Featuring this month: football (remember that?), the weather, outrage, music refs a-plenty, a stone circle and, of course, cod philosophy!
Was it really only a few weeks ago that the entire nation was fixated by the possibility that the three lions on our young heroes’ shirts would roar victoriously and bring football home?
How quickly WE HAVE/A/DREAM changed tense. But, hey, it was brilliant fun and hugely uplifting to momentarily feel a collective buzz of optimism – and be reminded that, despite its many shortcomings and at times negative impacts, global sport can be a unifying force.
WE HAVE/A/DREAM was one of two sets of July #wordsinmywindow to provoke an Abba reference on social media (‘a song to sing…’ thanks for asking). Perhaps Abba’s in the ether what with the new ‘Mamma Mia’ movie. Having said that, maybe Abba is (as Elvis sang) always on some people’s minds.
Despite having to prolong the dream for another four years, the sporting spirit-lifter (cheers!) of the World Cup was doubly welcome in Berwick. Here, the endless sunshine and blistering heat – enjoyed and moaned about in equal measure by most of the country – was smothered by a dour and chilly sea fret. Hence the first July words in my window:
Positively playful compared to some of my recent window offerings. And, yes, I was a little bit too pleased with myself for overcoming the lack of Ns in my letters!
The thing with doing this weekly #wordsinmywindow malarkey is that sometimes I can’t remember why I put particular phrases up. I’m sure I had something in mind for:
But I’m darned if I can remember what I was thinking about at the time. Perhaps that people seem to enjoy finishing unfinished
It had to be done.
And several people did finish the phrase: ‘day’, ‘only day it ever is’ and ‘…first day of the rest of your life’.
In July, I had a marvellous conversation with a friend about spirituality, life, power and money. It is so very hard to hold on to things lightly and to live generously in our ‘what’s mine is mine’ culture. The more you have, we thought, the more you need to have, either to im/prove your status and perceived value (by self and/or others), or to service what you already have.
As far as opinions and politics are concerned, social media seems to make us even more prone to shout out our thoughts or point-of-views and retreat to a place where listening to others’ responses – particularly those who might not agree with us – is unnecessary. Or, if you’re Trump (and he’s not alone), you say one thing one day, the opposite the next, and call anything that’s inconvenient Fake News. As John Lennon wrote: ‘Strange days indeed’.
If, like me, you’ve not seen the second ‘Mamma Mia’ movie, you may well be equally puzzled by the idea that TREAD/LIGHTLY/ON garnered the second Abba reference of the month. I’ve now listened to their 80s song: ‘Andante, Andante’ and understand.
Speaking of treading, one of my aims this year has been to visit places locally in Northumberland that I haven’t got round to dropping in on yet. One such place is Duddo Stones. If ever a place echoes with mystery and the footsteps of passing years, Duddo does. I guess because one of the stones disappeared at some point in this ancient public art installation’s history, I found myself thinking of that catchphrase: ‘Leave nothing but footprints’. Which I suppose is what you’d do if you couldn’t resist stealing everything.
Linking to the thoughts above about our bite-and-run culture, my final July words were WHO/DO/YOU. These were purloined from a phrase often used by the outraged in response to a comment or thought from someone they don’t agree with: ‘Who do they think they are!’ It’s interesting, because it is a rhetorical question, neither requiring or desiring an answer. It’s designed to insult the status of the original writer/speaker and to be nodded at by those who share the respondent’s sense of outrage. The subtext is that the writer/speaker is ignorant, audacious, and should keep quiet. Funny in this world of citizen journalism and voice-for-all social media. To me, it is the perfect illustration of a society that wishes to speak but not listen.
Thank goodness that a friend on Facebook saw something else entirely in these three words:
‘Which Dr….Who do you…. think traversed the widest timeframe?’
I’d just like to say: