You will of course be aware that King Canute (or Cnut, as he was spelt then) did not actually think he could turn back the waves. He was trying to demonstrate to obsequious courtiers the limits of his power, which makes the story deeply unfair as well as highly ironic. In response to this I have written a short story called ‘Queen Canute’ about my attempts, aged four, to walk to France. It seemed easy – I couldn’t understand why everyone said it couldn’t be done – so I just marched down the beach, set my face to the waves, and walked right in. If it hadn’t been for my father’s persistent attempts to rescue me, I’d be there by now.
It was a hard lesson in life, to learn that I physically couldn’t do everything I wanted. When I was eight, my mother, no doubt trying to keep me safe, asked what I would do if a big man stood in my way and wouldn’t let me pass. ‘I’d knock him down!’ I replied unhesitatingly. I still don’t know if she was right or not to tell me that I couldn’t. Maybe if I’d tried it would have surprised this man so much that he’d have let me go. I don’t know. But there never was a big man who stood in my way, so I never found out.
Anyway, what I was intending to write about when I started this post, was the use of swear-words. I guess Clarkson is still hovering in the back of my mind (in some kind of hover-car, perhaps) and I was asking myself why I found it funny that someone had put this on Facebook:
Sorry, I can’t find a way of showing you the pic if you’re not on Facebook, but it’s a very pretty rose-covered teacup with the words ‘C*nt Kidston’ on it.
Now, I don’t usually like the c-word used as an insult*, but this made me laugh. And then it made me wonder why – and I think the answer is, it’s because sometimes a short, sharp Anglo-Saxon word is the only effective response to a glut of tweeness. Kidston’s stuff is wall-to-wall practically everywhere you go, and I’m sick of it. So this made me laugh.
*incidentally, I don’t like the p-word any better.
I’ve just discovered that the mug was available on Etsy, who also have a nice little rhyme about Bankers:
Sadly the Kidston one is out of stock.
Ah well. I must get on with my latest Mslexia post.