Saturday, 19 July 2014

Ignoring the Razzle

There are perennials in life - the melancholy of Sunday afternoons, particularly London ones, described by Dickens so well, for instance, plus the absurd pleasure of the lead up to Christmas in Europe - despite all the hype and commericalism, I still find it a season that it's impossible not to enjoy.

Another is the feeling, as Saturday evening approaches, that you really ought to be going out on the razzle, which I think means getting plastered, ideally, or, failing that, at the very least squealing in a crowd, dancing and tottering about the streets at all hours. What it does not mean, anyway, is staying at home, with your nose stuck in a book.

Yet week after week Saturday night fever bypasses our household, and each time it does I feel more of a failure. Take tonight as an example: the only sound is the logs settling in the fire and the tapping of this keyboard. The youngster among us has her nose stuck in a poetry book, the husband is poring over ancient family documents and I, until I turned this thing on, have been reading Les Murray's Collected Poems, (what him, again?)

And that's really what's prompted me to come here and write something - a line of his I just read seemed thought provoking enough to be worth sharing. It's from a poem called Driving to the Adelaide Festival 1976 via the Murray Valley Highway, (page 136 here - and don't miss The Buladelah-Taree Holiday Song Cycle, which follows it), a wonderful title, I think.

The poem is great - most of Murray's are - and the line that particularly struck me is:

"Romance is a vine that survives in the ruins of skill"


  1. Like Falstaff, I have heard the chimes at midnight. Also like Falstaff, I am fat and grow old. My chief imperative for Saturday night is a bedtime that allows me to get nine hours of sleep.

    1. Either you've been eating feverishly since we met, you aren't fat.

    2. Well, I'm not creeping into any aldermen's thumb0rings.