Monday, June 10, 2013


This blog begins with a photograph of my workspace in Kent, followed by the opening lines of one of England's finest poems.

When I have fears that I may cease to be
Before my pen has glean'd my teeming brain,
Before high piled books, in charact'ry,
Hold like rich garners the full-ripen'd grain;

As you can see, John Keats was a romantic poet who was worried about his pen, because it couldn't keep up with his brain. Well, if he was worried, I've been going absolutely frantic, because my pen stopped doing any gleaning several months ago. And, truth be told, the brain hasn't been up to much teeming either...

Alas, the photo could have been a self-portrait, if only I had been my unusual prolific self, hammering away at the keyboard. But that was not to be.

Instead, what we see in my workspace is a total absence of any meaningful blogging activity. Yes, someone has switched on the table lamp and the computer has been powered up. But that's it, that's all - zilch, nix, nada, nowt else - a complete waste of electricity, you might say.

Well, I may be unseen in the photograph, but I am standing nearby, with camera still in hand, and I'm gazing out of the window up at the night sky...

When I behold, upon the night’s starr’d face,
Huge cloudy symbols of a high romance,
And think that I may never live to trace
Their shadows, with the magic hand of chance;

I was pondering these plaintive words as dawn broke, and I watched an incoming North Sea tide rolling up the Thames Estuary. It was then that the bulb in the table lamp expired. It was as if it knew its services were no longer required.

So I replaced the old bulb with a new one. And I distinctly recollect my absent-mindedly tapping a few words on the computer keyboard before resuming my position by the window. Luckily, I still had the camera in hand to catch that moment in time.

And when I feel, fair creature of an hour!
That I shall never look upon thee more,
Never have relish in the faery power
Of unreflecting love!—then on the shore
Of the wide world I stand alone, and think
Till Love and Fame to nothingness do sink.

And that's the bit I've never quite understood - why is there a faery power in unreflecting love? And do you think the fake bougaenvillea looks a bit naff in my Kentish workspace?



Dolores Doolittle said...

But Nay, CI, the bougaenvillea is a delight - as it is to read you blogging!

And is that a dish of delectable sweeties on the lower desk? Perfect workspace!

JW10 said...

Ideal spot for working, CI. Space and plenty of reference books handy.

In photo 1 do my eyes deceive me or is your screensaver a photo of the robot's head from the "for mash get Smash" advert? :-)

Great to see blogs by yourself and Dolores doing the rounds. The more the merrier.

Dolores Doolittle said...

Ah, see what you mean now, JW, with the Smash - I'd thought it was a Christmas marzipan-stuffed date. And thankee for blogly encouragement.

Well, fair yet plaintively pondering creature CI, What IS your screen saver?

Canary Islander said...

Hello Dolores and JW!

The screensaver on my laptop is actually a bog standard one that came with the pre-installed Microsoft Windows Vista system. It depicts a fiord, but the view in the photograph was distorted because my camera was at an angle to the laptop screen. Hence the Green Robot's head!

And I've been worrying about dishes of delectable sweeties and marzipan-stuffed dates. I think you are sweet enough as you are, Dolores! Beware the sugar-rush!

I'm glad that there were no votes against the bougaenvillea (isn't it difficult to spell that word?). The petals remind me of what it was to feel warm...

Dolores Doolittle said...

A Fiord, CI? - but it's got eyes! (very sweet ones).

How poignant the longing for Warm - you must wear more vests. Or jump up & down a bit.

I've started standing at the PC since moving it to the bedroom on top of chest of drawers with no knee-gap. I read somewhere that there Are those who Stand to type from choice! And one can boogie exercisingly at the Same Time!

Canary Islander said...

I always knew you were a top-drawer blogger, Dolores!

Dolores Doolittle said...

Hee Ho, CI! (or a sock-drawer blogger).

By the way, do you balance on the black toadstool whilst creating on your PC? Quite a skill!

Canary Islander said...

Yes, I'm glad you spotted the toadstool, Dolores! I love it, because it adjusts for height and swivels!!! When I get it up to maximum speed I can do eleven revolutions without my feet touching the floor. But it does make me dizzy.

JW10 said...

Standing at the computer, Dolores, whatever next? Standing watching Bargain Hunt on the TV?
Give me a seat or a swivelling toadstool any day of the week.

Dolores Doolittle said...

Wheeeeee, CI! I want one!

We go for the blood & gore of Real Rescues with our lunchtime sarnies, JW... although I've heard those auction houses can be quite Terrifying in the heat of the bid

Canary Islander said...

Yes,and when I'm in one of my strongman moods I pick up my toadstool and use it for weightlifting. I can do this because the toadstool has a O----O shape.

But I think swivelling is more fun.

Expat said...

Hemmingway wrote and typed standing up, Dolores (as I discovered from a marvellous movie I watched last week...Hemmingway and Gellhorn). So did Dickens, so you are in excellent company. Apparently it helps to get the creative juices flowing.

I type sitting down in my comfy office chair with arm rests and a seat big enough for me to tuck my feet under me. This is a very bad habit, recently resulting in a creaky knee (I'm blaming the habit, brought on my being vertically challenged, not advancing years). Now I have a little stool tucked under the knee-well to encourage me to stretch my leg out. It's not working out too well. I must perservate.

CI, I love your little workspace! But my eye went immediately to the Stars and Bars. I always knew you were a rebel at heart. I am now humming Dixie in the key of qwerty.

Dolores Doolittle said...

Take up Thy Toadstool and Wield - and that, CI, is why you are such a fine specimen of musclehood.

Hemingway & Dickens, Expat? Yes - we commune standingly in the local famouswriting group. Hence very similar styles...

Canary Islander said...

Hi there Expat!
Yes, the rebel flag is a memento of my time living in Conway, Arkansas. I've always thought of it as the 'Dixie Flag' or 'Confederate Flag' or 'Southern Cross'. I've just googled all these variants and come up with my flag.

So I was puzzled and googled the 'Stars and Bars' and I've discovered that it was the first National Confederate Flag, which had a radically different design. My little flag was the second National Flag (and there was a third as well!).

Talking about sitting positions whilst working - I lean on my elbows a lot. Did you notice I've had to strengthen my worktop with chains? I once read somewhere that a good armrest is important when working at a desk!

Kathy is a tiny too - and she has also started using a foot stool !!! Hope your knee gets better!