1 EAGLETON NOTES: Frances Garrood Talks to Her Horse



Sunday, 17 June 2012

Frances Garrood Talks to Her Horse

When she is not talking to her horse, Titch, or berating people (I know, I'm a victim) for their use or misuse of the English language Frances Garrood is, amongst many other things I'm sure, writing: books (see my post a few days ago about Dead Ernest) and her blog (pithily named Frances Garrood) and, doubtless plenty of other things too.  In my experience (of, amongst others, my brother CJ and my Mother) people who write spend as much time as they can doing it.  

This was actually not supposed to be about Frances but about summer and the weather.  However the words that prompted it were penned (actually they were more likely keyed) by Frances in the form of a poem which amused me very much indeed.  It was entitled A True Story:

Towards the end of every May
I put my winter boots away.
Knowing that summer's coming soon 
(And no-one wears their boots in June).

I get my sandals out instead
And paint my toenails cherry red
And wait for summer to resume.
(For I cannot wear my boots in June.)

Last night, the rain came down in buckets.
At last I flipped. And thought - oh, f*** it -
I'm hardly asking for the moon!
( I've put my boots back on. In June.)

That immediately made me think about the fact that on Friday down on the beach I was wearing a roll-neck sweater, fleece, quilted inner and windproof/waterproof Berghaus jacket.  It's June and it was 7 days away from Midsummer's Day!  Two weeks ago I was paining the fences round the house wearing shorts.  We haven't had any rain to speak of for weeks and I have the sprinklers going.  The South of England is flooded.  The world is topsy turvy.  Do Aurae, Anemi and Boreas not know that it's summer and that if anyone is out to play it should be Zephyrus.  Or are the wrong gods being called upon.  Are they too Greek to care about the Outer Hebrides?  Perhaps we should be calling upon Freyr the relevant Norse god.  He is, after all, nearer to hand.

But, hey ho, there is little I can do and in the circumstances I think that I shall just take a leaf out of Frances's book and put my winter clothes back on.


  1. Boots sound like a good idea!
    I love the poem about the Pelican!! ;)

    1. Thanks Liz. I can't recall whether I copied it or made it up myself. I've had it in my 'thoughts book' for many many years.

  2. When I read Frances' "True Story", I loved it, too!
    We've been lucky to have sunshine and warm weather for three full days now - Thursday, Friday and Saturday, with it being 29 Celsius yesterday. This morning, I woke up to find grey skies, rain and 16 Celsius. Not cold enough yet for boots, but I won't be wearing shorts today.

    1. I am so so envious Meike. It's still in single figures here on Sunday morning as I write this comment.

  3. I share the experience. I put my winter jackets "away" during the warm period in May too, but I had to take one out again. Not all that much trouble really - as described in the poem, it's more a mental thing...

    1. True, Monica, it's easy enough getting things out of a wardrobe but it's entirely different altering one's mental attitude.