Random Books: Part 2

Posted on: 11th March 2014

My first is from Apocalypse Dreckly by N R Phillips. This amused me as there are rings of truth about the relationships and workings of councils, large and small! It is based on life in Penwith and is the anticipation of disaster as plans are being made for the new millennium.

“And there’s the mayor, pushing his way through the crush, accompanied by his clerk. Two worried men, or they ought to be, with so many impending problems on their shoulders, having to organise the logistics of the whole world descending upon this isolated community.”

“Winnie the Pew had an idea. It was an idea born of expediency, she assured herself, and one that was certain to meet with the approval of the whole council if only she could get them to listen. Two birds, she mused, with one stone. The peace would be kept, unruly elements controlled, it would be a commercial success for local enterprises, and was a way of involving the highest powers without alarming the populace. More than a mere stone indeed, a veritable boulder of an idea to kill the whole flock of birds (with apologies to the RSPB, of course). The idea made her nervous, so brilliant and farsighted was it. She was afraid, however, to breach such an idea in open council, to spring it upon them might be more than they could accommodate without warning. They would chuck it out as another hare-brained scheme of Winnie Whistler that hadn’t a hope in hell of implementation. This time, she was determined to play them at their own game and get it all sewn up in committee before half of them knew what had hit them. Allies, though possibly treacherous, were needed.”

“‘I think we can say,’ Robin Rainey informed us, as the town clerk, the mayor and DDJ listened in the background, ‘that the whole occasion was managed by the council and officials with impeccable precision. We can now look forward to the advent of the millennium with equal confidence in our corporate identity and ongoing endeavours to maximise the opportunities for the community at large.'”

The next was a short poem from Stone Soup by Martha Street. Martha has a West Cornwall connection and can be seen performing her poetry at the St Ives Festival. A powerful look through the eyes of two people who became disabled.

“shared laughter –
the waiting room
at the pain clinic

We’re all jokesters and pranksters here, veterans of the pratfall, the wobbly knee, the sloshing teacup. Experts in donning the brave face and upping the chip.

An elderly women cradles her swollen knuckles loosely in her lap. All my life, she tells me, I was busy mending and making, sewing, knitting – my hands were never idle. I recognize this kind of women. Shall I confide in turn, 
Before my injury, I was a dancer?

after sleepless night
Tai Chi in the morning air
bare feet find firm ground”

These books have also given a little bit of a break from Council business and as the saying goes, ‘a change is as good as a rest’!

Last installment at the weekend.