Musings on Mortality and Muesli

There’s a sort of league table in my mind regarding death.

There are people who have always been dead while I’ve been alive, so not only am I unmoved by Shakespeare’s death, I probably contain several molecules of the man himself.

There are icons from my youth, the people who always seem to have been famous, like the recently deceased Ronnie Corbett. When one of them dies it feels a bit like someone has chipped a bit of me away.

Then there are the others, people like Victoria Wood and Prince, who are uncomfortably close to my age. In the case of Prince, exactly my age.

When my mother reached her early 70s we had to stop here reading the obituaries in the local paper  because most of the people in there were her age or younger and it was starting to worry her.

Anyway, back to Shakespeare, I suppose. I won’t add much to the pile of words, except to say that the best Shakespeare I remember reading was a comic strip of Macbeth in Look and Learn. I think many of them, at least the ones worth reading (by which I mean the ones without all that soppy romance) would benefit from the graphic novel treatment -“Dredd’s Tales from Shakespeare” anyone?

Some trivia for you – Shakespeare and Cervantes died on the same date (which is why it has been chosen as UNESCO World Book Day) but died 10 days apart. There is no prize for the answer, just the satisfaction of knowing.

As for Don Quixote,  voted the best book ever written by a panel of experts, I can only say  that having recently tried and failed to read it that it would be best served by severe pruning and a murder in the first chapter, preferably Sancho Panza. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before – sorry if I have (it’s my age you know) but I’m a philistine and I like crime fiction. 😉

As for the rest of the day, I’ve taken a booking for two days of visits from a school (5-7 years old – my idea of purgatory as I’m not allowed to mention mummification, the Assize of Bread and Ale or eating guinea pigs). Nor am I allowed to mention Waterloo teeth, guano or CJD/kuru ( in relation to either cannibalism or modern farming practice). How am I supposed to teach with that sort of restriction hanging over me like the sword of Damocles? Which is probably something else I’m not allowed to mention.

It’s not particularly that the subject matter is considered too gruesome (though that probably enters into it) but that I might ask the kids a question they can’t answer. This includes asking why Henry VIII didn’t eat chips of why the Romans didn’t have tomatoes on their pizza.  After all, we wouldn’t want to teach them something would we?

End of rant.

The pictures scattered through the post are taken with the new camera with new batteries. I’ve discovered that you can get 80x zoom sometimes – not sure how I did it but bird pics are bigger as a result. And shakier. If I read the manual (as many of you are probably about to suggest) it would  spoil the surprise of discovery.

The picnic area is next to a local lay-by which has a some interesting plants, interesting birds and an excellent catering van. It also, as you can see, plays hosts to some people who don’t deserve decent facilities.

The Jackdaw is at 80x zoom, and we just picked the first rhubarb of the year.

I had muesli for breakfast as I wanted something smallish in case I set my socket off. Well, actually it was fruit and fibre, but it’s similar and a title with fruit and fibre in it is a difficult beast to tame on the road to alliteration.


22 thoughts on “Musings on Mortality and Muesli

  1. Pingback: Authors, Austen and AI | quercuscommunity

  2. escapetothebarn

    It is pretty much of a mainstay of mine and my mum’s telephone conversations that she updates me on which on her friends have died or have a terminal illness. I like to end the conversation with “Well, I’ll go now as you’ve depressed me enough” 🙂

    1. quercuscommunity

      I’m at a milestone age – it’s 15 years since a heart specialist told me I’d be dead in 10 years if I didn’t lose weight. So it’s about time I did something! 😉

  3. tarnegolita

    You made me laugh!! Don Quichote and Shakespeare – had to read them in uni but I have to admit I much, much prefer Bridget Jones 😉 As for the kids – I get what you’re saying!! I also often have to swallow my words, like when I almost said that we just had a new litter of bunnies but they were all stillborn… Got to get rid of the evidence quick… Not against kids being exposed to death – it’s a part of life – but it has to be a sanitised version… Some parents even start to speak in English when we speak about an animal that has died, so the kids won’t understand! 🙂

    1. quercuscommunity

      So that’s a whole generation that will grow up to associate the speaking of English with the death of cute small animals? Not quite what Shakespeare had in mind… 😉

      1. tarnegolita

        😂 yes! And seeing that many parents I know use English to speak about anything they don’t want the kids to know about, it becomes the Language of Secrets! That is, until they start learning English in school… My oldest son understand a good deal of what we say already! 🙂

  4. Z.Y. DOYLE

    I, too, am opposed to reading manuals, although I always said it was because I was too lazy. Now, I will say that it is because it “spoils the surprise of discovery.” What a great way of looking at it!

    1. quercuscommunity

      My mum always used to look at me and my dad with exasperation as we struggled with yet another voyage of discovery.

      Her view was simple. “Tch!” she would say (or some similar word) as she rolled her eyes, “Men!”


Leave a Reply