As the feathered wingtips of Winter tenderly remove soot-specks from the watery eye of Autumn, a new album by the Moon Wiring Club ~ Today Bread, Tomorrow Secrets (based upon the book of the same name) ~ is poised to shimmy out of the Blank Workshop at the drop of a silken handkerchief.
The music contained on Today Bread, Tomorrow Secrets has already been proclaimed 'a new room in the palace of peculiarity' by SUPER-EMITIX magazine, and is the accompaniment for almost all of the 'pre-digestion dances' that are sweeping the private woodlands and secret societies of the country. However, comment has been raised in certain quarters that Today Bread, Tomorrow Secrets, with its claims of being adapted from both literary and theatrical sources, reaches new levels of esoteric mystery/bloated incomprehensibility. The luminescent colours traditionally associated with the Moon Wiring Club are here 'cast into a confounding hot pot hotchpotch unsuitable for those with nervous digestion'.
To investigate such claims, we cordially invited Ralph Turnstone-Facade, eminent thinker of What Shining Chat Monthly, to offer his considered opinions about Today Bread, Tomorrow Secrets in his popular column: Time for an Argument. Unfortunately, following Turnstone-Facade's recent complete disappearance from this time period, we are unable to present his thoughts upon the matter. But in an unexpected turn of events, we have intercepted his last known piece of writing, a letter to his beloved wife Susie, which curiously shines a parallel light upon the proceedings. It is published here for the first time, with full permission and her courteous blessing.
My Dearest Susie,
Truly I cannot thank you enough for the generosity of the gift presented to me upon the occasion of our anniversary this Thursday last. I still cannot fathom how you obtained the tickets for Today Bread, Tomorrow Secrets and organised the elaborate travel arrangements at such short notice, you really are full of the most delightful surprises! I would be brimming-over with joy, but for the sadness I feel as you were unable to accompany me here to stay with your charming relatives, who have made me feel extremely welcome, and have so far displayed almost none of the idiosyncratic traits that you may occasionally have mentioned.
It really is delightful here, and while the railway journey was upset by a number of mysterious delays, we eventually travelled by an extremely scenic route that allowed me to witness the desolate beauty of the windswept moorland and sleet-grey mountains under a rain-darkened sky, every bit the equal to the unusual watercolours you obsessively paint. If only you could have been here by my side, perhaps with brush in hand, I feel that the journey would have been perfection.
While some may have found the landscape of the route melancholic, Clinkskell itself is completely charming and bathed in unseasonably warm sunshine, the air sweet and invigorating. Unsurprisingly Today Bread, Tomorrow Secrets are the words on everyone's lips. Only this morning I overheard an elderly couple sweetly trilling about its charms in one of the more ostentatious tearooms, while on the street outside several children were ceaselessly eating ice-cream whilst play-acting curious scenes. And I could almost swear to witnessing several birds of different species in the market-square, tweeting together the infectious melody of A New Face on an Old Friend ~ your favourite whistling tune of the past few weeks.
Of course, I can see you now gently scolding me for being so foolish, but I must confess a decadent giddiness has quite overcome me and I can hardly contain my excitement for the performance tonight! I am sure the rest of the town is in similar high-spirits, although I do find it slightly unusual that I seem to be the only tourist here ~ I certainly stand out, a blue swan in my city clothes! And while I expected the fashions to be a little behind the times, everyone is dressed in styles that seem oddly outside of time. Why, only yesterday afternoon I met a most striking lady who could have been your sister, but wearing the sort of crinolined tea gown one associates with the previous century. She did not resemble an antique at all, the colours of the fabric were quite fantastic, and she had a most unusual gaze. In the evening as I accompanied your glamourous Aunt, immaculate in her train and feathers to a cake-shop get-together, she paused outside the Shop That Has Forgotten its Name to happily converse with a young lady who, whilst seemingly dressed as a mechanic in grey flannels, nevertheless displayed a captivating sophistication in spite of her closely cropped hair.
And I have never in my life seen so many different shapes of hat.
You will be amused to hear that I am so very besotted with the forthcoming performance that I've even been dreaming about it! Safely slumbering in my bed last night, I found myself wandering around a mysterious woodland. The trees were extremely ancient, and even though it was midday there was barely any sunlight. In the centre of the forest was the unexpected sight of an elaborate stately home, where I met an enormous magpie immaculately dressed in modern-day evening wear. With a voice that resembled smouldering silk, he courteously invited me into this dwelling, where I was made guest of honour and sat beside him on an ornate throne for what seemed like hours, if not days.
As if in a trance, I constantly consumed huge quantities of delicious hot-buttered rolls that were produced from an ornate box, whilst a lady with an almost feline countenance effortlessly coaxed bewitching tunes from a grand recorder in front of an extraordinary black mirror. The music she played was in a variety of bewildering time signatures, and somehow I knew it was composed for the theatre and was to be featured at the performance I had been so looking forward to. The other guests lisped and undulated to these melodies in a slightly unsettling manner. At the very moment I began to concentrate enough to enquire what was happening, I found myself back in the woodland. The house was nowhere to be seen, and the atmosphere bathed in a deep silence. The moon directly overhead was brighter than the sun had ever been, and tree branches swiftly curled around me as the living tendrils of a twisted black cage.
I recounted this peculiar nocturnal tale to your Uncle over breakfast, and I think he mentioned something about visiting somewhere called 'Wombwood', and that outsiders were always 'lured away for supper', but I could not quite catch what he said, as I still cannot get to grips with the unique thickness of his colourful accent. He also seemed preoccupied with that strange card game of his that you refuse to teach me the rules of, so I ate the rest of my delicious hot-buttered rolls in thoughtful silence. In any case there seems to be no mention of a place called Wombwood in the Clinkskell guidebook you kindly gave me, and the joyful thought of the theatre tonight shook me out of my selfish, doleful ponderings in a jiffy.
Really, it seems as if these days my dreams are straight out of an amusing novel, the sort of thing your friend Miss Appleyard happily conjures out of her hat on an annual basis!
My Dear Susie, it is now close to twilight, and I must dress for dinner, so it is with sadness that I cease my writing in order to catch the last post. Although I confess in my absence from you, my thoughts have been occasionally dwelling upon the rumours that have been endlessly circulating amongst my well meaning friends back home, about how you only communicate with them in a bizarre series of squarks and chirps and that they are all 'terrified' of you. Of course, I know that they mean no harm with their silly, childish games, and are merely unfamiliar with your twinkling accent. If you haven't already done so, why not invite them around soon for a soirée, and you can enthrall them with your puppetry act and adventurous puddings. Soon they will find you as delicate and charming as I do. How could they ever resist?