Monday 5 April 2010

An Esoteric Moveable Feast?

Words - two words have been plaguing me all day. They've been gnawing so loudly even Lady Gaga's Paparazzi on full volume hasn't been able to drive them back. Tidally moving, but not straying far has been the phrase moveable feast.

Easter is migratory, I know that. It wanders about causing timetabelling and educational difficulties. The shortest Spring term I remember was eight weeks and the longest nearly sixteen, so Easter is, clearly, moveable and feast-like.

I have not spent time thinking about Easter, people can do that in anyway personal to them, but I have had the phrase moveable feast doing the cha-cha-slide in my head.

They are both powerful and emotive words for me: ripples from the deepest, darkest place.


Memories; on one of the Blogs I read during Kelly's First Page Blogfest one writer suggested she remembered her first birthday and this sparked the whole train of thought: does a person know the events that took place during their first year? I moved countries. Having a frail, premature brother born soon after my first birthday? I don't remember his arrival but I'd bet my subconscious does. Fifth of eight, I'd say Moveable should have been my middle name. The three, and a half, who were older kept me moving on (educationally, socially and physically) while the younger three also had reasons for needing. So, moveable - Id not recommend.


The wonder of smells so tempting you'd risk nasal blisters to get your head close enough to draw them deep long before the food reached the table, and before it was truly safe to attempt it. Every meal has a feast's air of panic and military precision when cooking for large numbers: steaming bowls, bread by the loaf and the need to get in quick before it's all gone. The anticipation, the tacky-fingered, chin-encrusted, hard-stomach of enjoyment: the only sight that reminds me of how this felt would be good-natured puppies heading for their food bowl.

Ernest Hemingway describes Paris as  "A Moveable Feast" devoured and yet always with you not matter where you go. I'd have to go with Childhood. When I yelled, what do you think of when you hear the phrase moveable feast? - my Minnow, prosaically, went with Macky D.
I'll relish reading what you think of when you hear - moveable feast


  1. What a great image! I especially like the Hemingway description. For me, I guess, writing is a type of a moveable feast--wherever I go, I can write and enjoy it.

  2. Moveable feast: My monthly book club meetings. We rotate houses, and the hostess never fails to provide a smorgasbord of Latin delicacies (it's a Spanish-language book club). So each month my feast moves to another locale. And the time with these ladies also moves my spirit.

  3. I love your blog! When I read moveable feast, I thought about picnicking with hubby and the kids. Hubby is French, and as Hemingway would attest, the French honor their food. Our picnic baskets abound with gourmet delicacies, loaves of French bread, hearty cheeses and bottles of red wine. (Not for the kids! They get Coke Zero ;)

  4. Hi Beth - Words are a moveable feast whether they are the delicate morsels of dainty words or the unguent slide of the vaguely untrue, they are so satifying to read or write.

    Hi Wendy - Have you got room for one more in your book club? I'd relish the chance to listen to the musicality of voices while savouring the aromas. Delicacies and delights.

    Welcome Nicole - thank you for calling by and following. I agree, there is something special about a picnic: the scents mingling as they escape the interwoven wicker - like foods with crusts and shells - always worth the effort and the wait.

    Last night I went to see a band, newly reformed. SQUEEZE. A pub, one step from the River Thames and two steps from the Thames Barrier, hosted the event. The interplay between Difford and Tilbrook - after years of acrimony - on a stage no bigger than my desk,so close it was almost uncomfortable? Wow! I'd forgotten how much I love the way their harmonies, rhythms and words mingle. Then half the crowd left, it all seemed to have ended but Glenn took requests - the barman did guest vocals - if *well know brands of larger did karaoke this was what it would have sounded like!

  5. wow. what a post, elaine!!

    hmmmmm.. moveable feast?
    i think i think of fast food?

    did i answer the question right?? hehe

    i love your descriptions though. your writing so strong, elaine!!

  6. Tahereh - if I could work out a way to sign write bowing I'd be doing it right about now!