The grating outdoors
Is two weeks ago tomorrow, so we go for a walk. (That’s how that Sunday went.) Outdoors, and what an outdoors it is! The light is different to any seen before, like some fine powder paint powder is settling in the air, or very dilute tea. No, that’s not right, what it’s really like is being trapped inside an Instagram filter.
Yes, that’s right, a sodding unnecessary application for the viewing of literally rose-tinted cat images with those poncing telephoney shards of consumer electronics has become one of my key points of reference for everything. (And people say they need to do version for the Android telephones. Ha!) What does this mean I am becoming? A monster, that’s what.
It’s a very novel experience – the sort of hard-wearing novelty that doesn’t quickly wear off. (That’s what “hard-wearing” means.) But I can’t be sure, because the effect itself is very quick to wear off. One could probably delay the wearing-off point by standing still, but repositioning one’s body to a whole different position – in this case, one where the scenery doesn’t resemble any sort of poncing photography software – is part and parcel of the whole walking deal.
(Other wanky filtration apps are available. Hipstamatic, for instance. But Instagram is what I use.)
Next, we pass a tree. Oh, what a tree! So tall, it is. Its woodenness and its leafiness are both impressive, too, but the height is what matters most. The uppermost leaves sort of flicker, and make a fizzy hissing noise, much like what happens both inside the television and around the loudspeakers when a remote controller slips from SCART to AV. It is very magical and I think, wow, this must be how Michael Portillo feels. I long to be up there, in a linen hammock, surrounded by leafy surroundings. Wouldn’t that be nice? Hey, I could play Angry Birds.
Some wheat pokes out of the ground. Quite dry but also thick, Like Ryan Giggs’s hair. Yes, that is definitely the main thing that it is like. Well, I’ve never studied his hair or ruffled it, but nor do I ruffle the wheat, so that’s fine.
(Were this a deeply thoughtful magnum opus, “fine” would also have some textural relevance – you know, like in the fields of marmalade peel and felt-tipped pens. It doesn’t, though.)
(Marmalde peel, really? I told you I’d become a monster – everyone knows that marmalade peel is seldom “fine” cut, but rather “thin” – or of course “coarse” or “thick”. It would be nice if some felt-tipped pens were “coarse”. )
Look over there, because there in the distance is a dense wooden forest. Well, perhaps just a “wood”, because something so small could not be called that other prestigious word, but none of this matters. (It certainly looks small from here, but for any tree collective to be even that visible from afar takes some doing. They are definitely tall trees, but doesn’t the number of individuals matter far more than any trivia concerning the proprieties of the individual individuals?) The denseness is what strikes me, but only because it conjures memories of a müesli – so easily captured by an artist’s pen, just by drawing the whole as one solid mound. (It might be ice-cream cones, or a honeycomb-centric chocolate confection, but müesli seems about right and I spent ages inserting the diacritic so let’s run with it.) I think, hey, this is like walking about inside the illustrated surface of a muesli box. It isn’t, though, and that’s a real shame – oh how I long to walk about inside that world. (I don’t mean the real-world physical bowels of one, because too often the Swiss are a bit skimpy with the dried fruit and it would be a pain to brush the talcum powder from each clothe, but the pretty picture looks really pretty.)
Some time later, we see a fox – yes, just like what the aflame beast shown wrapped around a perfectly spherical giant grape in the Mozilla Firefox icon-logo is a drawing of. (This fox is neither aflame nor wrapped around a perfectly spherical giant grape.) It sees us seeing it and darts into a copse.
(Is it a giant grape or a very, very small planet? The scale is close enough to a normal-size grape that “giant” is the only adjective we need – especially if the hot flames shrivel the fox, and even if it’s a metal fox and so expands. A planet, in its default configuration, is far more different in size to the one in that logo, and so it calls for at least two modifiers.)
We arrive home.
(Alice Gregory offers a less superficial exploration of this intrusion in an essay entitled Sad as Hell. Go and read it, preferably using Instapaper like what I did.)