I was thinking about the different ways of being in groups as I went to Conflux today; how some people plunge into things like, say, the Australian swimming team at the Olympics, whereas some of us are always at the side, looking on.  Are we just frightened of being hurt? Of drowning? Or of attempting the social butterfly, and performing the dog-paddle?

I like a chat, but choke on gossip;
threads of conversation become barbed wire
glutted inside fairy floss.

Sometimes I despise my comparative lack of conviviality, despite my ability to make excellent small talk:

Small talk so fine 
that the Higgs Bosun
can’t find a trace

And yet, you can look on things and still feel engaged; exchange truly well-meant pleasantries. Sometimes reticence is no bad thing, but another way of saying that the other person matters.  I’m having a great time, but more in my own head than anywhere else.

So, just a quieter time than some. Here’s that picture of the hat again; I think the Victorian expression should be noted. All I need is my embroidery, or its modern equivalent, the smartphone.

Off with her head!

Off with her head!