Not going to put any schedule on these anymore, because it just doesn’t work.
Anyway, since I last checked in, I went with the family on a short trip (by train) to D.C. It was a sunny trip that coincided with the climate march, which we didn’t join I guess because we chose to explore the museums, which were cool and comfortable, instead of letting the kids be scorched by the sun outside. We kind of expected to run into the march at some point and join in for a short period of time, but somehow we just missed the whole thing. I feel a bit conflicted about that, like maybe I shouldn’t advertise it, since I’d like to project a more militant image, but no many would be fooled anyway, right?
The highlight of the trip was a breakfast we had at a place called A Baked Joint. I had a salmon bagel with fried capers that I had dreams about the following night, so “dreamy” is the proper adjective here. The Spy and Space Museums were fun too. Food and museums—this was all our trip.
I packed brilliantly for this, all the clothes worked out perfectly except for the bag which snagged my clothes and I am right now considering getting rid of. But I’ll wait for a bit before I do anything I might regret. I am working on a packing post, since it was the first time I was happy with all my clothes and I don’t want to forget how I achieved such a feat.
I have been reading some good books. My friend Charity let me borrow two of Michelle Paver’s scary books, Dark Matter, A Ghost Story and Thin Air. I liked both quite a bit, although they could have been scarier. But very pleasant and entertaining reads. I also read Wicked, by Joanne Fluke, which . . . was okay for a gym read. I loved, loved, loved Mariko Koike’s The Graveyard Apartment (read this one on my way to D.C. and back). There is nothing like Japanese horror, is there? It’s not a perfect book by any means, but it is gripping and chilling. I have just started The Cat in the Coffin by the same author and it is very promising also. I find even the titles of these two books brilliantly simple and scary.
I finished the last season of Wayward Pines on Hulu. Really good, I thought. Now I am giving The Strain a try and it’s okay, I think. Although the Alien-type parasite coming out of the mouth is a bit too revolting for my taste. I am also watching Hotel Beau Sejour on Netflix, a Flemish-language ghost series, and it’s very atmospheric, which I like a lot, but rather slow moving, which might be a problem for some, but I don’t mind.
The weather has improved and although it’s still kind of cold most days (I am wearing a wool sweater and wool socks in the house right now), but it’s sunny enough to be pleasant and to start to get me out of my winter’s funk. I think. I am feeling much less anxious and even a bit optimistic, if I dare admit it. Like not all is lost and life is not over just yet.
Here is a list of things that made me cry last week:
- a radio show about laughter, with Sophie Scott, neuroscientist and stand-up comic!
- the words “The Bronte Parsonage” written on the packing paper of a package my coolest of friends sent me this week.
- a radio show about homo sapiens, in which historian Yuval Harari says that humans are special because they can cooperate flexibly and in large numbers and they can do that because humans can create and believe in stories.
- the kind, encouraging words of a woman whose friendship I cherish.
- a radio show about Michael Faraday, (Right, it looks like the radio just makes me cry.)
I’m sure there is a lot more that I am forgetting, but this is about it for now.
Hey up, what’s this about a cool friend? Are you referring to the principle of buying for someone else what you would love yourself – yes, I am pretty cold here without a little woolly scarf that I knew my dear friend would adore as much as I — though I’m guessing you’d have been rapt with the packaging alone! 😀 And when you do finally get to Haworth, you’ll need it! I’ll give you a personal tour of the coldest places! xxx
How did I miss this comment? I’ve been neglecting this website too much!
Well, see, that’s why you’re so cool. What for you seems like nothing much, for others is above and beyond. And yes, the packaging would have been plenty, for obvious reasons! But the scarf is super cute too (not going to lie ?). Can’t wait for cold weather again!
It is warming up here in Atlanta also. We do get a cool night every once in a while, though. I have borrowed a bunch of books from the local library. Currently reading “An Unrestored Woman” by Shobha Rao. It is a set of short stories based around the time of India-Pakistan partition. I am also ALWAYS re-reading my beloved Isabel Dalhousie series by Alexander McCall Smith. Reaffirms my faith in humanity, philosophy, introspection and kindness.
I never read The Sunday Philosophy Club. It does sound like it has a lot of potential. I’d probably love it. Maybe one day, when I am less committed to reading only women. But the Shobha Rao book does sound good right now. I rarely read short story collections, though. They are popular in US, but I did not grow up reading short stories and I have a bit of a negative perspective on the form. I feel like they are literary exercises focusing too much on the tool and less on the message, and no matter how good they get they can never reach the mastery, complexity, layers of a full length book. I cannot get over the fact that short stories are popular because it’s a form that’s convenient for literary magazines, which I see as pretentious, although I know they mean to be the last bastions of real literature not taken over by commercialism. I think there can be two, equally bad, extremes of art: the too commercial and the too hermetic, available only to the initiated elites. I think art risks losing its soul if it disconnects too much from the people it’s supposed to inspire. I have a lot of feelings about it, apparently, and it probably prevents me from enjoying really good writing, so I should better get over it ?
Otherwise, the warm weather is nice. I’m feeling alive again and accepted by the universe ?
I didn’t complete the Shobha Rao collection. I suppose I wasn’t really excited about the theme itself, although the writing was fairly good. I cannot recall the last short story collection I read, hmmm. I like the genre a lot, though. I feel that it lends itself to some absolutely beautiful writing, very in-the-moment imagery, a sense of immediacy, maybe? Haven’t read a single literary magazine either.
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