Friday, June 22, 2012

Commonplace notes

I"ve been tidying up my office-space this week and have uncovered numerous notebooks half-filled with notes from conferences, classes and meetings; shopping lists; to-do lists; words I intended to look up later; quotes of uncertain provenance, as well as the frankly undecipherable. Here are a few choice pickings.
  • "He is Edinburgh's knight in a shiny donkey jacket." [Hero of a detective novel, I think.]
  • "The future is nothing; but the past is myself, my own history, the seed of my present thoughts, the mould of my present disposition." (Robert Louis Stevenson)
  • "Il y a plus affaire à interpréter les interprétations qu'à interpréter les choses, et plus de livres sur les livres que sur autre sujet : nous ne faisons que nous entregloser." (Michel de Montaigne) 
  • fissiparous 
  • Blackbird / Dragonfly / Rose Branch. But also explicit objects. [something to do with Jacobitism. But what?]
  • thaumaturgy  
  • Learned that an Anglican priest took part in the beginning of the Basque movement. Can't remember name but initials are W. W. [after visiting the Basque museum in Bayonne] 
  • Me llamo Lesley. Soy de origen escocesa. Vivo en Burdeos. [Notes from Spanish lessons]  
  • nested wet clutch = embrayage à bain d'huile encastré [Notes taken during an interpreting job] 
  • Passive pushing v. active pushing?  [Notes taken during presentation by student midwives] 
  • Novels are often "loose, baggy monsters" dixit Henry James. 
All right, that's enough. I'm off to do some shredding.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Snapshots from my week.


A black cat coiled on a stone window ledge in the evening sun as I walk home from yoga.

On the walk to school, a stalk of something like ragged robin has taken root in a crack in the pavement: pale pink against grey concrete.

A gaggle of women in the too-hot garden: impossible to concentrate on any one of them.

A friendly thistle glimpsed in the park as I trundle past, again, and again.

Freewheeling past tourists on the Place Pey Berland, their heads buried in guidebooks. The wife reads the useless information out to her husband.

Home after midnight, we four settle briefly in deckchairs in the night cool of the garden.