Monday, 23 July 2012

Faeries at the Bottom of the Garden

Of course, we have to spell "Faerie" in a slightly different way here. More folksy. And, therefore, more authentic.

Another sentence in the Hitch Hiker's Guide I was much taken by the other day - it's from the point where Zaphod is trying to find the Lost Planet of Magrathea, and Ford is trying to persuade Zaphod (and Eddie, the annoying computer) that the planet is a myth. And the following, lovely and oft-quoted phrase is used to describe Ford's thoughts about Zaphod's romantic quest:
"As Ford gazed at the spectacle of light before them excitement burnt inside him, but only the excitement of seeing a strange new planet, it was enough for him to see it as it was. It faintly irritated him that Zaphod had to impose some ludicrous fantasy on to the scene to make it work for him. All this Magrathea nonsense seemed juvenile. Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?"
Ford is logical, very sensible and, ironically given how often this quotation is heard, totally wrong. It is indeed the Lost Planet of Magrathea, as the team discover when it starts shooting missiles at them. There are fairies at the bottom of that particular garden.

And I guess that's where I'd come from. A garden can be very beautiful. My garden here in Husborne Crawley is - it certainly ought to be, with all the "volunteer" labour that gets put into it.

But wouldn't it be great if there were faeries at the bottom of it, too?


  1. All I know is that there's a wacking great park at the bottom of our garden. And the only things that fly into it are balls kicked, knocked or thrown by the rowdy group of youngsters playing ball games.

    Remonstrating with them is a risky business, because at 12, they are actually larger than my slight, delicate frame. The awful word Fairy has been uttered by them, because they obviously can't spell.

  2. Yes! Having fairies at the bottom of your garden would make it *more* beautiful!
    Although if there were fairies in my garden they'd probably hang out at the relatively neat and tidy top end, thus avoiding the compost heap, the pile of slowly rotting planks the builder left behind that I imagined might be useful one day, my brother-in-law's rusty and long discarded unicycle, the battery-powered electric fence around the chicken shed where our two chickens live oblivious of the gory fate of their predecessors, a number of plastic storage crates full of rain water and decaying beech leaves ....I could go on.

    1. Nah, see you don't want your standard airy-fairies for this. You want some decent brownies (not the female cubs, the helpful household elves).

      And maybe, for the rrealy heavy lifting, a wodewose.

  3. Indeed, it would be nice if they'd pitch in now and then to help tidy the place up. Otherwise I might start charging rent. And they can pay by direct debit too, none of that dodgy 'fairy gold' stuff.

  4. I'm sure there's a place for fairies who are in the habit of firing nuclear missiles at you if you get too close, but not at the bottom of my garden, thanks very much. It's not that big a garden and I'm concerned that the fallout might contaminate the herb border.


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