Thursday, December 27, 2012

Reading Part 3

After that short interlude for Christmas festivities and the eating of wild boar in the Dordogne, here is the final part of my reading list. I hope that you are all having seasonal fun and that you were given lots of excellent reading matter.

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and DisappearedJonasson, Jonas
Deadpan Scandinavian comedy about a very old man and a band of criminal misfits.

Landfall, Helen Gordon
I bought this book as a present for my mum, read the first chapter and was hooked. It's about a young woman's return to her parents suburban home and the accompanying accidie.
Around her the quiet mysteries of suburbia were in the perfumed thickness of the silently lighted houses, the thickness of so many private lives together and separated. The mysteries were in the almost-countryside. They were in the dark alleyways, quiet railway bridges, empty cul-de-sacs, chained, railed parks at night-time. 
Scott-land: The Man Who Invented a Nation, Stuart Kelly
Everything you ever wanted to know about Walter Scott in short, snappy chapters.

Drown, Junot Diaz
Short stories about young Dominican men. 

Garnethill and Sanctum by Denise Mina. I met Denise Mina at a conference in Spain last October and discovered that she had lots of interesting things to say about women writers (and readers), the Scottish school of detective writing dubbed tartan noir, academia and popular literature. She's an excellent writer too.
The light in Scotland is low in the autumn, gracing even the most mundane objects with dramatic chiaroscuro.

Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life, Anne Lamott

Great book. Lamott has a very distinctive voice. Here's a funny quote:
then went to the library and said, “Do you have any other really funny books about cancer?” And they looked at me like, Yeah, they’re right over there by the comedies about spina bifida.
And here's a random quote I agree with completely, totally and utterly:
I have girlfriends who had their babies through natural childbirth—no drugs, no spinal, no nothing—and they secretly think they had a more honest birth experience, but I think the epidural is right up there with the most important breakthroughs in the West, like the Salk polio vaccine and salad bars in supermarkets.
Mortality, Christopher Hitchens
Great writing; melancholy subject. 

Sweet Tooth, Ian McEwan
This was an enjoyable novel but I think I may have read it too quickly because I can't remember much about it beyond: attractive woman, MI5, writer husband, duplicity, lots of wine drinking.

All Made Up, Janice Galloway
This is a fabulous, fabulous memoir. I grew up in a similar place at a similar time as Janice Galloway but in very different circumstances. Despite the ambiguous title, it all rang true.

Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace, D. T. Max
The first biography of David Foster Wallace. It's very factual and somehow I liked the writer less after I'd finished it.

Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi, Geoff Dyer
Two books in one - both about crumbling, watery cities. Excellent.

Mother Country, Jeremy Harding
I came to this memoir via Harding's writing for the LRB (he occasionally writes about Bordeaux where he has lived). It's the sensitive story of his search for his birth mother and the revelation of his adoptive mother's past.

The Moment, Douglas Kennedy
Absorbing novel set in Berlin when the wall was still standing. 

Death in Bordeaux, Allan Massie
I'd never read anything by Massie before (I don't particularly like his conservative brand of Scotsman journalism), but the title of this novel was too close to home to resist. It's a competent detective novel set in wartime Bordeaux; apparently the first of a planned trilogy. You'd think the publisher would have people able to use Google maps to check the street names though.

Emma Hearts LA, Keris Stainton
I followed Keris and Stella on their adventures in LA as Keris did the research for this YA novel. It's a fun book and I'll be recommending it to E just as soon as she's old enough to read about boys and romance (ie. when she's 20)(kidding).

Visiting Mrs. Nabokov: And Other Excursions, Martin Amis
This is a 1994 book and I'm not sure how I came to be reading it in 2012. Amis is easy and amusing. I guffawed at his descriptions of Elton John "looking more like Big Ears than usual", wearing a "Billy Bunter suit", then a "Humpty Dumpty outfit". He's good on Updike's upfrontness too:
Yet the case of Updike is unquestionably extreme. The textural contrast between your first and second wife’s pubic hair, for instance, is something that most writers feel their readers can get along without.
The Stranger's Child, Alan Hollinghurst
An erudite novel. This passage could serve as an epigraph to this series of posts on books:
Sometimes a book persisted as a coloured shadow at the edge of sight, as vague and unrecapturable as something seen in the rain from a passing vehicle: looked at directly it vanished altogether. Sometimes there were atmospheres, even the rudiments of a scene: a man in an office looking over Regent’s Park, rain in the streets outside – a little blurred etching of a situation she would never, could never, trace back to its source in a novel she had read some time, she thought, in the past thirty years.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Reading Part 2

Born to Run, Christopher McDougall
I read this while I was learning to run last year, before I wimped out because that pesky plantar fasciitis turned my heels into spurs of fire. Unfortunately the man it is about has died (while out on a run) since I read it.

You and I know how good running feels because we’ve made a habit of it. But lose the habit, and the loudest voice in your ear is your ancient survival instinct urging you to relax.
Silver: Return to Treasure Island, Andrew Motion
A follow-up to Treasure Island starring Jim Hawkins' daughter. Not bad. My favourite line:
I found a low-ceilinged, smoke-filled den where everything was brown as a kipper: chairs, tables, floorboards, hands and faces.
The Stranger in the Mirror, Jane Shilling
This is a book about realising that you are middle-aged. Did I tell you that I turned 50 this year? Traumatic doesn't cover it.
Unlike successful pregnancies which, in their neatly contained drama of three trimesters, essentially resemble one another, the narratives of menopause are diffuse and hard to categorise. Each middle-aged woman is menopausal in her own way.
The Professor and Other Writings, Terry Castle
I loved this book. The essays are full of quotable lines but I'll limit myself to these two on this somewhat familiar realisation:
I am chastened, subdued. Despite fifty years of walking and talking on my own, I realize I’m already starting to devolve, to morph back, as if inexorably, into that hungry, unkempt, much-loathed thing: My Mother’s Daughter.
And during a shopping trip to museum shops in Santa Fe with the aforementioned mother, the realisation that they share: 
the lower-middle-class family mania—seemingly inbred in both of us—for talking endlessly and anxiously about what things are “nice” or “not nice.
The Missing Shade Of Blue, Jennie Erdal
A friend recommended this book, and it turns out that he has a cameo part in it. It's another one set in Edinburgh and the story intertwines the themes of translation, Scottish academia, David Hume, buddhism and failing relationships. What's not to like?

Sightlines, Kathleen Jamie
This is a book about nature and landscapes. It is wonderful.
For days after I felt different, looser of limb, thrilled because the world had thrown me a gift and said, ‘Catch!
The Lost Child, an Mother's Story
Julie Myerson. A real Guardian reader's book. You may remember hearing about the middle-class parents who threw their 17-year-old son out of the house because of his unacceptable behaviour (and all the while his mum was writing a book about it).  I don't think I've ever read anything else that made me think "this is only one half of the story" more often. There's a historical side story too but it's skippable.

Almost French: Love and a New Life in ParisSarah Turnbull. 
I'm a sucker for all of these "new life in France" books and this one is better than most.

Working the Room, Geoff Dyer
Geoff Dyer can do no wrong, this is a fabulous book of essays (although he is a bit boasty about his beautiful wife.)

The Out of Office Girl, Nicola Doherty. 
Not being young, to put it bluntly, I'm pretty sure that I am not part of the target demographic for this novel, but I enjoyed it all the same. Who wouldn't  enjoy a good love story set in Italy? (Thank you Nicola for sending it to me and by the way, I think it would make a great film.)

On Writing, Stephen King. 
Really more about Stephen King and his modest beginnings than writing, and all the more enjoyable for it.

How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing, Paul J. Silvia. 
I can sum this book up in one sentence for you and save you the money: write for two solid hours every single day.

Treasure Island!!!, Sara Levine. 
This is a first novel about a young woman who becomes obsessed with the Treasure Island, notably adopting a parrot. She is very difficult to like but there are some very funny passages. 

La cité des jarres, Arnaldur Indridason. 
P. is a big fan of Icelandic crime fiction. Me not so much.

Imperial Bedrooms, Bret Easton Ellis. 
Unpleasant people in unpleasant surroundings.

To be continued.

What I've been reading

Picking up my reading list where I left off a year and a half ago.

Waiting for Sunrise, William Boyd
You always get good value for money from William Boyd: a good story and a new theme every time. I think I'd have got more out of this one if I'd known a bit more about the history of psychoanalysis.

The Lantern Bearers, Ronald Frame. 
This is a novel based around the essay of the same title by Robert Louis Stevenson.  I found it difficult to get into the skin of the teenage boy protagonist, but enjoyed the evocation of 1960s South-West Scotland. 

The Distant Echo, Val McDermid. 
I had never read anything by Val McDermid and this was a good introduction. Small town Scotland at its best and worst.

Lonely Planet By the Seat of My Pants (Anthology), Don George (ed)
Stories of travel mishaps; sometimes a bit like being submitted to someone's holiday slideshow with "witty" titles.

The Testament of Gideon Mack, James Robertson.

An ambitious and enjoyable book.
'But I do like Scotland. I like the miserable weather. I like the miserable people, the fatalism, the negativity, the violence that’s always just below the surface. And I like the way you deal with religion. One century you’re up to your lugs in it, the next you’re trading the whole apparatus in for Sunday superstores. Praise the Lord and thrash the bairns. Ask and ye shall have the door shut in your face. Blessed are they that shop on the Sabbath, for they shall get the best bargains. Oh, yes, this is a very fine country.’
La carte de Guido : Un pélerinage européen, Kenneth White. Essays of travel with companions living and literary. White gets less and less challenging as he gets older and that may be a good thing.

Starter for Ten, Dave Nicholls. Laugh out loud funny. I liked this passage:
Why is it that the posher people are, the colder their house? And it's not just the cold, it's the dirt too: the dog hair, the dusty books, the muddy boots, the fridges that reek of sour milk and putrescent cheese and decaying kitchen-garden vegetables.
The Confession, John Grisham. I'm not a big Grisham fan and this book-length plea against the death penalty didn't convert me (to Grisham, obviously, anti-death-penaltyism already had me).

Killing Floor and Worth Dying For,  Lee Child. Both Jack Reacher novels. By the time I got to the end of the second one I thought that Jack was just far too pleased with himself and his mad military skills.

Dragon Bones: Two Years Beneath the Skin of a Himalayan Kingdom, Murray Gunn. A badly written book about Bhutan and how being a house-husband in a foreign land can make you a little whiny.

One Day, David Nicholls. You've all read this one right? Mushy.

And the Land Lay Still, James Robertson. A fabulous book -  large cast of characters reflecting many facets of Scottish life (and nationalism) over the past fifty years or so.

At Home: A short history of private life, Bill Bryson. 
How does Bryson produce these encyclopaedic books? Does he have a bright idea for a framing concept then appoint an army of researchers who present him with amusing nuggets that he then weaves together? And why do I forget all of those fascinating facts as soon as I put the book down?

Mary Ann in Autumn, Armistead Maupin. 
I loved the Tales of the City novels when I first read them  - now the characters are much older, and so am I. Perhaps we're a little bored with each other.

To be continued ...

Sunday, July 15, 2012

More English as she is spoke

While we are on the subject of real-life grammar that doesn't follow the rules, here's something else I've been noticing recently: the use of the present perfect in narratives about past events. Now the present perfect is a notoriously difficult tense for French speakers to master and I usually stick to some very simple rules when I'm teaching it. Basically, I tell my students that the present perfect is used to talk about the unfinished past (I have lived in Bordeaux for a long time); something that happened in the past but has an effect now (I have put on several kilos); and to talk about experience (I have never been to Kefalonica). [I'm being deliberately unimaginative. I've often thought that the example sentences I come up with spontaneously in the classroom could be used as a sort of free-association psychological test with very disturbing and perhaps incriminating results]. 
However, I know that many Americans don't use the present perfect in instances where we Brits would expect it; and now it appears that Brits are using it to recount stories that I would normally expect be told using the simple past. So that instead of: 
"He was walking down the road with his pitbull, and suddenly a puma appeared from nowhere and mauled them both."
you might hear:
"He's been walking down the road with his pitbull and suddenly a puma has appeared and it's mauled them both." 
     I think this might be more of a North of England thing, but I'm not sure and I also suspect that it is a way of making the narrative more immediate and real — much like the use of the present tense to recount past events. But I'm not sure. Any ideas? Any whacky example sentences for us to judge you by?

PS. Oh, and if by any chance you're one of my students, sorry I fibbed about those rules being hard and fast but I'll still take off marks if you write a a narrative essay using the present perfect.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Why do they do that?

I'm just back from a flying visit to Scotland made possible by a cheap Easyjet return flight. I'm not all that often in contact with English as she is spoke in natural environments and sometimes I'm struck by how the grammar I teach my students is much more prescriptive than authentic usage (teaching the distinction between less and few, for example, seems to me to be a waste of time since in real life the majority of English speakers don't care/know about the difference). Take this announcement made on the way out by a member of the cabin staff:
We do have a selection of duty-free goods available for sale on today's flight. Bla bla bla. We do have several fragrances from the Givenchy line and we do also have the new Lancôme mascara. Please don't hesitate to stop us as we do come through the cabin with the trolley.
Okay, I'm quoting from memory and I can't remember what the exact products were, but there really were all of those extraneous "do"s. What is that all about? I teach my students that "do" is only used in questions, negative statements and for emphasis. Yet, if any of my students had been on that flight they would instantly have observed that in the wild, "do" is used in affirmative sentences that require no emphasis.  I wish I had recorded the announcement on the flight over, and I actually got my iPhone out ready to do so on the way back but there was none. I really don't know what's going on: the speaker was a native speaker of English and appeared to be ad-libbing from a no-doubt memorized script. Perhaps the "do"s are supposed to make the announcement more formal, or more exciting? Any explanations gratefully received.

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.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

A telephone conversation with my brother

My brother was in Cambodia a few months ago. I phoned him when he got back.

Me: So you were bitten by a snake?
Him: Yes.
Me: Did you panic?
Him: Not really, because the Cambodians working with us didn't seem too concerned.
Me: Right.
Him: Although, at times like that you suddenly realise that your life depends on people whose English consists of "yes, "no" and "Lady Gaga".

I'm still laughing.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Weekend de l'Ascension

The month of May is a great month for long weekends in France. This is the third in a row, le Weekend de l'Ascension, and we've been off since Thursday when we came to stay with our friend D in the lovely Hameau du Sentier des Sources in the Périgord Noir. Unfortunately the weather gods appear to have a bit of a gob on and it's been more like autumn than spring. Yesterday we visited La Maison Forte de Reignac and lingered beside the big fires roaring in several of the rooms. The only good thing about this sort of weather is that it stimulates the appetite (well mine at least) so we have appreciated the gastronomic delights of the region — and there are many — all the more. So excuse me while I drag myself back to the table for an estouffade de couennes aux haricots blancs.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

She runs.

Eight weeks ago (when I was still 49) I signed up for the Up and Running online running course.  And guess what, it really does what it says on the packet - yesterday I ran my first ever 5km without even stopping! (There aren't enough exclamation marks in the typographical universe to cover my amazement at this so I'll stop at one). 

It's been a great experience - the course gradually took me from the very beginnings of plodding, walking, stretching to my present gazelle-like running skills. Over eight weeks, I've run in three different parks in and around Bordeaux, on Blackford Hill in Edinburgh and along the coastal path to the Playa Blanca lighthouse in Lanzarote. Inevitably, there have been a few ups and downs, but there was always advice and support on hand from Shauna and Julia, the wise and wonderful course leaders and encouragement from my fellow alumni. I think that the key for me was the accountability and the camaraderie of the Up and Running forum. Here are some of the fatigue-fuelled ramblings that I subjected my fellow runners to in my post-workout reports.
Workout 1: I underestimated the time it would take to get to the park and had to start the running a bit on the pavement before I actually got there. It was unseasonably hot and the park was full of lovers rolling around on the grass (okay that had no effect on my running, but hey guys, get a room!). I fiddled around with my iphone a lot, worrying that it was going to drop out of my pocket. I had also forgotten that I'd taken most of the music off my iphone and ended up listening to Nick Drake (lovely, but not exactly dynamic) and then a BBC podcast about the death of Prince Albert (interesting, sort of, but not great to run to!). 
Workout 4: It was much cooler today and I wore a big fleece jacket — that was a BIG mistakes of course because I was boiling hot by the end. I also ran to music for the first time having spent some time over the weekend creating a "running" playlist (get me!). I definitely recommend the Black Keys to run, or even pseudo-run, to: they're bursting with funkiness. 
Workout 6: Got back from Edinburgh late last night after four days of a crazy, crazy schedule. However I did manage to fit in Workout 6/24. The friends who were putting me up live right next to a fabulous part of Edinburgh called Blackford Hill, so I got up early on Sunday morning and followed the trail that goes round the bottom of the hill (I'm not mad - I didn't try the steep paths UP the hill). It was an absolutely GORGEOUS morning. We joke a lot about the weather in Scotland, and with good reason, but when it's sunny there isn't a place in the world to beat it IMHO. 
Workout 9: I went to the campus this time where the GPS seems to be a bit wonky but never mind I sorted out the extra 5km it added to the workout once I got home. It was boiling hot again this evening - well it was 23°C and that's boiling hot when your internal thermostat was set at birth to Scottish weather. I had a bit of a problem in the second freeform km because my mouth was suddenly very, very dry and I couldn't swallow which made me a bit panicky, so I stopped running for a bit to sort that out. Because it was so warm I couldn't wear the useful waistcoat with pockets and didn't bring a bottle of water with me - BIG MISTAKE.  
Workout 11: Aw, that was hard! I felt really blagh today, and thought I would never make it to the end of the 1.5 kms, and just as I was about to give up Run Right Back by the Black Keys came up on my playlist:Before she hits the ground / She's going to want to explode / Got to step aside / Never run and hide. Which to my fatigue-addled brain, seemed particularly pertinent (although now that I look at the lyrics, I'm not sure I actually understand what they mean). So, I kept going and made it to the end.......just.  
Workout 12: Aaargh, I'm regressing instead of progressing. This was an early evening workout in a different park (with some really beautiful camelias just past their best.) I had to stop and walk twice during the 1.5 km. (Maybe it had something to do with that glass of wine I had at lunchtime??) 
Workout 13: I started the first 500 m far too fast and was gasping for breath after about two minutes. This may or may not be related to the fact that I had just finished Born to Run and quite fancied myself whooshing across the terrain like the Tarahumara! 
Workout 14: I realise clamping headphones on my ears goes against all the good advice Julia gave about listening to yourself think etc. but I just don't think I am ready for that sort of one-to-one yet. I went back to listening to podcasts today since I find them more distracting than music — believe me, I sometimes need distracting. Today, it was Desert Island Discs with Jamie Callum who made me laugh out loud a couple of times. Anyway, the podcast didn't last for the whole workout and I had only my own thoughts for company (cue sound of wind whistling through the desert) in the last bit of the 1 km. For some reason my brain started riffing on the word bitch, perhaps because I read a crit of a book entitled Run, Fat Bitch, Run a couple of days ago. The premise is that you have to hate your body and malign it, preferably by shouting at yourself standing naked in front of a mirror, to motivate yourself to go out running. That strikes me as a terrible attitude. So, no I definitely won't be reading it. This in turn made me think of that old one-liner "There's a thin woman inside me screaming to get out ..... but I usually manage to shut the bitch up with cookies". Well people I think that just maybe there's a runner in me struggling to keep going when lazy me begs her to stop. Anyway, that's all today from the voices in my head. I'm off to the hair stylist's after my shower, see you all on the other side ....... of my fringe. 
Workout 18: A morning run in the rain. Got drookit, came home, had a hot shower and felt smug (but only because Julia said you're allowed to when you run in the rain). I'm off on holiday to Lanzarote tomorrow so I'm going to be running in the sun baby (and wearing SPF 50 million)!  In the meantime, I have to find a way to dry out my muddy running shoes before I pack them. 
Workout 19: So it's week 7 and I'm in Lanzarote where it's beautiful and sunny but incredibly and invigoratingly windy. Had a fab workout this evening. My times were a bit rubbish (I'll blame the wind) but I wasn't really bothered about that because I was running along a coastal path, towards a lighthouse on an island, in the middle of the Atlantic ocean! How fab is that? Hasta la vista chicas! 
Workout 22: So I stopped running for a week to give my sore heels a bit of a rest and spent a lot of time looking around for advice on causes, treatment etc. of plantar fasciitis. I've become a bit of a PF bore/hypochondriac to be honest. Anyway, I decided in the end that rather than give up running even temporarily I would finish the course even if my heels weren't completely healed (see what I just did there?) because I thought that the benefits of the sense of accomplishment would outweigh the risk of worsening the condition. I also bought myself a new pair of running shoes just in case the old ones were part of the problem. This evening, I headed out to my usual park (Yes, the holiday is over. No more running along island coastlines for me. Sob). And I ran. Not very well, but I ran.  I felt uncomfortable throughout the workout. The shoes didn't feel right, the weather was hot, I felt out of practice: I couldn't help worrying about my poor body, thinking how fragile and mysterious its workings are. 
Workout 24: Wow, I did it! 5km in 38mins 30. I am now the sort of person who gets up, has breakfast, goes out and runs 5km then comes home and bakes a cake. Thank you everyone for all of the support on this forum. Thank you Shauna and Julia for making it happen; for teaching me the power of persistence, the importance of believing I could do it and leading me there gradually. I am a runner!
I really can't recommend Up and Running enough!

Sunday, May 06, 2012


Blogging is a bit like housework in that if you don't do any for a while the task of restarting seems insurmountable. So I'm just going to dive in with a little light dusting in the form of some photographs from our Easter holiday last week in Lanzarote where the weather was five million times better than the incessant rain and grey skies we'd been having in Bordeaux.
This was our second visit to this wonderfully austere place; very volcanic and mineral, with strange cacti and grey-ochre-purple craters, black beaches and green lagoons.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Snapshots from my week

  • Driving to Fronsac: an endless ribbon of orange on the skyline seen through rows of grey poplar trees.
  • The arrivals and departures board at the station is computerized and silent now, no more clickclickclickclicking as trains move up the list.
  • In a brasserie in Paris I wonder at the tourist woman who eats a meal with her hat on, all the while avoiding eye contact with her hard-faced companion.
  • A conference of surgeons mills around during the coffee break; purposeful, grey and almost exclusively male. 

Friday, January 13, 2012

Words don't come easy

I don't seem to be very good at words at the moment. I have a long article to completely overhaul before the end of the month and spend long periods fiddling with chunks of text then drifting off, virtually, to look at something less taxing on my brain. I had thought that perhaps in 2012, instead of taking a photograph each day, I might offer up a snapshot in words. In the thirteen days that have already gone by, I have only come up with two. Perhaps it gets easier.

  • Fine rain lit up by the lamp of a supermarket car-park; swirling and darting like a flock of starlings.
  • As the yoga teacher talks, she rubs her eye, touches her cheek, runs her finger along her lip, pushes her hair behind her ear. Choreography.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

365 more or less

I started off 2011 intending to take a photo every day and I managed it ..... more or less. There are still a few photographs floating around that I've forgotten to add to the photoset below and a few days came and  went without me noticing, and then some have been misnumbered. I've enjoyed looking back at them. 2011 was a good year!


Being confined indoors most of the day, just the four of us, is reminding me of the days when my children were wee and most of our weekends ...