Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Cheering Up Through Gritted Teeth

I've posted this before in a previous life, but I need it...



...and Stephane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt for extra comfort.

Work work. Apart from the intense strain of having to take life Seriously after nine months of la vie d'un flaneur in Ukraina and Hove, there is
  • paying good money to reside in Croydon five nights a (Croydon!!!) week
  • a single room in a B&B hotel and no hope of getting Laid and the green-lilac striped duvet and the Picture
  • the lack of seagulls
  • the lack of sea
  • illegal to smoke in English hotel rooms any more, so I have to lean out of the window like an old Frenchman on a third-floor balcony down a sunless side street in Paris
  • the policemen, the... noooo, in fact everybody went and got younger every year. After nine months on my tod I notice this every five minutes in my populous office
  • the Stationary cupboard: some things never change
  • likewise the girl in charge of the Stationary Cupboard
  • and the Last Stapler In The Stationary Cupboard, the rattly one with "Viv" tippexed on the head
But I hope you are awed by the bullet points. I got boxes of 'em. As a Project Manager, I get to apply them like a poxed jade her beauty-patches.

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Stapler - this is more than you ever wanted to know about staplers, including a last paragraph headed "The Future".

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LESSONS OF THE WAR

To Alan Michell
Vixi duellis nuper idoneus
Et militavi non sine gloria
I. NAMING OF PARTS

To-day we have naming of parts. Yesterday,
We had daily cleaning. And to-morrow morning,
We shall have what to do after firing. But to-day,
To-day we have naming of parts. Japonica
Glistens like coral in all of the neighboring gardens,
And to-day we have naming of parts.

This is the lower sling swivel. And this
Is the upper sling swivel, whose use you will see,
When you are given your slings. And this is the piling swivel,
Which in your case you have not got. The branches
Hold in the gardens their silent, eloquent gestures,
Which in our case we have not got.

This is the safety-catch, which is always released
With an easy flick of the thumb. And please do not let me
See anyone using his finger. You can do it quite easy
If you have any strength in your thumb. The blossoms
Are fragile and motionless, never letting anyone see
Any of them using their finger.

And this you can see is the bolt. The purpose of this
Is to open the breech, as you see. We can slide it
Rapidly backwards and forwards: we call this
Easing the spring. And rapidly backwards and forwards
The early bees are assaulting and fumbling the flowers:
They call it easing the Spring.

They call it easing the Spring: it is perfectly easy
If you have any strength in your thumb: like the bolt,
And the breech, and the cocking-piece, and the point of balance,
Which in our case we have not got; and the almond-blossom
Silent in all of the gardens and the bees going backwards and forwards,
For to-day we have naming of parts.

Henry Reed, "Naming of Parts", 1942.

5 comments:

Mad Dog said...

Well if Steffan and Django don't cheer you up you could always go to IKEA: http://self-preservationsociety.blogspot.com/2005/05/ikea-purgatory.html

YesBut said...

Stop smoking in your room - go out and pick-up a bird (does that phrase show my age?)take her back to your room and get laid.

It will be healthier than smoking (as long as you wear a condom).

Hope the new job goes well - aren't thee any young ladies working there?

Mad Dog said...

Got to agree with Yesbut although I'm not sure you'll meet eligible types in Croydon. Isn't that were the facelift comes from. See here: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Croydon+Facelift

Mad Dog said...

Nice poem, that Ode to a Lee Enfield. Well read too.

Now what I wanted to say was that there are tons of things to do in Croydon even if they are slightly anroraky. Take a look for yourself: http://www.croydononline.org/leisure/activities/default.asp?wtsc=HOB

Now you have no excuse for skulking in yer room.

Chertiozhnik said...

Hmm... Croydon Esperanto Club looks tempting. Bound to be lots of lonely ladies there.

Maybe "Go Potty", ceramics and pottery classes. These artistic lasses are well mucky, so I'm told.

But thank you for the encouragement. I must get out more, I'm getting to enjoy lying on my bed staring at the ceiling.