Friday, March 9, 2007


I prefer the tick of a grandfather clock.
I prefer tock to tick.
I prefer a fairweather friend who drinks to my fortune to the trustworthy kind who feasts on my disaster.
I prefer relatives with brown eyes.
I prefer the smell of my father’s hands to sandalwood.
I prefer my coffee hot as hell with the kindness of warm milk.
I prefer wildflowers I can’t name.
I prefer hard apples that hurt my teeth to ones that are soft and easy.
I prefer hard people with soft hearts to soft people with hard hearts.
I prefer people who don’t talk about hearts.
I prefer people who notice the stars
I prefer the waning of the moon.
I prefer my own children to other people’s.
I prefer not to mention this.
I prefer gardens full of weeds.
I prefer kitchens that smell of old kippers to ones that smell of disinfectant.
I prefer the mongrel to the thoroughbred.
I prefer the migraine to the toothache.
I prefer counting sheep.

From the notebook, after reading this.

Taking a short blog break.


L said...

Except for the fact that my eyes are not brown (though I secretly think we're related) I agree with this.

Reading the Signs said...

- oh relatedness transcends eye colour, L. I took the line out about preferring my friends to have blue eyes, thought it sounded too extreme, even though the "I" of this is what Emily Dickinson would have called a "supposed self". And one of my best friends, as they say, has brown eyes.

Anonymous said...

It seems pretty simplistic at first glance, but there is lot of depth there in the very few well-chosen words.

This is a lovely list.

Reading the Signs said...

I do like lists, goodthomas. Sometimes I even study old grocery lists left supermarket trolleys and there's always something - a story or place of imagining.

Leesa said...

Well, I said I was not going to "pimp" the final Battle of the Blogs, partly because some complained. It is an honor being in the final 16, and this blog is still in the running. So I am pimping away, even though a couple of hundred votes have already been cast. It is still very close.


Yes, I can see why you would think that a line about preferring your friends to have blue eyes might seem extreme. It really shouldn't, though, should it? What a bizarre world this is that such an innocent sentiment might be perceived as such. It is almost funny.

I'm really just dropping in to say hello, RTS (let's see if I manage, shall we?) and to see how you are doing. I've been feeling sort of pinned down in my own blog these past few days, for some strange reason - probably self-absorption - and have only really managed to visit one or two others. Not a happy state of affairs.

It is already far too late and I was hoping to get to sleep nice and early tonight. It just seemed like a good idea when I had it, okay? So, yes, hello RTS, how are you doing?

I notice that you are taking a break from blogging. Why and for how long? Are you just a little tired of it right now? Or maybe the dispiriting sight of my own monumentally fantastic blog has winded you slightly, made you realise how far you still have to travel to scale the heights of excellence? That sort of thing.

It's strange. Quite a few people seem to be taking time out these days. There must be something in the air. Don't do anything silly, RTS, like upping sticks and moving on. That would just make me cross.

But you are okay, I hope?

Did you enjoy being called a "classy dame"? It is atrocious, isn't it? I had considered bird (too obvious) and girl (too something or other) and another couple of words which should play no part in family entertainment. No. Dame just seemed - seems - nice and ghastly.

This has nothing whatsoever to do with anything, but I have been reeling since I stumbled across the fact this morning (don't ask) - were you aware that Sir Jimmy Saville used to call his own mother The Duchess? Why did no-one stop him? Why would he make this fact public? Just why, really? I have been periodically and involuntarily groaning with a stunned revulsion since this snippet entered my head. I need it to go away, Signs.

Sorry about that. A sorrow shared, though.

I notice the stars, RTS. It would seem foolish not to, wouldn't it? And I like this:

I prefer a fairweather friend who drinks to my fortune to the trustworthy kind who feasts on my disaster....

Quite. Very nicely put. I'm not exactly sure why I like it so much, because it seems as if it might almost be wrong (if that makes sense). But I certainly do like it.

I'm going to bed. I only briefly looked at what
Wislawa Szymborska was saying in your link, by the way, so I'm sorry about that. I prefer you, it would seem.

Nighty night.


Reading the Signs said...

Lovely to see you here again, Mr. P.E. and I am at this moment trying to string enough words together to make a Post - about me, blogging and, you know, life. Are you psychic?

Listen, not only is "classy dame" just what I am, but Mr. Signs himself used to call me Duchess when we first courted. I found this quite charming - but now I hear about Jimmy Saville and his mum I'm not sure.

I'll be back anon, Mr. P.E. and all will be clear. There will also be an opportunity, which I hope and trust (indeed expect) you to take full advantage of: to give advice.

I remain, Mr. buddhist aristocrat,
most sincerely,


Ros Barber said...

"I prefer a fairweather friend who drinks to my fortune to the trustworthy kind who feasts on my disaster."

Oh so, so seconded. A good list, and I enjoyed the original too.

Sorry to have been so absent. My previous oversight is now corrected.

Reading the Signs said...

Thanks, Ros. Yes, that line: I'll stand by it I reckon.

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