I'm supposed to be emptying the dishwasher. This is fact. Instead I'm sat here pontificating on the vagrancies of life and why the hell I never take a brolly with me when rain is forecast. I'm sporting the 'drowned rat' look right now, which is always appealling.
In today's mini-research session I've been thinking about Aesop's Fables. A charming young lad called Scott once cycled eighteen miles from South Shields to Blaydon to give me a copy of this when I was twenty year old hairspray harpy. I chose Chris over him (I'm shallow - Chris drove a tank, that was far more impressive than a poxy racing bike...) but I still have the book. There is a complete website dedicated to the Fables, which differentiates between tales, parables and fables:
'The tale, the Parable, and the Fable are all common and popular modes of conveying instruction. Each is distinguished by its own special characteristics. The Tale consists simply in the narration of a story either founded on facts, or created solely by the imagination, and not necessarily associated with the teaching of any moral lesson. The Parable is the designed use of language intended to convey a hidden and secret meaning other than that contained in the words themselves. The Fable partly agrees with, and partly differs from both of these. It will contain, like the Tale, a short but real narrative; it will seek, like the Parable, to convey a hidden meaning, and that not so much by the use of language, as by the skillful introduction of fictitious characters; and yet unlike to either Tale or Parable, it will ever keep in view, as its high prerogative, and inseparable attribute, the great purpose of instruction, and will necessarily seek to inculcate some moral maxim, social duty, or political truth.'
Crivens! I never realised that fables were such moral beasts. Perhaps the lovely mop headed Scott saw through my superficial choco-munching goth facade and decided I was much in need of moral instruction. I decided that my moral compass needed resetting and therefore I currently have the rather lovely book he gave me on my knee, deciding to trust to whatever page it fell open at. Well, it would be the wine fable now wouldn't it? Deep and meaningful my giddy aunt:
The Old Woman and the Wine Jar
An old woman once found
A wine jar lying on the ground
But though it had been drained
The fragrance of the lees that still remained,
When she sniffed was so fine
That she exclaimed, 'What a wonderful wine
You must have contained
If its ghost smells so divine'
Apparently the hidden meaning of this story is 'the memory of a good deed lives'. And so this tale comes full circle, because I still remember Scott. And I still wonder which direction that parallel path would have taken me down if I'd chosen him and not the tank driving Kiefer alike Chris (although to be fair, I did get handcuffed to Chris for two hours at a party and there was really nothing better to do...)
Today we are mostly...reading 'The Historian' by Elizabeth Kostova (100 pages in and liking so far though Amazon reviewers have been unkind), listening to Girls Aloud (I really got over my pop shame in my old age, now didn't I!?), looking forward to the cultural desert that is the final of 'I'm a Celebrity', mourning the fact I am not allowed any alcohol until I've seen the doc on Monday. Pah!