Someone once asked me what were my three favourite words? I had to think. There are 171,146 words in the English language so there’s a lot to choose from.
After many days, I came up with three words but they weren’t even English words. They were the names of places. Mogadishu, Timbuktu and Trincomalee. In recent times they have all been war-torn places so it wasn’t the places themselves that I loved but the sound of their names, Not the shape of the words but their sounds as I swilled them in my mouth: like the best cab sav or the best dark chocolate or better the cab sav washing down the dark chocolate. A rich, sensual taste. One that lingers.
Now there is another. A name just as magical. Talloola. It is a mythical place, a country town conjured by Carolyn Cordon, a friend of mine and a fellow blogger. Her cozy murder mysteries which she is writing now are set there. I can’t wait to read a draft
My mentor told me how to write a poem about slippers. Make it easy, he said. comfortable and cozy, warm, no prickly bits. More lamb than hedgehog.
I had a girlfriend once who forbade me to wear slippers: ‘Next thing I know”, she said, ‘You’ll be wearing a dressing gown, reading cozy murder mysteries and shuffling around the house like an old man.”
My dogs when they were puppies took a violent dislike to slippers, tearing them apart with a vitriolic zeal of which my girlfriend would have approved. For years I walked around the house in loafers until the puppies grew up and out of their habit.
Whenever I hear Bing Crosby sing White Christmas over the PA system in his hush puppy voice I think of slippers. Slippers are like bean bags for the feet.When you slump into them they have the feel of home.