Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Six Pigs, No Book

This lunchtime, in my haste to slip the surly bonds of NigeCorp HQ and get a little sunshine and fresh air, I set off without anything to read - calamity! My fixed habit is - in the masculine spirit of multitasking and filling the unforgiving minute - to read while I eat my alfresco sandwich. What to do? The solution was obvious - go to see the Holland Park pigs. They are now six in number - four whites and two saddlebacks, all sows and all fine specimens of contented pighood. They tend to form into a quietly grunting party of five, two of whom are inclined to squabble with each other, and a straggler who wanders off, then comes running to join the others. I took a seat and watched them while I munched my sandwich, and came to the realisation that there are few more pleasurable, relaxing pastimes than watching a party of pigs rootling around. I could have sat all afternoon enjoying them. Into the bargain, I was able, undistracted by a book, to watch a pair of bluetits coming and going every half-minute to a nestbox full of hungry chicks, and a robin following the pigs in hope, just as robins would have followed the wild pigs in the woods before we humans came along to turn the earth for them. Sun and shade dappled the trees, people came and went, pausing to admire the pigs, a Speckled Wood flew past and settled nearby on a sunny leaf... I think I must try a bookless lunch break again - it's easy to forget that there are times when it is more restorative and more rewarding simply to sit and look around.


  1. Lovely post and a reminder. It can happen anywhere.
    Being Alive and Attending. Sigh. Life is good -- and you have President Obama with you these days. He makes America proud -- well, not the right-wing nuts -- but all reasonable & educated Americans. There are a few. Know hope.

  2. "but all reasonable & educated Americans"

    Phew, Barbara, you don't spare the knife, do you?

    Lovely post Nige. There's not much wrong with pigs

  3. A lot depends on how you spell 'know hope', doesn't it...
    It's all been rather embarrassing really, this Obama love-bombing. Still, at least we know it doesn't mean anything!

  4. I once read a short story (was it Guy de Maupassant?)- a pig was crying for his brother who had just been killed for the table. I would like a world where pigs didn't suffer.
    Four legs better than two? Perhaps?

  5. Yes they are really quite worryingly like us, and I do by and large avoid eating them. On the other hand, if they hadn't been bred for the table they wouldn't be here - we'd have wiped out our wild ones centuries ago. You can't win...

  6. I'm pretty sure Obama hates us.

    I like pigs. As Winston Churchill almost certainly didn't put, "Dogs look up to you, cats look down on you, but pigs is equal."

  7. @Recusant -- I was born American. I know to fear these racist, Christianist, homophobic, uneducated, arrogantly ignorant, vindictive, mean folk. They can vote and do. They won't be happy until they have someone in the White House that is just like them and that is Sarah P. I know far too much about her to not worry. So should you.

  8. Calm down Barbara - let the ash fall from the cigar....Or find some piggies to contemplate.

  9. I think it's time we all went and looked at some pigs. Or - next best thing - read a Blandings story...

  10. Your post today (great title, by the way) reminded me of a poem that I clipped out of a magazine while in college during the '70s. I carried it around in my wallet for a few years then lost track of it, but the first few stanzas stuck in my mind all these years. I was prompted by your post to search the internet for it, and managed to find it. Jack Galef is the author:

    Do Not Buy Books

    Do not buy books
    Or linear paragraphs of description
    Save your disappearing dollars
    Each syllable of action is free
    There is no tax
    Spring is not a bouquet of words
    Nudged into meaning by punctuation

    It is textless weather
    Unphrased trees
    With visceral gestures
    We mean what we do
    It is a scary lexicon
    There is no eraser
    We barely move
    Books are simpler committals
    We can climb mountains of literature
    Turning the pages
    We turn back
    We untangle knotty metaphors
    The lamps go out
    We have someone else’s dream

    Thanks for nudging me into finding this again.

  11. @ David. I know, I know. I'm not rabid, really. I just sometimes sink to using my Orange County, Calif. GOP father's "the sky is falling" rhetoric. Most of the time I don't give a damn & live like the rest of the world entertaining ourselves as we live the very good life in this pretty iridescent bubble on a lake of shit. How's that?

    Not to worry, it's not the end of the world.

  12. Fascinating poem, Anonymous - I like 'textless weather'...

  13. Wow. I was sure I had suffered a stroke until I clicked on David's tag and discovered that I hadn't written those comments to Barbara. (It was particularly disturbing because, if I had responded to Barbara, I might well have written that.)