What place does pastry have in an idyll? It depends largely on whose idyll it is. Pastry may well feature in the idyll of a baker or a pastry-cook. Thereagain, it may not, if the baker or pastry-cook is fed up to the back teeth with the making and moulding of pastry, day in day out, to the point of exhaustion, where he wends his way homeward at the end of each pastry-packed day and likes nothing better than to sink into his favourite armchair and smoke his pipe and drink a cup of cocoa and muse upon an idyll wholly free of pastry, to bear him away, if only in his brain, from his everyday concerns. That, after all, that bearing away, within the brain, is the purpose of an idyll, is it not?
A starving man may fill his idylls with pastry, on a desert island, or marooned on an atoll far from shore. In such a case the idyll may be so intense that it takes the form of a hallucination. Our shipwrecked solitary may feel the sensation of burning as he grasps a hot pastry in his hands, smell its smell, even taste it on his eager tongue as he brings it to his lips, before pfft!, it vanishes or dissolves, being an idyllic and not a real pastry.
From which we may conclude that real pastry has no place in an idyll, thus answering the query posed at the outset. By such means our prose helps us make sense of the world, and not merely of the real world but of the phantasmal world of idylls. Is that not remarkable, that we can not only conceive of that which is not – is mere brain-vapour – but, having conceived it, toss it this way and that, in our heads, mess and muck about and meddle with it, as if it were a concrete thing, or indeed a piece of pastry, to the extent that we can arrive at a satisfactory conclusion about it, and it not exist in any material form?
So there is real pastry and there is idyllic pastry. Can they ever be one and the same? There is something for you to consider. You, not me. I am done with pastry, for today.
A mournful piece, to be read Triply Sadly