I did think about calling this post Chicken Oblivious. But you know how it is. The cyclist would have been offended. If he’d known.
I’d spent the afternoon engrossed in watching a kind of ballet. Two people, dancing a pas de deux, ceaselessly moving around each other, with fluid, choreographed steps. Except I suspect they’d deny the choreographing bit – and they’d probably be right.
But choreographed sounds better than ‘managing to avoid each other’ or ‘without colliding or tripping up.’
Which is all quite important if you’re holding something that’s heated to over 1000 degrees C.
I was in Mawdesley, Lancashire. Escaping the house.
Our kitchen is a scene of much banging and clattering. Its infrastructure has already been consigned to kitchen afterlife. Some to the Sally Army, some to other forms of recycling. Some – I’m afraid – to the tip. Or landfill, I suppose I should admit.
I’m sorry. I would have liked to keep it, but its twenty-seven (or so) years of service weren’t just showing, but demonstrating.
So, we’re soon to be the, ‘yeah it’s ok, it’s a kitchen, it works, but why is it so expensive?’ owners of a new, tame, sober, pale kitchen.
Which is why we’re buying the lights.
Such a puny word.
They are – I now know, having watched the making of them – a work of art.
Over the years we have accidentally subscribed to William Morris’s view on stuff. Wanting nothing in our house that is neither useful nor beautiful. These – Mr Morris might be thrilled to know – are both.
So, perhaps you can see why I adapted the quotation, ‘For now we see, through a glass, darkly,’ which comes from St Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. But I can’t honestly say it was that version rattling round my brain. Nor was it the Bergman film of 1961.
I resorted to Google. My random choice – from a long list of possibilities – introduced me to Arthur Hugh Clough. And the Liverpool-born-poet’s poem, ‘Through a glass darkly,’ contained these lines:
Ah yet, when all is thought and said,
The heart still overrules the head;
Which is appropriate, given the context.
We didn’t need the lights.
We could have bought an off-the-shelf fitting.
But we saw these and our hearts said, yes!
Bland, safe, though the kitchen shall be, dull the lights shall not.
Hmm. I’ve gone a bit purple. It’s that Victorian poet. Let’s get back to my afternoon.
It was fascinating, watching the performance.
The movement never stops, rolling, swinging, blowing – can never stop till the piece is complete.
And now I have three unique pieces of glass – pieces I find it hard to describe as mere lightshades – sitting, waiting for the day when they can be installed. Hung in our sleek kitchen. Switched on to illuminate our messy table.
There was one disappointing thing about my voyeuristic afternoon: I spent too long taking pictures and filming. Not enough time watching, absorbing, enjoying.
Or admiring. So much to admire.
But at least I saw more than the chicken did. Or the cyclist. Both of whom passed the open door without so much as a glance inside.
Find Slyglass here, but not over Easter 2018