Saturday, February 20, 2010

sweeper, opera, blackbirds
















Moustache.

The Tunbridge Wells Opera House, with its central green copper dome and two adjacent cupolas of like material, is one of the town's most conspicuous landmarks. Despite its name it has only very rarely seen the performance of an opera. When I first came to know it, it served as a bingo hall. Now it is a J D Wedderspoon pub. Outside its ornate entrance, this afternoon, is a grey haired man in a white sweater. "I love you", he days in the raised voice which people adopt for mobile phones. "Love you. "Pause."Love you. Bye. Love you." He closes his phone and retires through the grand doorway. There is a smile of satisfaction on his face indicating that he can now enjoy another drink with his mates, relatively guilt-free. The performance, I think to myself, is very little short of operatic.

In one corner of The Grove there are invariably blackbirds. Today I count eight of them. They are mostly males, but there are at least three females. Roll on the Spring.
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7 comments:

The Crow said...

Loved the opera at the pub, your description of it. Good chuckle for the afternoon; thanks, Joe.

Barrett Bonden said...

The "Love you" termination of a phone call seems to be something Brits have learned from Americans. I may feel the sentiment but would find it hard to express it under such circumstances. There is in any case a great danger that it will become permanently cadenced like those tannoy calls at the supermarket: "This is a colleague announcement. Will all cashiers please return to the check-outs."

Plutarch said...

American films certainly give the impression that the "love you" at the end of a call is worth little more than goodbye or "God be with you", as "goodbye" is supposed to have originated. Just a few minutes ago such a "colleague announcement" was ringing in my ears in Sainsbury's and similar thoughts crossed my mind. I wonder what The Crow thinks about reassuring phrases which trip off the tongue without much thought as to what they really mean.

The Crow said...

I don't say "Love you" to just anyone, but I do make certain I say so to daughter, grandson and siblings. We all do. My siblings and I started this many years ago when other relatives began dropping like flies and their survivors lamented they didn't have an opportunity to say "I love you."

My brothers have the hardest time saying it, not because they don't mean it - they do -but because they grew up when men didn't say mushy things to sisters or other men.

As for the ubiquitous "Have a nice day!" flung at me by bus drivers, clerks and receptionists - even the IRS rep I spoke with last week, for heaven's sake! - it is always on the tip of my tongue to retort, "NO!" or "Go to hell," but I don't. And that's when I'm in a great mood.

Despite everything else I might appear to be, I strive to, at least, give the appearance of being civilized. Not always successful, but I make the attempt.

(I'm going to submit this diatribe, but I'll feel guilty about it all day.)

The Crow said...

On the other hand, if placating his missus/signicant other with "love you" lets a fellow go back to his brew with his pub mates, then it serves a good (albeit temporary) purpose.

I'm trying to remember if I ever did such a thing in order to go back to something my spouse needed placating over.

Nope. Or, if he did, I wasn't considerate enough to see it.

Plutarch said...

Sounds to me as if you have got it right Crow.

The Crow said...

Love you, too, Joe!

:D