Collage. Cat brooch from a late 1970s UK toy vending machine.
“O woe, bleak January, bringer of lean times to our editing house. Your wintry rap upon the door of our office does chill our fingers, paws and bones to the bit. The Vintage Toy Advertiser archives… ah, too grim a place to visit upon days such as these… with its hibernating vampires dangling from rafters, and frozen monsters awakening to thaw their claws and teeth in corners where sit our old photocopier and broken down time machines covered in dust. Hark! No post! No post! Our deliveries for new ads and catalogues held up by raging battles above rooftops, between dragons and banshees and mercenary raptor-bots. Grim times for office cats and editors, indeed!”
“What an exciting story,” said Wooof. “Please tell more!”
“Crivens, cat!” I retorted. “This is no tale, this is but a reality! We have no ads nor catalogues to scan… I fear our vintage readers will go hungry this winter. As shall we!”
“Tooting scarpers!” said the cat. “There’s no need to paint such a stark picture. Do you want me to search down the back of the sofa and behind the fridge and such places? There are always a few stray ads to be found.”
“Good thinking,” said I. “I’ll go warm up the scanner.”
Happy Midwinter to all my northern hemisphere friends!
Today is the December winter solstice – the shortest day and longest night. This morning I took these photos of a spider web that hangs between the railings on my terrace. The web has been there since summer, and has survived 38° heat, storms, horizontal rain, and the razor sharp teeth of the Mistral wind… yet despite being a bit battered and worn around the edges (a little like me) it’s still there.
As for the spider who guards the web? I saw her the other day scurrying down to investigate a potential meal, but unlucky for her it was just a fragment of leaf blown in by the breeze, and she scurried back up to her sheltered spot in an alcove.
The spider web on my terrace is a good image for me to hold up this midwinter time; it’s about bracing yourself against the elements, gathering nourishment and storing it for the cold months ahead. It’s about durability and strength. You could think of the life of a spider as solitary and predatory, a quite violent existence? Yet when you marvel at the intricacy of its web, iridescent against a wintry sun’s rays, you can’t help but seeing beauty.
The Spider. From The Celtic Animal Oracle. Anna Franklin. Illustrated by Paul Mason. 2003, Vega.