First and foremostly, let me begin this verbal onslaught with a dollop of the seasons finest greetings; and, as that season happens to be winter and also because Saturnalia is approaching with almost indecent rapidity, I thought I'd illustrate my salutation with a charming portrait by the Swedish artist Carl Larsson of his daughter Britta as the goddess Iðunn.
If you're up to speed with your Norsk mythology - and who isn't? - you'll recall that Iðunn (pronounced like Eedun) is associated with apples and youth; it is told how the mischievous god Loki is forced by the giant (or jötunn) Þjazi (a bit like Thiazi) to lure her into leaving Asgard her home and into a wood by promising her interesting apples. The said Þjazi changes into an eagle, snatches her from the wood and takes her home. Her absence - and that of her apples - causes the gods to grow old and so Loki promises to return her which he duly does . . . so I suppose at this time of the ageing year, we need her and her eternal youth to remind us that, although it may seem dark and gloomy, Spring is not too far away.
It's also worth considering that this beautiful illustration has given Britta a form of enduring presence; we look and see a portrait of a delightful child who was born some 120 years ago; that's one of the reasons why I love paintings and photographs but I also feel that the same result can be achieved by writing down and recording the story of peoples lives; we make them immortal and keep their memories safe beyond the touch of time . . . which is my new project for next year - I shall keep you informed.
In other news, yesterday - as well as being the birthday of my oldest and dearest friend and architect extraordinaire Mr DCR H. who, instead of sunning himself on Marco island as is his wont at this time of year, is sadly laid up in hospital and, it must be said, being missed ferociously - was the day in which dear old Myrtle House became Myrtle House Creative Publishing Ltd! This means that, along with a resurrection of the blog for that side of things in the very near future, some of the short stories and whatnot concocted by Yours Truly will slowly begin to filter into a wider sphere than before . . . be afraid; be very afraid! I will also be looking at other material and am happy to hear from anyone who feels they might like to see their name blazoned for all to see via digital means as well as, it is hoped in the nearest of futures, as a 'real' printed book too !
Output on the writing front has been steady but not overly prolific due to the amount of time I'm spending having tremendous fun with a varied bunch of displaced persons masquerading as professionals. In between the giggles we are actually working on a fantastic and world-changing proposition which has me tingling with excitement; I am tremendously lucky to meet and work with the people I do; they are are, to a man/woman/upright-hoover, immensely talented and dedicated but more importantly have not lost the ability to dream and, what is more, to believe in those dreams with a passion!
I forgot to mention that all this tip-tapping is taking place down in the The Barn in deepest Cheshire where, beyond the arched window, the day (which has never really got its act together in terms of being properly light) is growing darker and the rain more insistent; I fear I shall be in for a dowsing on my way to the station . . . ah well, never mind; I shall perch on my eyrie-seat in the buffet on platform 6 at Crewe and indulge in some comestibles and a large green tea . . . its all about trying to remain positive and seek the sweetness in everything.
So I shall end where I began; with another of Carl Larsson's lovely illustrations - this time of another of his daughters, Kersti in her sleigh . . . Hmmm, it would be so good to have snow instead of rain - then again, I don't suppose there would be any trains running if that were the case!
So until next time, which I'm sure will be sometime around the cusp of the new year, I shall say toodle-pip and wish you all the very merriest and most peaceful of Yuletides and, with the sound once again of The Incredible String Band ringing in my head I ask
May the long time sun shine upon you
All love surround you
And the pure light within you
Guide your way on
'til next time
Be Seeing You !
*They seemed to come suddenly upon happiness as if they had surprised a butterfly in the winter woods - Edith Wharton