It’s Thursday morning again but there’s still no blog for the website. Oh no! Staring at pirouetting leaves and the battered fade of autum roses isn’t helping. Through the rain jewelled windows the chickens are visibly despondent. Bedraggled, they are scratching at the mud unsatisfied that it just slides aside to leave momentary striations and their feet wet and dirty. Those with feathered ankles and toes are especially displeased. The worms are hiding from the intense wet dumping onto the ground so they are too deep for the chickens to reach. But they scratch at the ooze nonethless. A pair of magpies hovers on the fence, waiting for a hen to lay or for little Lavender to relinquish her post so that they can get to the feed hopper. Lavender is very fierce and the opportunistic magpies are lazy chancers who dare not take a risk. And overhead a sulphorous sky shifts under autumn winds that are too warm. Sitting silent and empty, trawling a reluctant imagination.
There is no light. No thought, just impressions and distant ideas that won’t come into focus. What about a review of Andrey Kurkov’s Jimi Hendrix Live in Kiev? Fine except that the book patiently sits unread and full of promise upstairs somewhere. Its probably lost in a screedump of books, but no one knows for sure. Jimi Hendrix Live in Kiev’s supposed to be good. All the dutiful reviews from people who want to please the author say so. They all name check the magical realism, the vodka, the affection for Lviv and its history. And reference to Mr Kurkov’s dark humour is of course mandatory. All well and good, so set to and read the book. But there is a problem.
Getting around to reading Jimi Hendrix Live in Kiev might take a little while because Andrey Kurkov’s Grey Bees was unexpectedly dull. Not agonisingly so, but still this is not something to be said out loud. Great long stretches of not much happening. Great long paragraphs to get lost instead in wondering what the point was. It the sort of read where the mind wanders off elsewhere and yet pages later the general gist was still there. The bits about life in the grey zone were somehow incomplete. The bits about bees and their behaviours made a much less powerful a contribution to the story than they might have done. Undeveloped social metaphors lost in a wash of sometime very lovely prose and clever wit. Getting around to reading Jimi Hendrix Live in Kiev will happen, but not yet.
Procrastinating still. Or worse, more boredom setting in. Boredom might be nature’s aid for passage through the winter months and their darkness and shadows. The sense of loss and hopelessness might back off, if boredom’s in the ascendent. Maybe. Boredom’s not worse. But in truth it’s neither procrastination or boredom that sees this week’s blog so laggardly. This week has slid away like the chickens footprints in the slurry. Time’s lines have disappeared without trace, a reminder that time is the most slippery and most precious of foes.