A table for friends, inspired by words and pictures.

Early, this post. And silly. Frivolous, maybe.

Why not?

I don’t want to crowd pre-Christmas mailboxes, but here’s a gift for y’all……

When you hear sweet syncopation
And the music softly moans
T ain’t no sin to take off your skin
And dance around in your bones
When it gets too hot for comfort
And you can’t get an ice cream cone
‘T ain’t no sin to take off your skin
And dance around in your bones…

I danced around in my bones all day Saturday in 37 degree heat, preparing a dinner for a table-load of friends. Seven hours of chopping, dicing, slicing, cutting, plating, baking, with Paul Simon at full volume. He is my cooking guy!

No gluttony was involved, but I did feel sinfully happy, and Edgar Leslie’s lyric seems to sum up the best of that long, hot, dancing day of joy. I was rewarded with a cool change at 5pm, and a table singing with laughter and stories.

T’aint no sin – but it sure felt good.

Joy to you, amigos. Joy.


14 thoughts on “Because I can…

  1. Ailsa, Hope you continue to chop, dice, slice your way through Christmas and New Year and forever! I loved to dance around my kitchen to tunes I heard on the radio, one especially I adore is very very old and called “Silver Bells”. Played by Macca sometimes and I loved (past tense now) dancing around on the slate floor until I did a very clever movement and tripped, hurt my back again, so now a very sedate movement is called for. Am looking forward to christmas with all the family down at our beach house and don’t care if it is hot or cold. Just a wonderful time enjoy everyone’s company especially grand daughters who, no doubt, will be off doing their own thing around the world soon and not with us except by Skype or something similar. We all wish you and yours a superb Christmas and perhaps a few dances and good food, wine and company.

    1. Thank you for all the wishes, Bertina, and may you relish every moment with that glorious clan of yours. It has been a great gift of the book that I got to meet you, and I hope to renew acquaintance in the bright new year. Meantime, perhaps a little swaying in the kitchen? Or perhaps you could drum with a ladle? Keep the rhythm going!
      Love to you and to Reg – and all the gang.

  2. Paul Simon is headlining the Byron Bay BluesFest at Easter
    but there’s no need to cook at the Bluesfest as there are dozens of great food places.
    Dancing is also optional,but there is a feast music wise.
    I may never get to Graceland,but I’m hoping to get to Bluesfest 2013.

    1. Ooohhhhhhhh, Darren.
      Now I have to save all my pennies.
      Paul in Byron? Can you imagine anything lovelier?
      You are a tempter. I should never have been told!
      Dancing – optional, but irresistible, I’d wager.
      Thanks for the heads-up.

  3. Dear Ailsa – I feel sure you AND your friends – enjoyed all that preparation effort in the finished product. I joined a friend on the 48th floor of the Park Hyatt Hotel near Shinjuku to-night – overlooking the western side of Tokyo (had it been daylight we may have seen Fuji-san in the distance but with this beautifully crisp clear weather (maximum to-day about 8 degrees C) – the lights of the city and the far narrowing rivers of main roads flowing away all diamond sparkles)! The food we enjoyed – sourced in the food hall of Takashimaya – was splendid – sushi/sashimi/various vegetables – plus the imbibing of Moët – and some rosé from Provence – brilliant! To-morrow a friend will received her literature studies Suntory Prize – to be held in the Rose Room of the Tokyo Kaikan – (built in 1922) – opposite the gates to the Imperial Palace! Her research work on the late 19th century/early 20th century English-writing figure – NOGUCHI Yonejiro (father of the noted 20th century American sculptor Isamu NOGUCHI)! A friend of Rabindranath TAGORE – among a string of US/UK literary figures, too.

    1. All those connections, Jim. And leading to Tagore – how? I must head down the tunnel of Wikipedia and see if I can make the links. Astounding.
      And what a scene you describe. Exquisite in my mind’s eye, thank you. I long to go to Japan and walk. I met a Japanese pilgrim on the road, and we correspond occasionally. He sent me a book about the Japanese roads. One day…
      What is the “san” exactly? Am I right in thinking it is somehow like “sir” – a verbal nod or bow in respect? We hear it all the time, but I hadn’t stopped to consider until you used it for the mountain. I love that.
      May your friend’s prize bring joy to all of you, and may the connections keep on being made.
      Thank you as always for insights into such “other” worlds!

    1. Ooooohhh. That chair is splendid. You’d never get out of it, would you?
      The human mind is endlessly inventive. Wonderful.
      I did relax Harry – but I was flat out like the proverbial lizard drinking. Mighty fine.
      Chairs to all of us!

  4. Ailsa,

    I, too, am dancing in pre-Christmas heat today, but not chopping and dicing – yet.
    Am jumping up and down off chairs cleaning high windows, hanging decorations and fairy lights on the deck ceiling.
    My hips will be talking to me tonight, no doubt.
    But on dancing, our “Soul sisters” bellydance group Christmas get-together was an uproarious occasion on Monday night and I had to share one wag’s description of us gels who strut our stuff each week in impossibly girly bling and “senshooous’ moves.
    This member is married and has four young sons, so in a dominantly male household she comes to bellydance class each week, calling us her “oestrogen patch”. Love it.

    Ailsa, you already exude such joy, it seems superfluous to wish you more this festive season, except that I send hope that there is ongoing happiness and fulfilment – and books and blogs- in store for you.
    You bring such pleasure at the touch of a keypad.
    Thank you and bless you.
    It is so nourishing and motivating to read writers and thinkers like you and your followers.
    Best to them as well.

    1. Dear Julie,
      What bliss and hilarity that oestrogen patch must give. Hips swaying. Smiles widening. Hands wafting. Magnificent. Is it a weekly dose? No wonder your comments radiate such joy.
      Thanks for your lovely words and wishes. 2013 already promises much. The next book is a curious beast and I’m not sure where it is taking me. I feel like I’m more than halfway there but it keeps leading me up different paths. No question that I am the follower on this road! It is very adamant that it will have its own way.
      I hope 2013 sees you dancing and gardening and continuing to visit here. I’m enriched by your visits. There is a character in the new book who is based on my idea of you – a gardener in a wide straw hat, foregoing perfect hands for perfect roses. That seems to me a good exchange.
      Gracias and may your yields be bountiful every day.
      With love and gratitude.
      A x

  5. And I do love your idea about words for friends on the Christmas table. Can you please give me some ideas or leads?
    Did you pick out something special about them, or something related to their present situation? Or was it connected to their favorite author/book?
    I am thinking funny, whimsical, thoughtful, profound, loving, inspiring…
    Tall order, eh?

    1. Hi again Julie,
      They were words and images in support of the burgeoning project of a friend. I collect postcards – my one hoarding tendency! – and I trawled for things that might inspire or provoke. I googled words that seemed connected to her ideas. I printed off her own words and chopped them up so others could respond. I went to the dictionary and to poems. I just let myself be taken and it was fun! As a result, the table fed us all with more than food. The words of big minds were great fodder. And the visuals took us back and forward in time to visits and aspirations. Do it. You’ll love the prep. It was sheer indulgence for me. And your dear ones get to be feted in the process!
      Happy hunting!

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