Saturday, 22 October 2016


Imagine the dilemma. You live (maybe alone, maybe with your perfect partner) on a tropical island paradise - for instance the one pictured below - where each day is perfect in every way that perfect can be. You enjoy the same unvarying sunny climate all year round, hot but never scorching during the day, always comfortably warm at night. There is the occasional refreshing rain shower but it never comes as a surprise. You listen to the music of the sea and the rustle of palm leaves. There are no pests or predators to spoil the idyll. You have a plentiful supply of food and drink and lots of time to think. There are no noisy neighbours, no deadlines to meet and there is absolutely no stress. You eat, swim, love, sleep and dream.... eat, swim, love, sleep and dream.... each day, every day...

So then - where do you go on holiday? You see the problem, gentle reader.

Without contraries, there is no progression, as William Blake recognised. A permanent state of perfect paradise might just begin to pall with no contrasts -  so you need a break every so often, if only to remind you just how lucky you are... and then, like I said - where do you go on holiday?

Worry not. Antithesis Travel has the solution to your dilemma.

As you have quiet and isolation and restfulness in your everyday life, Antithesis Travel will offer you noise and crowds and confusion - but still with a beach theme. They will dispatch you for two weeks in July to Blackpool. (Did I mention it's 1976?)

It'll be a riot of a holiday. Swap your hammock for a deckchair and your acres of empty white sand for approximately 9 square yards of beach (yep, not properly metric in 1976). Make hundreds of new friends (with kids, with mothers-in-law in tow) and swelter in the sun as you listen to the music of a thousand transistor radios and the laughter of spiralling seagulls. Eat hot dogs, candyfloss and ice-cream and drink warm Watneys Red Barrel. Bat away wasps. Paddle in the polluted waves (blue flag beach still 30 years in the future). Have a kiss-me-quick holiday romance. Get drunk. Sleep it off. Repeat.

It'll be mega, a fortnight of fun, the vivid memories of which will sustain you through those long perfect days back on your tropical island paradise.

Okay. And so to this week's poem. All my (currently limited) reserves of creativity have been exhausted in putting the above together, so I'm posting a favourite by W.B. Yeats.

The Lake Isle of Innisfree
I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight's all a glimmer, an noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.
                                                                         W.B. Yeats (December 1890)

Thanks for reading. I wish you a week of stimulating contrasts, S ;-)


Anonymous said...

I've just come across this by chance - it's hilarious and had me laughing out loud. What a great blog!

Anonymous said...

You are a very funny man (as in amusing). This killed me.