Tuesday, March 09, 2010
threads, value, bellowing
This tangle of fine threads, from I don't what piece of fabric, catches my eye in Little Mount Sion for it bright colour against the road surface. It is minute, at most a couple of centimetres across. When I rotate the photograph 45 deg, as I do now, it pleasingly takes on the shape of a calf's head.
As I post a parcel to my grand-daughter, the girl at the counter asks me if the contents has any value. It contains a small book. But I find the question hard to answer. "If it's worth more than £500, the insurance will be extra," she explains. But I find myself puzzling about value as I leave the post office. The cost of a present has little to do with the value which I, as the giver, attach to it, and likewise to that which I hope the recipient will, in turn, attach to it. The important thing - and to that I can attach a value, and pay extra postage for next-day delivery - is that it reaches her in time for her birthday.
It is rubbish collection to day. You can tell by the agonised bellowing of the hydraulic lifts, which hoist and tip the wheelie bins into the Council collection vehicle. The sound brings to mind the extraordinary noise, which donkeys make, not all the time but occasionally just when you least expect it. It is, I suppose, a rare thing nowadays to hear a donkey in Mediterranean countries where they were once commonly used as beasts of burden. I remember how my class, when I was teaching English in Spain, some 50 years ago, had to explain to to me what the noise was. Today, perhaps, they wouldn't know themselves.