Printer Friendly

DAVID CHARTERS .

'A H, WELL," said my good friend the Philosopher, while running his long-fingered and powerfully veined hands along the brass studs on the arms of the softly curved, green leather chair, which had been waiting for him among the ghosts at our table in the old bandstand of the marble caf, hidden off the windiest street in the world.

"Ah, well," he said again, this time more strongly, clearing the phlegm that had gathered in his chest down those many days as a young man, when he walked the fogveiled waterfront by the ancient Priory and fortified his soul with the spirits from a little flask - so that he could imagine holy men in black cowls, sitting on the rough benches in the chapter-house, turning the pages of their Bibles with coarse thumbs that had also rubbed the foreheads of pale children, awaiting the smile of their Maker. In his grey, brown and black imagination, the Philosopher saw the pinched meanness in the face of the angular Prior, who watched them silently by the arched window, cursing his own lack of drive. For, in his calculating heart, the Prior knew that it was ambition, not prayers, which brought advancement in his church. Outside, the ceaselessly brooding water rinsed the reedy shore and the hunched birds bickered like hags on the naked trees behind the scriptorium, where the sacred Never goodbye a year it is vanished into texts are kept away from prying eyes. "Fog is the theatre of stories," the Philosopher whispered to himself on those lonely walks.

But today he was shuddering at the memory in his stately chair. "The old year is failing," he continued. "It is a slippered year now, nodding in half-sleep by the warm fire of its long evenings, a bit like me. But it could still have some tricks to reveal. Never say goodbye to a year until it is vanished into history and has become just a row of numbers clamped in a book.

"Yet, is it not agreeable to be eating a good English breakfast, after all those rich meals of the festive season? Should a proud Irish sausage really be served on a cocktail stick? Should good liqueur really be encased in chocolate? Of course, I would never have been impolite enough to suggest this to my generous hosts in their country home - but the goose is a fine and noble bird in flight, capable of great feats of navigation. Even when slapping the mud with his webbed feet, he has unmistakable dignity and a certain comical charm. On the platter, however, he is a fat and greasy bird, whose meat hangs heavy in the stomach, particularly when served with an orchestra of gaseous sprouts. I'll let you into a secret here, I had to leave the dining hall three times before pudding was served to save embarrassing the gracious lady of the table, who occasionally reads the lessons in the village church.

say "As you know, I have always been a servant to delicate feelings. Anyway, can a mince pie and sherry really compare to a sandwich of mature Cheddar cheese spiced with a squirt of brown sauce and perhaps a pair of crunchy, young pickled onions?" I could see from the perspiration glistening on his brow that the Philosopher was warming to his theme. But at that moment, the toothy waitress with the comely manner emerged through the kitchen's swing doors and began advancing on our table with breakfast. "She's from Estonia, you know," said the Philosopher. "She came to this country to study politics and economics and now she is serving the tables. That's real politics and economics for you. I wonder what the New Year will hold for her."

to until history "What will it hold for us all?" I said. "It could be a very new year for my little family because we're moving house. You know, I was packing a case when I came across this old picture of me. The photographer certainly caught the full weakness of my character."

"Too much self-deprecating humour can be a form of boastfulness," interjected the Philosopher, his saintly blue gaze reaching into the distance. "These are very tasty mushrooms, the best so far this year. Maybe the old year does still hold a few tricks. But to me the love of our children is at the heart of every young year. It brings us closer to God. Through our children, we walk and talk with the Man Himself."

I nodded. "And a happy New Year to us all," said the Philosopher.

* LISTEN to David Charters on his picture podcast at www.liverpooldailypost.co.uk
COPYRIGHT 2009 MGN Ltd.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2009 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Dec 29, 2009
Words:776
Previous Article:Stunning range of 2009 9 Flickr images; Our Best of 2009 selection shows the amazing variety of scenes available on Merseyside, as Alan Weston...
Next Article:GREEN & GORGEOUS.


Related Articles
DAVID CHARTERS.
DAVID CHARTERS.
DAVID CHARTERS.
DAVID CHARTERS.
DAVID CHARTERS.
DAVID CHARTERS.
DAVID CHARTERS.
DAVID CHARTERS.
DAVID CHARTERS.
DAVID CHARTERS.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters