Saturday 13 April 2024

Certain Afternoons

In England, in London, there are certain afternoons in winter when the clouds hang heavy and low and the light is so bleak that your heart sinks, but then you can look out of your window, and you see the coconut trees crowded upon the beach of a coral island. The strand is silvery and when you walk along in the sunshine it is so dazzling that you can hardly bear to look at it. Overhead the mynah birds are making a great to–do, and the surf beats ceaselessly against the reef. Those are the best journeys, the journeys that you take at your own fireside, for then you lose none of your illusions.

W. Somerset Maugham - The Trembling of a Leaf (1921)

Not only London, these afternoons occur in Derbyshire too, although I don't recall any mynah birds in my winter afternoon illusions.


Sam Vega said...

I believe you had some coal mynahs, but lead myning was more common due to your geology.

A K Haart said...

Sam - it's an interesting area in that respect. We live in an old coal mining area but virtually within walking distance the lead mining area starts. And the limestone quarrying of course.

dearieme said...

A black man walks into a bar with a mynah bird on his shoulder.

"Where did you get that?" enquiries the barman.

"In Africa" replies the bird.

A K Haart said...

dearieme -

Angela Rayner walks into a bar with a mynah bird on her shoulder.

"Where did you get that?" enquires the barman.

"Police station" replies the bird.