The weather has been beautiful and I’ve been spending as much time as I can outdoors and away from the pc. There are a couple of reasons for this, apart from wanting to catch as much of the good weather – one is that I’ve hurt my back/hip and sitting for any length of time is painful, the other is that I need to do house-keeping things to the pc and I feel like it is reproaching me for not doing them every time I sit in front of it.
My friend N. now has a wound infection, which the doctor thinks was probably “hospital acquired” so her recovery is going to be slower as she is now on antibiotics. It is such a shame, as she was already dealing with far too much.
So please keep her in your prayers, or whatever passes for them.
I saw Colin Will last week and he kindly gave me a pre-launch copy of his new collection The Floorshow at the Mad Yak Cafe, by Red Squirrel press, and I bought a copy of Stone and Sea, which is Morgan Downie’s collection, published by Calder Wood Press. So I’m looking forward to shifting this pain and being able to sit still long enough to properly appreciate them both. I won’t attempt to write reviews on either, as it isn’t a skill of mine, but I’m sure you’ll be able to find excellent reviews elsewhere on-line.
Before I jiggered my back I was reading “les mots” by Jean-Paul Sartre, partly because it has been on my husband’s book pile for months, if not years and he hasn’t managed to read it yet, and I felt sorry for it, and partly because I just love the title, which were it in English would just seem like the height of pretentiousness.
My favourite passage so far, as a woman in late middle age with a generation above and below me is this bit:
“In the struggle between the generations, children and old people often join forces: the first deliver the oracles; the second decipher them. Nature speaks and experience translates: all adults have to do is shut up.”
I also loved the recent interview with Jeanette Winterson, on BBC Radio 4 Book Club, where, when she was asked if there was any particular sin she wanted to challenge in her book Oranges Are Not The Only fruit, she answered that Dante in his Divine Comedy had reserved the lowest circle of hell for those who wilfully live in sadness.
She thinks this is because he considered that such people were wilfully turning away from life itself and she added that coming across this concept as a young girl was probably one of greatest lessons/discoveries of her life.
I wish I had come across this idea, so succinctly put, a lot earlier. I think we all need to get out into the world more and spend less time imagining we are making connections – be they virtual or otherwise.
I’ve also watched the Hurt Locker on DVD, to try to see what all the hype was about. But I was rather disappointed in it, in that the characters are rather sketchily drawn and a bit 2D. I also thought that it was a bit lame to portray the rather ineffectual security guards/mercenaries as being British. I could almost hear someone saying “hey how about using that guy who was in the English Patient?”
The only interesting part was when one character tried to explain that catastrophic thinking in a war zone was probably a pretty reasonable thing to do, but even this glimmer of hope/interest in the story line was quickly snuffed out. Maybe that was the point that they were trying to make, but asides the very powerful photographic work on the explosions I think many of these points have been better made in other earlier films, eg Catch 22.
OK I must move as I can’t sit a minute longer without major painkillers!
PS please excuse the camera wobble, as I can’t hold it still at present