“For January I give you vests of skins, And mighty fires in hall, and torches lit; Chambers and happy beds with all things fit; Smooth silken sheets, rough furry counterpanes; And sweetmeats baked; and one that deftly spins Warm arras; and Douay cloth, and store of it…
“The wind, when most his mastery the wind wins. Or issuing forth at seasons in the day, Ye’ll fling soft handfuls of the fair white snow, Among the damsels standing round, in play: And when you all are tired and all aglow, Indoors again the court shall hold its sway, And the free Fellowship continue so.”
Well, that was what the Gabriel Charles Dante Rossetti dreamed of back in the 1850s and thank the lord he did as I needed to pad out this column with something.
Then again, those fancy ideals sat well with the English poet, illustrator, painter, translator and member of the Rossetti family, who co-founded the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood nearly 180 years ago with William Holman Hunt and John Everett Millais.
They might also sit well with our industry’s very own poet laureate, the multi-award winning scribe Mark Fiddes, whose prose has not only been published by Poetry Review, The London Magazine, The Irish Times, MAGMA, Aesthetica, The New European, Live Canon, POEM International, The Moth and Decision Marketing – but on his own website too.
Mind you, unlike Marky-boy and the rest of us, Rossetti was lucky, he didn’t have the pressure of Dry January, New Year, New Me, January, Veganuary, National Blood Donor Month, Mental Wellness Month, Poverty Awareness Month or my very own Skint As A Skunk & Fat As A Lard-Arsed Pig Month.
Yep, you guessed it, I’m broke and obese, which is not the most attractive combination. Also, it means I haven’t been able to make it back to the South Coast yet; to be honest, I can’t even afford the Mega Bus let alone one of those new £2 bus fares.
In fact, I would love nothing more than to feast on Rossetti’s baked sweetmeats, as I am still living on the Christmas turkey broth my Nan rustled up a fortnight ago.
Now, of course, if Rishi “my wife’s family are loaded” Sunak gets his way, I will be one of the last in the dying breed of poor people. The next generation won’t have such money worries as they will all be numerate before they are allowed to leave school.
But quite how that is all going to add up is anyone’s guess…
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