Thursday, 6 May 2010
A Dream of Snails and Purdah
“The year's at the spring / And day's at the morn; / Morning's at seven; / The hillside's dew-pearled; / The lark's on the wing; / The snail's on the thorn; / God's in his heaven - / All's right with the world!”
Robert Browning, Victorian poet.
I come home from work to find giant African land snails crawling all over the living room. I'm following their slime tracks, streaking across the wallpaper, intersecting like aeroplane vapour tails. When I find a snail, each as big as my outstretched hand, I pluck it off tentatively- it retreats instinctively to it's shell- and I set it down in the garden. My stomach flips as I evict them, one snail after another.
Later, I'm in work. My blog is getting me into trouble- I've mentioned my job during Purdah, a period when we cannot be seen to be promoting ourselves as an organisation. It constitutes a breach of employee behaviour, and now I'm securely up shit creek. So instead of staying for a disciplinary... I run. I run out of the town and into the country, down small back roads that split giant fields. Still in a suit with no tie, I'm roasting under the summer sun and sweat soaks my shirt in snail-track streaks.