In the current difficulty we are all looking for wisdom to get us through and out the other side and we are all also, searching the Internet for inspiration.
But will it help?
Picking up my investigative journalist mac (beige with shoulder flaps), my investigative journalist scarf (tan with red squares), my survival gloves (blue plastic with a hint of bleach) and my investigative journalist notebook (Princess pink with sparkles – the granddaughter, I fear. She has my notebook, I have hers, I hope she hasn’t coloured-in my shopping list again, though, to be fair, all it said was toilet rolls.) I set out to investigate wise sayings and words of wisdom generally. There were a few wise sayings that I remembered but, in the absence of the local library, I was obliged to trawl Tinternet and put those I found into translation, with varying success. So there’s your first tested axiom, Wisdom is common to all mankind. Yes and then again, no.
You should always try to strike the happy medium.
Due to the social distancing rules, the only medium I could find still doing seances and fortune telling sessions, was in the next town. Getting my daily exercise, I walked there, knocked on the door with my survival gloves and sat at one end of her lengthy hall on the bottom step of the stairs, while she sat up the other end half way into the kitchen with a pack of tarot cards, some cooked chicken entrails (in gravy) and a supermarket pack of fortune telling prunes. It was clear, even at that distance, that she had been imbibing and was thoroughly well-oiled. In between hiccups she called on her spirit guide, Big Blankie, for assistance and to ask if there was anyone there. At that precise point there was a loud knocking and I nearly fell off the step. It turned out, however, to be an Uber driver delivering a sandwich, which leads me to think that if a fortune was being told, it was probably hers. Taking advantage of her dashing up the hall to grab the sandwich, I hit her with a wooden spoon I had brought in my handbag for the purpose. I say hit, but it was more of a light tap, being only a sauce spoon and nothing as substantial as, say, a ladle. Surprisingly, she immediately turned nasty, wrestled me to the hall floor and pinged me repeatedly with the Eight of Wands. I scrambled to my feet, retreated in a hail of prunes, and legged it back home.
I am certainly getting my daily exercise but have decided that particular saying is a total fallacy. Do not try to hit the happy medium. Even if she is really sozzled she will fight back. Keep your distance, there is a lot of astrology online and anything else you fancy in the fortunes-telling universe, without having to sit on the bottom of the stairs at all, or fall off them (unless you’ve been able to source some supermarket sherry in plastic litre bottles yourself, of course.)
It’s a long road that has no turning.
A very good axiom to test in the current difficulties, methinks. I set to, though it may have been unwise to choose the A1M for walking. There was very little traffic, just Uber drivers delivering sandwiches, and I was making good progress but what with the clocks going forward and so forth I was nowhere even near Scotch Corner when I realised that if I didn’t turn round I wouldn’t get back home for supper, let alone tea. As my pace slowed, I began to wonder if I would get the opportunity to spill cereal and a cup of tea all over my very own duvet ever again and by the time I got back, finally given a lift by a kindly policeman who didn’t think a pensioner ought to be walking along the motorway at three in the morning, I could feel my feet all the way up to my neck.
Therefore I have been unable, investigatively, to prove this saying true, or a fallacy. Though the A1 is a very long road. It was long in a car, long ago, right now, on foot, even without the traffic, it is a long road. A very long road. It may or may not have a turning, an underpass or even a roundabout. Couldn’t find out. Sorry.
The darkest hour is just before dawn.
No idea, fell asleep with my ear in the cereal bowl (all that walking.)
The better the day, the better the deed.
The problem with this is – which is the better day? Surely this is personal choice? For all I know you could be extremely fond of Wednesday – who is to say? You might be hot on beginnings and only ever celebrate your birthday on a Monday. You might be a traditionalist and absolutely adore Friday afternoon half past four. You know, it’s up to you. So I’m a bit stuck on this one. I would do a deed if I knew which was the better day, I really would. If you have an opinion on this one, do email (though please spell check it – there were problems yesterday with an email.)
Happy some potato, happy some jar.
This is one of the translated sayings. Um.
I’ll come back to that one.*
Elbows off the table.
Ah, now, yes. I can do this straightaway and you can help. Try to type on your keyboard with your elbows on the table. See? Can’t be done, at all. So that saying, absolutely true. Excellent. And, what is better, if hundreds and hundreds of readers do it it will be as proved as anything. Oh yes. JaneLaverick.com – empirical research of the finest kind. Elbows off the table, proven, certified, tick. Gold star. Award of the British Institute of Something. Great.
Notable shoes – steal of the puppy.
This is one of those translation sayings off the Internet. I haven’t got a dog handy but I don’t imagine anyone would argue with that, it’s just what they do, isn’t it?
What goes around comes around.
As you know we’ve been all topsy-turvy because of the building work, so I was delighted, doing a little desultory clearing, to come across a boomerang that we’d brought back from Australia. This has to be the most perfect thing to prove this saying. Practically designed for it.
Accordingly I took the boomerang into the garden and hurled it.
We have many neighbours and, naturally, it was the one with a garden like a wilderness that it had to land in. You can see the dent from the bedroom window where it plunged through the long grass. I’ll never get that back, that’s for sure, and no chance in the current difficulties of fetching another one. Very annoying. Hmm.
Up the long hill – him miplet.
There are strong indications that this saying may have originated on a very small volcanic island in the Pacific. One with a lot of interbreeding, I shouldn’t wonder. One of those entirely natural places ringed with a plastic drink-bottle topped atoll. Can’t really help you here. Unless – miplet, miplet.
Miplet – no. Sorry.
He who pays the piper calls the tune.
The castle is shut to tourists for the first time since the Normans planted it on the edge of town. The locals were not very willing tourists in those dark times, obviously, and what they mainly toured around were the dungeons. Nevertheless, in recent times the place has been beset by jugglers, pipers, falconers and the like, all casual labour and all let go in the present crisis. You can’t move in Marks and Spencer for troubadours and the chemist next door had six, count them, six rat handlers up the hair dye isle, it was awful.
Anyway, spotting a penny whistler outside the grocers I flung him ten pence and shouted over that I would like Toccata, Fugue and Bells in a minor key, if he would be so good.
Well – you should have heard the language! Telling me to Something off was the least of it. And he picked up the ten pence and pocketed it.
Disgusting. He should think himself lucky I hadn’t asked for the last night of the Proms.
So – not true. Call all you like, won’t work.
All small birds tringle.
Yes they do, open the window, you can hear them doing it. Spring in the air!***
*Or not, as the case may be.
Feel as free to send me sayings to research as I will to ignore you.
JaneLaverick.com Keeping the nation smiling**
**Or it might just be wind.
***More of an observation than an instruction, really, but if you feel inclined……..
…….warm up first. Don’t want to end up in A&E. So, spring in the air very cautiously and gently. Not so much a spring as a stand up.