Yesterday my alter ego, Juan Antonio Pesetas, and Mother Nature went out shopping in the West End (that's central London). Together they paraded around Covent Garden, stopping by renowned boutiques and shops, checking the market stalls in the Piazza and trying on clothes hither and thither.
Now, let me declare a conflict of interest here. Whereas I am inclined more towards the scruffy look, my alter ego, Juan (by the way, I'm the only one authorised to call him plain Juan, or Antonio, or Pesetas, everyone else must use the full name and surnames as dictated by the rules that govern the code of fiction characters) is a Cuban dandy. He is utterly rubbish at dressing between the months of June and September. Whereas I love denim jeans and Birkenstocks in the summer months (not that we had much of that in GB this year) he is all for chinos and loafers. Whilst I love my vests (tank-tops for Americans) and short-sleeved T-shirts, he adores polo shirts.
Where we both coincide is in our love for autumn and the autumnal anticipation of winter. And that's how Juan found himself sashaying around The Mall (a place in London and not a shopping centre) with Mother Nature perched on his arm yesterday.
Mama Natura was wearing a beautiful dress made up of auburn leaves with a slightly chill wind for shoes. She confessed to my alter ego that on opening her wardrobe on September 1st, an elegant amber scarf slithered to her neck pleadingly. She just could not reject it. Her shades and hues were symbiotic with a British autumn that this year has come a bit too early (not for me, though, or for Juan, we both love it!). Pesetas, on the other hand, was wearing a beautifully tailored, plum-coloured three-piece suit, a multi-stripe double-cuff shirt and an appropriately complementary tie. And a pair of tasselled moccasins, of course.
They also found time to visit Kew Gardens in the outskirts of London. And as they walked under the weeping willows and cypresses, hugged by the reddish brown vegetation around them, Mother Nature broke into a beautiful poem by William Butler Yeats, 'The Wild Swans at Coole':
The trees are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,
Under the October twilight the water
Mirrors a still sky;
Upon the brimming water among the stones
Are nine-and-fifty swans.
Autumn has come upon me
Since I first made my count;
I saw, before I had well finished,
All suddenly mount
And scatter wheeling in great broken rings
Upon their clamorous wings.
I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,
And now my heart is sore.
All’s changed since I, hearing at twilight,
The first time on this shore,
The bell-beat of their wings above my head,
Trod with a lighter tread.
Unwearied still, lover by lover,
They paddle in the cold,
Companionable streams or climb the air;
Their hearts have not grown old;
Passion or conquest, wander where they will,
Attend upon them still.
But now they drift on the still water
Among what rushes will they build,
By what lake’s edge or pool
Delight men’s eyes, when I awake some day
To find they have flown away?
As you may imagine, their trip was very rewarding for both, but especially for me. When he got home displaying that huge grin of his on his face like the legendary Cheshire cat, Antonio told me that Mother Nature had spent a lot of money on music and that from today until November, every Sunday morning there would be a special melody awaiting the readers of this blog (no commentary will be provided, just the clip). So, enjoy Mama Natura's songs selection every week at the same time on the same day.
Miles Davis - All Blues
Miles Davis - trumpet
Wayne Shorter - tenor sax
Herbie Hancock - piano
Ron Carter - bass
Tony Williams - drums