Sunday, February 14, 2010

The run, parade and recital.

The delayed podcast is live.

Some interesting thoughts from a 3BTer who commented the other day -- The Phantom Blogger talks here about negative words that creep in -- 'but' and 'even though' and 'rather than'.

It made me think about beautiful things which are disguised grumbles: "Even though the food was disgusting, the service was spot on." I'm going to see how it feels to not mention the dreadful food at all. I try really hard not to criticise on 3BT -- it's not a vehicle for complaints or anger.

Having said that, there is a special place for beautiful things which are only beautiful because of the unpleasantness that went before. And the barrel-scraping rule, which means that a thing can be beautiful because it's simply less dreadful than everything else that happened on a terrible, horrible, no-good very bad day. Also, narrowly averted disasters.

Any thoughts?

1. Two children and a black dog race along the path across the valley. They look as if they could go on running all afternoon.

2. We join the Chinese New Year parade and follow the lanterns bobbing through town -- translucent paper glued over basketwork frames. A dragon, a tiger, a dolphin.

3. Nick says that his boss was impressed when he told her we were going to a recital this evening. She is thinking of moving to Tunbridge Wells, since it is the sort of place where a person can pop out to a recital.


  1. I think the question "Would I be able to pop out to a recital here?' should be posed to estate agents when considering whether to move into one of the houses they are trying to flog.

  2. "Having said that, there is a special place for beautiful things which are only beautiful because of the unpleasantness that went before."

    It's true. Because for one thing life is full of contrasts, and so we appreciate beauty all the more when it stands out in contrast to something else (not necessarily something ugly/horrible, but even something more nondescript). And furthermore it's the approach to life that's beautiful - not dwelling always on whatever's horrible or horrifying or annoying, but telling yourself that it might have been worse, and look, something good or beautiful came out of it after all.

  3. totally agree re the negative positives thing. I find a lot of mine classify as that (!) and it's not really the same.

  4. I think I'm torn between describing beautiful things and having a more comprehensive account of my day - when I'm leaning towards the latter, I tend to write disguised grumbles before realising what I'm doing then either remove the negative or delete the whole thing. I think it's useful to acknowledge what I'm doing and shift the focus because hopefully it'll help me shift the focus of my whole life...

  5. Interesting thoughts Clare. As you know I've struggled for a long time with the concept of 'beautiful'. I manage the 'three' and the 'things' but the middle word trips me up. However, a few weeks ago I started actually trying to do them every day, and it's interesting. I think sometimes it is a case finding something that stands out, that isn't necessarily beautiful in itself, but the attention you give it, the frame of it being one of three makes it more special. In the right light even the commonplace can shine.

  6. Thats almost what makes it for me - I loved when you said (maybe a year ago) about being ill and you described the good things - like going to bed with a hot water bottle - which were all the more beautiful because of the horrible thing of being ill! That beauty or pleasure that trancends the bad bit - or is made better because of it - that is what makes it real life not just sugar :D


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