Friday, 17 August 2007

Back from Tuscany

Ruskin writes somewhere that you must love the climate you live in. Returning to a blustery, showery Yorkshire from sun-bathed Tuscany certainly puts this love to the test.

A story I heard while there: A woman in her late sixties has suffered from serious skin complaints on her elbows for many years. Pills and lotions of all sorts are offered, but make little difference. Her six-year old granddaughter noticing these livid sores tells her grandmother she wants to kiss them better. Now, naturally, the woman can't think that this beautiful girl wants to press her lips against such loathsome skin. But the girl insists. Within days the elbows are obviously much better, and this improvement proves to be not merely temporary.

I was put in mind of those fairy tales where a freely given kiss is required to transform something hideous to its former state. Interesting how these stories change. The original Grimms' tale of The Frog Prince has the princess hurling the frog against a wall in disgust. It would be fascinating to chart the different versions of this tale. The Brothers are known to have removed sexual content and included violent content in their adaptations.

1 comment:

Paul Grieg said...

According to Seligman in 'Authentic Happiness' you will learn to love Yorkshire's climate just as much as Tuscany's. It's like pools winners being happy initially but then quickly winding down to be no happier than before. But then if you lose the pools money you become less happy then before (although you will wind up again so it's not all bad news).

Maybe it's best not to go to Tuscany at all! It's like having a pools win and having it snatched away a few weeks later.