Saturday, 14 April 2012

Beauty And The Beholder Cope With Brass Monkeys

Is 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder' a paraphrase of a much longer and deeper piece of Plato? Most scholars tend to think so. Some think it goes back further to Margaret Wolfe Hungerford's 1878 novel, Molly Bawn. Others suggest David Hume (1742), Benjamin Franklin (1741), William Shakespeare (c.1594), John Lyly (1580) or even back as far as a Tannaitic ruling by the school of Beit Hillel in 1st Century Jerusalem or 3rd Century BC Greek.

Either way, it was the most apt expression I could think of as I drove down the A69 from East to West on a cold, clear April evening. Usually it is an uninspiring drive, even when you broach the crest of the hill above Corbridge and the whole of the Tyne Valley opens up before you. It should be a jaw dropping experience, but is ruined by the location of a vast chipboard factory which monopolises the vista.

But always expect the unexpected and tonight the combination of the fading light and the stillness gave the place a dignified beauty.

The moody skies warned of cool weather to come. It has come. The clouds are heavy and it is trying to snow. Reluctant sleet is falling and winter does not seem to be over yet.





... advises the sign a few hundred yards away from my home. Perhaps it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy in the coming weeks. The new born lambs are huddling with their mothers against the stone walls. The flowers have been flattened, as have several amorous cock pheasants who ignored the danger of the local motorists as they crossed the road. Even the grass has stopped growing and the budding of the shrubs and trees seems to be on temporary hold. 

Hold the talk of a heatwave. 

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