THE PERMAFROST: AN A-Z

         How can you expect a man who's warm to understand one who's cold?
                                                                                      - Aleksander Solzhenitsyn

                                    I have no idea what you want
                                    but there was something I meant to say...
                                                                              - Howard Devoto


The Permafrost is quietly spoken, disliking sudden noise or sudden gesture. Despite this, it is remarkably hospitable, enjoying long hours of easy talk, during which one might detect its eagerness to agree.

The Permafrost is able to convince, but rarely to persuade. The uninitiated see nothing but scrubland, and complain of 'being cold.' By such signs are they to be identified.

The Permafrost must never be referred to as tundra
.

The Permafrost sounds like an ailing synthesiser. It is 1982 at the best of times. 'They used to grow grapes here’ the natives boast. How little must have been promised these people; how little they must feel they are owed: they do not even refer to their ancestors as 'we'.

The Permafrost is noted for an absence of birdsong: a policy of the leisure & tourism industry.

The Permafrost is surrounded by hills & small mountains. Many resemble the sleeping forms of females. A policy of the leisure & tourism industry.

The Permafrost is densely populated, despite its reputation. Colonies are rare, but not unknown. Usually, an individual will acquire a smallholding with the intention of using it as a holiday home or retreat. All will tell you they are passing through. More & more residents are choosing to raise families there.

The Permafrost can draw surprising admissions from some residents, who liken it to the process of hypnosis. You are encouraged to keep a record of your stay.

The Permafrost is a voluntary organisation, run by dedicated individuals who have taken time out of their busy schedules. It takes no responsibility for belongings including articles of clothing that are lost or damaged during your stay. It does not supply consumables.

The Permafrost handles unpredictably in confined spaces & is capable of elaborate structures when base restrictions are applied.

The Permafrost can be likened to a panic room & the anxiety induced by knowing such a place exists.

The Permafrost is habitually frugal, but will occasionally disarm with a show of unlikely generosity, as in the provision of blotting paper or funeral meats. Nothing is grudged because nothing is given: 'complimentary' gifts are covered by your initial payment.

The Permafrost is carpeted throughout with a fully up-to-date kitchen & self-cleaning oven. Relax in a peaceful environment free from distractions. A curfew is currently in operation, exact times to be announced.


           © Paul Batchelor 2004