In a strange form of synchronous serendipity I was walking around Holland Park today and noticed a lady carrying a bag bearing the above legend in blue on a white background. It made me smile, of course, but it also warmed me to see the at once old-fashioned and yet curiously modern typeface proclaiming a most British of directives for a difficult time in the past in these troubled times. While fires rage across southeast Australia and economic gloom chills us here, I can think of no better exhortation to steel us.
On returning to the house I logged onto the BBC News website and there was the same phrase, proudly displayed in red and white this time, on a poster, and an article on the craze that I learn there now is for this simple, Zen-like message. I would love to know what the typeface is. I would also like to know who the author of this glorious message was, but even a website dedicated to selling goods bearing it offers no insights.
My heart aches for the poor residents of Victoria, Australia. The horror stories of failed attempts to escape the inferno that have monopolised the news over the past couple of days have made me weep for those who have lost their lives. The early indication that some of the fires have been started by arsonists – firebugs as they are known there – has driven me to a frustrated rage of pure, red, anger at the appallingly malicious inhumanity.
Closer to home, my job application and recent interview resulted in a telephone call yesterday evening informing me that the post has been offered to another of the shortlisted candidates. Such is life. Not an easy call to receive. Not an easy call to have to make, I’m sure. I’m disappointed obviously - a good word methinks for not being appointed - but am philosophical about it.
Blue would best describe the language in the house after the call. I seem to have contracted a temporary form of Tourette’s Syndrome as I keep catching myself muttering “bugger, bugger, bugger” as I wander aimlessly from room to room. Perhaps not so philosophical after all then. More blue of mind and mouth.
There is nothing to be done about it but to follow the advice of the unknown author. I shall indeed “Keep Calm and Carry On”. Soon the red anger for Australia will fade, the blue mood of disappointment will pale and I’ll be back in the pink. Forgive the purple prose.