Every now and then, I come across a piece of writing so magnificent that I consider packing in this whole business. Why continue tapping away when such genius stalks the land? This, from yesterday’s Observer, is quite simply matchless:
Dear Mariella, I have had a long-time interest in beekeeping. Unfortunately I have a mortal fear of bees (and similar stinging insects), and neither my partner nor I enjoy the taste of honey, rendering the material benefits of keeping bees somewhat moot. I have read a great deal of books on the subject and have yet to determine just why I am so fascinated by this most peculiar hobby – though I do quite enjoy watching beekeepers remove the honeycomb frame from an apiary, as I find it quite relaxing. It has got to the point where it is affecting my marriage, as my partner is entirely unsympathetic to what she describes as an “obsession”. I tend to spend most evenings reading apiarist manuals and commenting on beekeeping forums on the net, to the detriment of our sex life. I am interested in sex, but at this point I am more interested in bees. Is this kind of relationship normal? How can I bring my partner round to enjoying my interest in beekeeping with me?
Brilliant. Oh the tension. A mirror image of each and everyone of us, to some degree.
Mariella’s reply to the reluctant apiarist is equally noteworthy, and could also be applied to all of us who tend to comment on life rather than living it:
‘Never in the history of mankind have so many words been written about so little!… There’s a credibility that comes with embarking on a pursuit that is sorely absent from those who only speciously comment.’