I never could stand Bette Midler. Like the next person, I have my dislikes and, like the next person, I get attached to even the most irrational of them and don’t particularly want to give them up. There are few things more annoying than having a loathee revealed as someone you’ve something I common with, much less to have to accept that you might have got it wrong about them. Nosing around Jane Perrone’s excellent blog a while back I was slapped across the face by a Bette Midler quote: "My whole life had been spent waiting for an epiphany, a manifestation of God's presence, the kind of transcendent, magical experience that lets you see your place in the big picture. And that is what I had with my first compost heap." I’d been wondering about how to convey the enormity of what composting is all about for the Veg Patch book, to try and tie what is on the face of it a faintly ridiculous grubby pastime with our place in the world, and our worlds place in the whatever, and I have to confess I was struggling. The last thing I was prepared for was Bette Midler doing it in a few dozen well chosen words. I also didn’t welcome having to reconsider my irrational dislike, although obviously the case for the prosecution still has the excreble ‘Wind Beneath My Wings’ on its side.
It's been a week of wrestling with a proposal for an Otter Farm book, and getting nowhere. If I can't even write the proposal, you may be wondering, what chance the actual book? Not an unreasonable point that. My problem is that I'm too close to it. Everything I write makes everything plain. I pull this* back to kicking a pigs bladder, turn this** into just hitting skins with sticks. The essence won't come out. I need a Midler moment.
I turn to weeding asparagus. Like painting and decorating, it uses up just enough of your brain to allow the other part to wander off without feeling like it's idle enough to attach itself to some task, a little worrying or anxiety of any kind. After 4 days of struggling to write, I hope a little weeding will get the brainpipes cleaned. Tomorrow I'll find out - I have to get the proposal finished and sent off. Today it looks dull.
I took the camera out for the first time in a while too - a peach starting to develop just behind the dying papery flower.
A year ago, I figured out what was doing for some of the olives, two years ago I was pondering the ups and downs of Spring, three years ago the olives had just arrived, and four years ago it clicked what that weird noise pheasants make sounds like.
*if you remain unconvinced by the ballet that football can be, check the loveliest millisecond of his second touch, undercutting the ball so it reverse spins to a stop millimetres from the opponents stretch but still just where he wants to head off from. Like he's wearing slippers
** if you're the sort to be put off by a little noise, stick with it, it just gets gets better and better
Wednesday, May 6, 2009 at 6:09 PM
Firstly, there is the most amazing ballad between Bette Midler and Tom Waits which you must go and find on Spotify right now as it will restore all faith in her. "I Never Talk To Strangers"
Secondly, have you tried saying your proposal into a dictaphone? You are SUCH a good talker that i find it difficult to understand how you could be having problems working out a proposal!
Consider me spotified.....and how right you are. Truly marvellous, sounds very like the Nighthawks at the Diner time, (http://tinyurl.com/oc7pk8) just about the best £4.98 it's possible to spend. That's two 'for'Mrs Midler, one 'against', but it is a huge one!
I haven't tried a dictaphone (*hears Kenneth Williams 'oooooh' in head), but I think I just might. You're very kind (at least I think you're being kind...) to say I'm a good talker but a proposal's a bit like trying to tell someone what you think is your best characteristic...you probably can't tell, too close up.
that is SO right about the pheasants!