I've been driving around in a vast rented motorhome, stopping off overnight at campsites on the way.
The driving's been easy, and the evenings peaceful, but the opportunities to unfold the table and sit at the laptop haven't come as frequently as would be conducive, etc., so I'm going to sit here watching the trees in the wind and the evening sun, for as long as it takes this thought to unwind, and then I'm going to take a wander round, listen to the trees some more, eat something, award myself another early night, and be off home in the morning.
No post this week, is what I'm saying. Just whatever thoughts come to mind.
Last week I went to the cinema twice, after months of not going to the cinema, and it struck me that if you ignore the thing being advertised, cinema advertising is transcendent.
There’s one at the moment, for example. We stare down at a kaleidoscopic, shifting, moving, apparently hand-drawn landscape, flying above a road as it scribbles itself into being, the landscape around it changing from city to country to sea to land again, our eyes full of authentic, bright, spontaneous artistry, so very hand-drawn…
…all the while listening to a voice-track packed with affirmations and resolve. We’re individuals! We’re brave and strong! We’re going to face those challenges and win!
It's a lovely advertisement. A work of art.
I genuinely didn't catch the brand of hatchback we're supposed to buy, to make it all happen. But I felt great.
The hatchback was on a road, I think it was a bridge, from yesterday to tomorrow I guess, and there was no other traffic. Just steady progress from the past to the future.
Nothing like the A1 the other day, that stretch from Peterborough to Blyth. Don't think that was symbolic of very much, but the advertisement was very definitely an exercise in meaningfulness.
There's probably some ponderous conclusion to be drawn here, but I'm not really in the mood.
I did wonder how different the world would be, if the self-help industry, and those people promoting meditation on Facebook, got hold of the advertising budgets of the car industry.
What if all the welfare, spirituality, mental health people started promoting wellness with visions of landscapes drawing themselves and voice-tracks full of affirmations? With such music.
We'd all feel very much better? For a while, at least?
Instead of the message being "You'll feel fantastic if you buy a small hatchback," it would be "You'll feel fantastic if you believe in yourself."
That could work.
Ed's gone back to his cave on the mountain, for a post-lunch snooze, and the Heroes' Journey is passing through one of those patches best covered by a short phrase, so...
They rode on.
But we can't leave it there. We don't exactly need a cliff-hanger ending, but it's always worth encouraging a little curiosity about what comes next, so...
Pipsqueak jerked upright. He realised that he had fallen asleep in the saddle. But what had woken him?
"For fah's sake!"
She had. Princess Eustacia - Stace - was staring ahead and swearing. There was a glow in the fog, over the rise in the road ahead, and what sounded like - music?
"I don't believe it!"
Stace - Pipsqueak couldn't quite get used to the name - started swearing under her breath. As Pipsqueak watched, she started smoothing down her hair and patting at her clothes. She looked panic-stricken.
"Mother!" she hissed. "For fah's sake!"
"What's the matter?" Pipsqueak pulled his yak alongside her horse.
Suddenly - as if she had just remembered it was there in front of here - Stace grabbed the kitten and passed it to Pipsqueak.
"Take this! I'm not allowed pets."
"What is it? What's up ahead?"
She looked at him, and there were almost tears in her eyes.
"I'm so sorry," she says.