiltwhileyou'reahead and throw things around at random.


Life at present seems all full of thought, of workings-out and worries and plans. And at times of uncertainty, it is not unusual to find yourself dwelling on your first love.

Oh, King Arthur. We've been here before - I just can't keep away from the man. Arthur's knights didn't have plans. They just set off in no particular direction, on their horses with their swords - despite dire warnings and prophecies of terrific disaster. Clippety clop they went, over the hills to their doom.
"A knight cannot sit around waiting for something to turn up... he must go out looking for adventure. And since chance can be fortunate or not, looking for adventure is often the same as looking for trouble. Much of the woe Malory's knights suffer they bring upon themselves; but to them action is more important than circumspection."
Terence McCarthy, An Introduction to Malory.

Imagine being a distressed damsel, lost in the woods with your coloured hanky, knowing that some enormous champion with barely a thought in his head would be coming into view soon, ready to avenge your injustices or even find those keys that you put down here just a few minutes ago. He can't turn you down. He doesn't know how.

(Do you get the thing with the horse now?)

    If you ever get the chance to see the storyteller Michael Harvey, you should go. Just trust me. Book tickets and turn up.

    Or any storytelling, for that matter - maybe you're lucky enough to be near one of these events. I've been to a few storytelling nights recently and remembered just how much you can lose yourself in a really good story. I'm not just talking about giving your children the opportunity to do this. I'm talking about you.


    A nice man who calls himself the Fairy Hobmother from Appliances Online (they sell cookers - you can see their range here - washing machines, fridge freezers etc) got in touch to offer me a present. And I got this.

    It says it's an introduction, but it's so very not. The woman zips in and out of positions I've no chance of attempting even after doing it for several years. But that's good, because I don't want someone explaining it all to me. I want to get lost in my evening yoga practice, at home, with my candles, and not break off to fast-forward past the explanations. I only want to break off when someone wants a glass of water or to have a conversation about how their bedroom would be much more comfortable to sleep in if only it had wall stickers.

    Also, the man at Appliances Online said that there's a chance that if you leave a comment on this post, he might choose one of you to receive a present as well.

    So what's stopping you? Circumspection?


    1. I know what you mean about blogging and worries and too much thinking. I also agree about storytellers - have seen Hugh Lupton, Daniel Morden and Nick Hennessey a few times and been totally transported. It's an experience unlike any other. Thanks for the link :)

    2. Joanne I've seen Hugh Lupton and Daniel Morden recently too - I've yet to see Nick but am looking forward to getting the chance.

    3. That's a brilliant link, to the storytelling events - thank you!! Definitely my kind of night out.

    4. I like random posts! My PhD was on medieval Arthurian literature. Love the way you can trace the development of the same basic characters and framework through different incarnations - middle Welsh, Chretien de Troyes, Wace, Layamon, Malory. Also taught a course looking at some modern retellings which was fun! I will never tire of reading Arthurian stuff, and there's a wealth of books I can force - I mean encourage - the children to read! Ooops sorry for the ramble.

      The storytelling sounds fantastic - kind of thing an Arthurian knight might have listened to of an evening! Yoga is also a current obsession of mine (though I'm not nearly strong enough to do the harder stuff)! It feels very virtuous, and also has the added bonus of being incredibly relaxing unlike most other forms of exercise.

      I hope the worries are soon resolved, but in the meantime, happy reading.

    5. That quote could not be more perfect for my son! If only he had arrived with that little note pinned to his chest I would have known more what to expect!

    6. Thank you for the story telling link, Northampton is included!

    7. I'm Crayon You need to read up on Arthur, then. Because these knights get into terrible trouble if they use the wrong swords.

    8. Toffeeapple - Fantastic! Do tell me if you go!

    9. random posts are my favourites, here's my random comments then:
      - don't know about Malory. Will investigate.
      - King Arthur... oh yes, I'm all for a night in shiny armour.
      - story telling? never been but I'm intrigue
      - BUT the best of all? what on earth is the link between the washing machine man and yoga? (by the way I love them both) (that is the washing machine, not the man) (I don't know the man) (he might be nice though)

    10. if you need to do that complicated yoga position to lead the washing machine they might not sell many....

    11. oops that should say load the washing machine, although I suppose you might want to take one out for a walk....

    12. I'm sorry about the worrying, I really am. Which doesn't help you, I know.

      Youngest lad is obsessed with Arthur, so I now know a whole lot more than I used to know.

    13. I must know - what has the yoga woman done with her other leg?

      I nearly fainted in my yoga class the other day. Turns out I had some sort of bug but I did fear at the time I would never be able to forward bends ever again.

    14. Well hello Coffee Lady. This is the first blog post of yours that I'm reading, and I love it. I look forward to popping in more often. Loved your Knights' tale, and I LOVE an evening of adult storytelling.

    15. Can I comment about the fact that I loved your random post without being entered into the draw for the yoga book, which would be totally wasted on me.

    16. Cookers? Yoga? Perhaps the yoga allows balletic placing of cake in oven, with skyward pointing oven glove.

      What Knights are these? Oh, it's the Tesco delivery.

    17. Thanks for your comment! I've never been a breakfast eater - I always refused it as a child and food does not appeal to me first thing in the morning! I think I'm gradually coming round to eating breakfast though and one day I might!

      I have also let blogging slip this month. It's been a funny month, ups and downs and I have shut myself away and spent the last few weeks reading, so have nothing to blog about! I'm hoping things get back to normal soon!

    18. Malory is now officially added to the must-read list. I read a tiny, abridged, give away version of Le Mort d'Arthur years ago, but I'm sorry to say I remember very little.
      Please don't enter me for the yoga draw, it would be utterly wasted on me (my pilates DVD is still sitting happily on my shelf!)

    19. Ah yes, storytelling... I've taken to including this in my repertoire of "Subversive Things I Like To Include In Primary School Teaching Which Are Not Part of The National Curriculum". It's the only guaranteed way to get a class in the palm of your hand and I imagine the effect is quite similar on adults, though I'm not brave enough to try with them. Occasionally you get a child who asks, bemusedly, at the end where the book is. I never subversively introduce Yoga into my teaching practice though *shudders* (and not just because I can't be bothered to do a risk assessment).

    20. Ah, Malory, takes me back to my undergrad days! Who doesn't like a present, pray? Laura x

    21. I always wanted to start Yoga but could never seem to get it from the day maybe

    22. I would love to see a storyteller, just been to see An Absurd Person Singular a play yes but a skilful story. I read to my children as it was always something I would have liked as a child. I think I would like it very much.

    23. I'm an awful yoga practitioner myself because I just cannot be still. But perhaps the candles help?

    24. Hmm...if I practised yoga I fear I would need an appliance...and it wouldn't be a washing machine.

    25. Dear Fairy Hobmother

      I would love a present, especially of the appliance sort, or even a horse, if you have one handy.

      Yours very hopefully and circumspectly

      Pomona x
      (Goddess and pot washer)


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