New Word of the Day, Dalliance; A Poem Written By Jessica Phipps About a Car Boot Sale and Me; A Stoppard Play; Out of Self Isolation for Day Soon; The 23rd Psalm; No Medici Life For Me, Thank You Very Much

I new word came to my deranged mind – it is dalliance. I am not sure why but an explanation of the word will make it clear. Dalliance brief or casual involvement with something: Berkeley was my last dalliance with the education system. But here is the amazing thing – it is also a Stoppard play: Fritz, who considers himself a man-about-town in 1890s Vienna, is despondent because his affair with a sophisticated, upper-class lady has ended due to the lady’s fear her husband might be aware of it. Fritz’s friend Theodore tries to cheer Fritz up by introducing him to Christine, a seamstress for the opera. Theodore believes a dalliance with a charming lower-class woman can take a man’s mind off his troubles. Almost immediately after the dalliance begins, Fritz receives a challenge from the sophisticated lady’s husband. Fritz is not good with a pistol, and the husband has a reputation as an excellent shot, so Fritz knows he has little chance of surviving the duel. In the few remaining days in his life, Fritz and Christine fall in love. Fritz sees the superiority of a simple life of mutual love over the bon vivant life of an urban bachelor. Beyond the addition of Stoppardian wit in the adaptation, Stoppard’s major change from the original is to shift the last scene from Christine’s apartment to backstage at the opera. A comic opera with a similar plot is taking place on stage when Christine hears the news that Fritz has been killed in a duel.

I have actually spoken with Stoppard briefly when I was in London – it was at a seminar at the National Theatre and I teased him about his smoking. He did laugh, as did I. But that is not the reason I though about dalliance in my person life of late. Men of high repute do not follow through with their relationship with me – treat me as a casual involvement. But they do know, in their heart of hearts, that it is not. They think they will have a second or third chance – but they shan’t. I do also love the word repute, as in high repute. (The state of being highly thought of; fame: of international repute). Its synonyms are: renown, celebrity, distinction, high standing, fame stature. You know who you are, as do most faithful readers of this blog.

But back to early times as I sort through the memorandum from London, finding a poem written by Jessica Phipps, the poet of the Tate Britain book. It concerns the Car Boot Sale held weekly at the Pimlico Academy. I loved the Car Boot Sale, and they did love me. It is a charming poem as you shall see.

Car Boot Sale (for Alexis)

China, flowers, books and things
Alexis likes, her presence brings
Rejoicing, fun, a world that sings.

Because we love the car boot sale,
Of junk and treasures to be found,
Or purchased with a smile, the tale
Turns to a a delight around-

Such mortals as Alexis charms,
As I stay close in blissful awe,
Light seems to shine, her wit disarms
Each one, we live and dream for more.

Jessica Phibbs
26th September 2016.

Is that not incredible poetry? It is, and it was clearly written for me. Such an honour and did capture a moment in time. I was barely recovering from the slings and arrows imposed upon me by Julie Wheelwright and the Academics at London City University but it does seem that I was able to overcome it, and spread joy. I wrote recently that those who brought harm upon me, suffer greater harm to themselves. As long as I adhere to my Uncle Dave’s advice: “Alexis, stop fighting! Go to the sidelines they will do themselves in!” This horrible coronavirus is recking havoc on many – however many, many are those who tried to do me harm. I had nothing to do with the creation or the spread of the virus. HONEST!

Tomorrow, or the next day, I may have to suspend self isolation, probably just for a day. Need to prepare myself for that. Wardrobe choices other than pajamas, look at myself in the mirror, pick out shoes (other than slippers), put on lipstick (I guess), color coordinate with shoes and glasses to match and be brave. I am safe within these confines, no idea about out there. But then, to return here and know that I need not venture out for at least another week. I will be fine. Do not worry about me! I am reminded of the 23rd Psalm – my manta most of my life:
“Thy rod and they staff, they comfort me. Thou prepares a table in the presence of mine enemies. My cup overflowth with oil, Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I shall live in the house of the Lord forever.” That and “Not my will but thine be done” will hold me in good stead tomorrow. Definition: the place or role that someone or something should have or fill (used in referring to a substitute. You u wish to have him superseded and to be appointed in his stead. No synonyms are noted.

I do love my Cousin Janet’s term – self isolation. It makes one feel that they are in control of their world.

Watching the Medicos on Netflix brings home this simple fact – I do not wish, nor desire, to be in a family who wields considerable power. They ruin the lives of all around them, and would have ruined mine. Praise to Allah.

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