Richard wanted to call this posting, the Blue Bell Mountain Blues. Of course everyone gets a bit down after the excitement of Christmas and New Year’s and when visitors have left and a long cold winter stretches ahead. Cabin Fever is a common ailment among mountain people especially; however, I am not feeling particularly ‘blue’.
Richard is, if you follow his exploits (or know him personally) often BLACK and blue. A few days ago he was mostly black, as he was cleaning the chimney on one of the few warm days we had. But more on that in a moment.
No, I haven’t been ‘blue’, exactly. More ‘grey’. And as we all know, to our ever-loving peril and shame- there are more than 50 shades of THAT particular colour.
And LINK: while being ‘bare’ does have something to do with this posting, it has nothing (saints preserve us) to do with that ridiculous book about nakedness and grey shades, which now has had charity shops and 2nd-hand stores in England BEGGING for donations of it to cease and desist, as they know they’ll never get them all off their shelves and they are taking up too much space. Generally, examples of finely-crafted literature are kept in home-libraries and not donated/dumped, certainly not in the thousands. So I think I’ve already said enough about THAT.
But yes,there’s a very good reason why it’s been over 2 weeks since I’ve written here -and it’s to do with the 3 homophones: ‘bare’, ‘bair’ and ‘bear’. And even a bit of ‘Barrie’ and ‘berry’. They keep jumping out at me everywhere I turn. Although the last of our holiday visitors (Richard’s mother) didn’t leave until the 7th, I have still been unable to write, due to what Pooh-bear has always called a ‘rumbly in my tumbly’. And not, in my case, in a good way.
I have always been very attached to the ‘Bear of Little Brain’ and his ‘stomachal’ complaints. I have them too. But , on the 5th of Jan., I had 2 cortisone shots in my bad left knee which caused shooting cramps through my gut for the next 3 days. I survived mostly on frozen berry juice and dried toast and just slept and slept…. And then the other side effects (dizziness, fluish aches, shaky hands, excessive urination, disorientation, flushed face, etc. in case you’re wondering or thinking of getting a cortisone shot yourself) stretched a further 6 days, most of which I again spent in bed. Yet every time I passed our pine hutch in the kitchen on yet another trip to the bathroom, I would see my little Pooh figurine, my honey-pots and the Milne books I had as a child. And on the shelf above these, The Plays of J.M.Barrie kept popping out at me. (Ironically, that book resides beside a good many apothecary bottles from a century ago, and one of them is particularly for stomach cramp – but I think it is mostly opium. Next week’s blog will detail more about old-fashioned ‘illegal drug’ remedies, and How to Decorate with Days of Yore Diseases.)
In Finding Neverland, the play/film about playwright J.M.Barrie, one learns about not having dreams squashed:
Davies: This is absurd. It’s just a dog.
Barrie : Just a dog? *Just*? [to Porthos, his St. Bernard] Porthos, don’t listen! [to Davies) Porthos dreams of being a bear, and you want to shatter those dreams by saying he’s *just* a dog? What a horrible candle-snuffing word. That’s like saying, “He can’t climb that mountain, he’s just a man”, or “That’s not a diamond, it’s just a rock.” Just….
Below is Barrie himself with his dear Porthos:
And, if you saw the film with Johnny Depp, or were lucky enough to see it on Broadway with Julian Ovenden (of Downton Abbey fame), you’ll note that J.M.Barrie ‘s portrayed as considerably more handsome than he was, poor guy! In other words, though he lived in colourful fantasy worlds of flying fairies and Lost Boys, he was himself a bit too many “shades of ‘grey’ “, ‘just’, as I’ve been feeling, in fact. But do Johnny or Julian pop in for tea and crumpets to colour-up my world? Only in photographs, I’m afraid:
The archaic verb “bair” has meant many things through history – to tease, to bait, to feed, to journey. In the current ‘Urban Dictionary’ usage, it apparently means that you’re ‘hot and sexy’. While Johnny and Julian are most certainly the latter sort of ‘bair’, as they pose with the dog-who-wants-to-be-bear, it is unlikely that they will understand the meaning of ‘baring it all’ – until they’ve had to blog to a small audience in the middle of January when one alternates between feverish chills and hot-flashes in the late of the afternoon because of a reaction to steroids. Richard, who LOVES to ‘bait’ or ‘bair’, managed to catch me on film ‘baring all’ in the kitchen the other day – just as the school bus lumbered up the hill and past our big window. It’s the first time I’ve ever hoped all those kidlets WERE actually texting rather than admiring the views:
His taking the photo (I’d just slipped out of my house-dress for a few minutes to cool down, but leave it to him to come upstairs from the basement just then) was probably justified as, when he was cleaning the chimney the other day, I laughed at his sweep-like/boy-urchin Dickensian face, and had to snap a shot, though he was in the bath at the time:
Thus, of course, my earlier reference to him being ‘black’, rather than his usual ‘black and blue’.
As I began, just yesterday, to feel better and not in need of two naps a day besides sleeping in until 9:00 a.m., Richard and I embarked on an epic-long game of Scrabble (my favourite Book-Lovers version, of course). For the first time EVER, I did manage to beat him by more than just a few points. Yet, when we looked at the board, we realized there were still a lot of ‘bare-naked’ references there, with our own 50 Shades of Gray happening in Freudian-like unconsciousness. We must have these BARE ESSENTIALS on the (Bear of Little ) BRAIN! Groins, Loins, Licking, Groping. Jugs ? – and my friend Lynn will especially enjoy that Richard remembered her as he lay down “Muffs” . But, back to Bears – was there not once a famous wee bear called “Muffy”?
And so, thus far in this New Year we have survived over-bearing guests, unbearably-long rests, bare nakedness, bairing Bears of Little Brain, J.M. Barrie riots and berry juice diets.
The good news is that January is already half over now! And for the remainder of this snowy-deep, absent-Depp and minus double-digits winter, we shall just have to – er – ‘Grin and Bear It”.
And, as music helps us get through so much, listen to two of my favourite songs about staying innocent and finding comfort in our old childish ways:
with Barrie references: Lost Boys :
with Bear references: Return to Pooh Corner:
P.S. – next week’s blog might have helped a Bear of Little Brain. A Great Deal.
Here’s another ‘tease’. Or ‘Bair’ !!!!! :