Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Cow in a Tree, Malign Inanimate Objects and Heligoland. - Enid Richemont

To counteract the horrors in London news over the last few weeks, I have been unashamedly posting my own local London image. In my suburban street there's a cow stuck in a tree, and she seems quite happy up there, semi-floating against a hot blue sky, although she clearly disliked being photographed because she kept bouncing. I wonder what the birds will make of her? With those slightly aggressive, horizontal udders, maybe she's begging to be milked? Maybe someone could send up an inflatable milkmaid with a bucket?

I'm feeling that this is going to be a rather silly blog - put it down to the heatwave we're currently experiencing, or to the fact that I write picture book texts as well as more serious stuff. Take the story I picked up on Facebook today, about the misfortunes of a colleague, one of whose Birkenstocks went solo walkabout just as she was getting off a train, forcing her to limp with one bare foot through the ticket office. This confirms my long-held theory based on the innate intelligence of inanimate objects, and their ability to annoy or even harm us (who was it that made the horror movie about a car with a murderous mind of its own?) There is definitely a reason why, when I tip out a vitamin pill, it rolls on to its side and across the table to the floor, or a garden hose mysteriously loops itself around a watering can, which it then drags across the garden. I think the time has come for us to fight back, so in the case of my colleague, also a writer, I'm suggesting revenge. She must retrieve her wand from the cupboard, dust it down, and perform a Transformation spell on the culprit, wherever it is, and I can't imagine a more shameful fate for a Birkenstock than to be changed into a Glass Slipper - oh, the shame of it! Go on, do it, Catherine!

And with even more recourse to things magic, I'm currently looking for a Fox Whisperer, but a Pied Piper would do - someone who could persuade my current foxes that my garden is a disgusting and dangerous place in which no self-respecting animal would want to dig, and as for wasting one's valuable marking poo - "my dear - unthinkable!"

 My very long-term friend, Miriam Frank, has recently published the sequel to her first autobiographical book: "MY INNOCENT ABSENCE" with a sequel "UNFINISHED PORTRAIT" in which explores her relationship with her mother - the portrait in question, which was indeed unfinished, being the work of her late ex-husband and eminent painter, Rudolf Kortokraks. Miriam was a child refugee during the Second World War, as her family were not only Jewish but belonged to a group of intellectual Communists living a somewhat alternative lifestyle, and Miriam and her mum were forced to flee from the house they were living in, just outside Barcelona, into Vichy France, and eventually put on a refugee ship to Mexico, and from Mexico sent on to live with Miriam's aunt in New Zealand - and even writing all that makes me feel exhausted!  In New Zealand, Miriam eventually studied medicine, and came to practice as a GP and later a consultant anaesthetist in London, which was where she met Kortokraks. Both books are absolutely fascinating, especially if you're interested in that period, and in the second one, Miriam researches her mother's life in the Twenties and Thirties, much of it based on a collection of family photographs. I do highly recommend both books. The stunning cover image on the second was taken in Heligoland in the Twenties, and shows a couple of naked women performing some kind of gymnastic dance. Heligoland seems to have been the island of choice for alternative communities.

6 comments:

AliB said...

thanks for your little bit of magic, Enid. I always feel Birkenstocks take themselves much to seriously. Not any more :)

sandra horn said...

Is the cow still there, Enid? Do take an umbrella if you plan walking under that tree. I am messaging you an explanation of how it got there. x

Enid Richemont said...

Haven't recently checked on the cow, Sandra - too rainy. She looked amazing, though, against that Mediterranean blue sky a while back

Hoping that rogue Birkenstock is now thoroughly shamed...

Debbie Young said...

I have to say it does look rather a sweet little cow. We regularly pass by a tree on the way to my mum's, near a sports centre, which is liberally decked with trainers. We are not sure whether people throw them up there after a particularly hard session at the gym, determined never to darken its doors again, or whether they just run past so fast that their shoes fly off at high speed and land above their heads. Either way, we always look forward to passing "the shoe tree", and never do so without comment. Seeing things a little out of the ordinary now and again must be good for our creative brains, I'm sure.

Katherine Roberts said...

The cow is great. We also have a "trainer tree" near the youth centre by the beach - I always imagine some poor kid walking home barefoot, but maybe s/he had other shoes? Or just flung them up there and went swimming instead?

Wendy Jones said...

A cow in a tree. How fabulous. Nothing that exciting happens round here