Saturday, 4 October 2014

Starless and Bible Black

I must admit that the first time I came across this ominous beauty of a phrase is when King Crimson used it as the title of one of their great albums. Of course it comes from the opening of Dylan Thomas' wonderful tone poem "Under Milk Wood" :

"To begin at the beginning: It is spring, moonless night in the small town, starless and bible-black, the cobblestreets silent and the hunched, courters'-and-rabbits' wood limping invisible down to the sloeblack, slow, black, crowblack, fishingboatbobbing sea."

Anyway, it perfectly describes the feeling of being here in Ampleforth in the middle of the night, but here it id perfect calm and very relaxing, though it was initially disconcerting when I first came as I tend to get a little unnerved in absolute  total darkness when you have no point of reference such as a chink of light through the curtains or late night taxis taking people home or the police helicopter chasing someone down the A1. In Ampleforth there is none of that, just calm and serenity, admittedly in the dark.

Actually the local Church clock auto chimes on the hour, or something does because as I awoke I heard three bell chimes.

Anyway after a good journey down, I found I'd managed to leave my contact lens solution at home (none to be found in Helmsley and about the only thing the loacal Post Office doesn't stock), then realised that I'd left my glasses at home, so once lenses are out the eyestarin gets a bit much for any reading or messing about on the computer, then I realised I'd left the DAB Radio at home (and we have 4!) so that's three things I've forgotten.

Anyway it's almost four in the morning now, so I am going to get back to bed, and leave you with the DubWood Allstars treatment of the intro to Under Milk Wood, which I have loved since Cerys Matthews played it on her 6 Music show. And if you want to watch the recent excellent BBC production, it's here:

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