Tuesday, March 27, 2007

winkle picking

As I stood looking around at the hundreds of oysters that lay at my feet on the wet ground amongst all the other shellfish and stranded marine life I suddenly felt terribly disoriented, which was a very strange feeling but might have been because I didn’t actually think I was anywhere near the coast. And yet, I also felt curiously at home, perhaps because just thinking about how they made London underground travel cards from these ancient creatures gave me a warm homely glow inside. I leant over and picked up a salty shellfish. Prizing it open, I thought of Wife in the North as I beheld the beautiful and enchanting revealed pearl that glistened in the sun. Then, opening another silvery shell I thought about my own life and saw only a grain of sand lying in the moist mollusk. I thought about how Wife in the North seemed to mine a deep historical seam which I was sadly yet to discover and I thought about how her loyal followers would have gathered together even in days of yore before the advent of the blog comments box. I stared out at the flat, grey and calm expanse that seemed to stretch forever until my reflections were curtailed by a traffic policeman who asked me to please move away from the overturned seafood lorry, as they wanted to reopen the motorway. I smiled as I thought about getting my husband in the mood when he was next up in the north so I slipped a couple of oysters into my pocket, well, Rick Stein wouldn’t miss a small one, in his restaurant I mean, would he? I just hope they'll do the trick, sigh...

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh ! You are excelling yourself strifey ! Will you be attending the Glendale show this year ? Go on, I shall be wearing a white 'martin bell' type suit with a red carnation in the buttonhole, so will stand out more than a white sheep in a coal bunker..

You and I could nip away to a little hotel somewhere in the Lake District for a few days and make sweet music together...drink some champagne, eat some of those yummy oysters [put them in the freezer first, dear] and try not to make too much of a mess on those white cotton sheets...

Go on, baby, anyone who can make a joke linking oysters and the London Underground has to be the girl for me - if only for a few days...

Lizzie said...

Oh Rilly, how amazing are the coincidencies between your life and WITN. Perhaps it's Jungian 'synchronicity'. (See my latest post).

It would be wonderful to learn what's 'meaningful' about your parallel existences. Perhaps someone could write a book about it??

Anonymous said...

Acording to dictionary.com, satire is a literary composition, in verse or prose, in which human folly and vice are held up to scorn, derision, or ridicule.

It's not the OED but as a definition this works for me.

The point is, Rilly, that you need be able to write literary english AND you need to have a legitimate target in the form of some folly or vice to deride.

You have neither.

Anonymous said...

anonymous, if you had to look up 'satire' in the dictionery then I think we can discount any opinion you may have as to what constitutes 'literary', don't you?

rilly super said...

anonymous, thanks ever so for the invitation, you sound rather dashing I must say!

lizzie, hmm, see what you mean. Not sure tat book is for me to write though, got enough on the go trying to get 'strife in the north' out!

anonymous, thanks ever so for dropping by and leaving me your little billet doux. I know some readers might think you don't like me much but I know you spent 31 minutes reading 7 posts so I think you're telling a little fibby-wibby, aren't you darling. You sound like fun so do please drop by again soon

anonymous, thanks for visiting. Don't worry about the preceding anonymous. I'm sure they're getting a right spanking as I write this, the little scamp

wife in the north said...

I have to ask. Is my publisher paying you to do this? My agent? My mother? The CIA?

rilly super said...

***faints***

An UnFan said...

As Anonymous 2 (the unfan) I feel I have to point out to Rilly that I spent 28 minutes on the phone, and 3 minutes (if that) reading this stuff.

I also want to reply to Anonymous 3 that I do know what satire means. Honest I do. The point is that Rilly doesn't. She needs to read A Modest Proposal.

Taking the mickey out of someone who is obviously really rather sweet and who also writes rather better than she does just seems like sour grapes.

The point of dictionary.com was to provide a pithy definition. I thought it was pretty good as a definition. It's more succinct than the OED.

Also, Anonymous 3, I can spell dictionary. You can't. In the playground battle I win. Yah Boo Sucks.

You'll all be needing a friendship bench after this.

Anonymous said...

witn - you know what they say, imitation rilly is the sincerest form of flattery ! hooray for wifey ! hooray for strifey !

Anonymous said...

an unfan - i think you must be an american 'cos you like things that liddle bid sugar coated, y'all, and ya don't really 'get' irony...

either that, you are that geeky chap off the office..

now i am looking forward to a reply about the dictionary definition of...

An UnFan said...

Hooray for Wifey indeed.

Anonymous 4, you need to go to remedial classes on irony with Rilly. May I urge you too to read A Modest Proposal as a matter of urgency?

American? I've never been so insulted in my life.

I am just nipping off to buy another dictionary. I already have 47, but dictionaries are like Jimmy Choos - you can just never have too many.

Don't get too het up now.

Sarnia said...

//As Anonymous 2 (the unfan) I feel I have to point out to Rilly that I spent 28 minutes on the phone, and 3 minutes (if that) reading this stuff.//

Methinks the lady doth protest too much.

I'm sorry but these sort of explanations always make me laugh.

Reminds me of people complaining about radio presenters recently (on the now defunct The Station Message Board over at the Beeb)

"God, he's outrageous! I don't listen to him but caught him for a couple of minutes tonight when I tuned in by accident and heard him mention chocolate covered condoms..."

An UnFan said...

No really I did only spend 3 minutes reading it. This is because I work amd about three minutes is all I get for lunch. It's a hard life but terribly slimming.

I've more than made up for it tonight though. What with all the witty repartee and irony and stuff.

Actually, I don't know why I'm telling you lot about work. It's just another four letter word isn't it? Certainly it doesn't sound like anything Sarnia's ever experienced in her life full of chocolate covered condoms. Or perhaps it's just a case of being in a different line of business?

Anonymous said...

sarnia - you are so right ! reminds me of those old episodes of 'Points of view' aeons ago with Barry Took where people would complain about the swearing / nudity / lack of decorum insufficient deference / artistic quality of a programme, and then go on to say, "and we had to suffer this for another 45 minutes !".

Mind you, I have no truck with that argument which says 'If you dislike the blog that much, go and read another one, and stop leaving such sarcastic comments.'.

Now I ask you, where's the fun in that?

Sarnia said...

Oh dear Unfan. It was pointed out that you spent over 30 minutes and reading 7 pages of this blog.

I pointed out the radio analogy "I accidentally tuned in and heard..."

Actually, I'm quite flattered that I personally could be associated with chocolate flavoured condoms.

(Do you actually read and digest before you sound off?)

Anonymous said...

Sarnia, I can imagine that fresh celery thrown from a height might cause a bit of damage if it landed right on your ear ! Although suspect that it is a bit limp if carried in to the match through those turnstiles and kept inside one's coat..

Perhaps different clubs could get together and co-ordinate production of a Waldorf salad ? Or am I thinking of a Caesar salad ?

rilly super said...

***briefly revives***

unfan, I don't wish to pry, your life and everything, but you had lunch at 6.32 this evening? what meal breaks were you on at 1.30, 4.13, and 5.40 this afternoon then? Sorry if I seem awfully nosy dear. Nice to see you again by the way.

***faints again****

An UnFan said...

Yo Rilly. Lunch was at 1.30. I'll believe you about all the rest, and it's nice to see you too.

Well hello Sarnia! I read and digested your bio from which I established that both your reading matter and your work experience were a bit on the light side.

So I decided for some reason (possibly connected with the now half empty bottle of semillon sauvignon blanc) that it would be funny to invent a career for you, And you provided me with such a delightful open goal ....

Sarnia said...

Unfan - I feel you are desperately lonely and unhappy.

Sarnia said...

Anon: 10.46. Interesting. I have to make clear though that I have never brought celery into Stamford Bridge. In a waldorf salad or otherwise.

However - this is Rilly's blog and really should be about life oop north.

An Unfan said...

Yo Sarnia

Desperate yes. Lonely no. Just truly madly busy like so many working mums. Rilly would understand what a hard life it is multitasking like this in the North.

It's been delightful but I have to go and poach two salmon fillets, decorate an Easter egg and polish the Jimmies before bedtime.

You be good now. I know all those celery sticks are not calorific but I betcha the chocolate covered condoms are off the weightwatchers scales.

Nighty night

aims said...

Gosh - I don't know if I fit in here with all the sarcasm and celery flying around!!
Hopefully Rilly will recover soon -
It's fun to read WIFN and then come over here and check to see how Rilly is doing...

But I'm thinking Rilly - if you put those oysters in your pocket...won't people be wondering why you smell so fishy??

You might want to think about that before you wear that outfit again...

rilly super said...

crikey, thanks ever so for all dropping by chaps. It's lovely to see you all. I appreciate you standing up for little old me sarnia and anonymous, and 'typical working mum' unfan, sorry to drag you away from your 47 dictionaries and a £300 slingbacks, veritable icons of the stuggling working mum that they are, for those precious few hours yesterday but thanks for the material. aims, don't worry, we're all friends here, really - don't worry about the oysters though, our house is so cold and damp that hanging in my coat pockets in the hallway they probably won't even realise they're not at the bottom of the north sea anymore. It's grim up north you know, sigh.

mutterings and meanderings said...

Cor Rilly, you're getting rilly, rilly famous!

rufusdog said...

Rilly, if I lose my job through over use of the internet, you're to blame. I keep logging on and clicking back to re-read 'Winkle Picking' as it's Rilly hilarious!

My colleagues think it is too, even at about the tenth time of reading it out loud to them...

Someone, PLEASE! give this woman a newspaper or magazine column!

rilly super said...

M&M, those marketing chaps can work wonders you know

Rufusdog, You are very kind and I really appreciate it.

Reality said...

I have never heard such a load of self-serving tripe in my whole life, I hope the people in the north burn you out.