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joy and miscellania

Z has been away since Tuesday (he's in Montenegro with the Baby) and alone I shall remain until the end of the month. That first day at work I was all mopey all 'what should I do with all this free time and this lack of demands and responsibilities' and my co-worker gave me a look of pure contempt and said "If the answer to that is not self-evident, then you don't deserve my help."

Truer words may never have been spoken so I came to my senses and flounced off into the arms of Two Weeks Of Singledom like it was made of sushi and cocktails. (Which it has been. Good times).

Since then I have been hugely enjoying this holiday from domesticity and celebrating it with irregular meals, irregular sleeping hours and all the trash tv watching I can stand. (There was a time in my life when middle of the night programmes on BBC2 were my viewing staple and lo, those times have returned).

Z is a stickler for trappings of civilisation ('people should sleep in a bed and eat at the table and verily verily we will live like these people') so I've been rebelling against his boring conformism by sleeping on the sofa and eating at the computer desk. Also if you had a mind to you could trace the history of my movements through the house by following the trail of cutlery, plates and cups that I thoughtfully leave on various surfaces where they remain until I run out of plates and cups and cutlery and gather them up and wash them and put them away neatly and the whole thing starts again.

It is one of the things that drives Z ballistic, but curiously has no effect on me. (On the other hand, if you want to see me embrace Frothing Rage in under 30 seconds then leave socks on the floor or put things away in the wrong drawer).

Anyway, the one thing I thought I would do most of during the week (answering emails and other Internet Use until my eyes fall out) I have done the least of thanks to a combination of factors:

1) Between the demands of Real Life Work and Real Life Socialising I've been too knackered to do anything but collapse amid cats

2) I got my hands on the new Margaret Atwood novel (post apocalyptic is my favourite kind) and I wasn't going to let anything come between me and that gripping baby until it was completely devoured

3) I awarded myself a No-Communication Holiday yesterday - switched off my mobile, read short stories, took long baths and cooked all the perishables in the house (roasted butternut squash with bacon and walnuts, mushroom risotto with parsley and parmesan, carrot soup and roasted peppers peeled and marinated with garlic and balsamic vinegear).

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Anyway. Good reading links now.

My journal has been featured on Schmutzie's Five Star Fridays (thank you to whoever nominated it! surprised and much obliged) along with some ace writing. And since the only thing that comes more naturally to me than fretting about undeserved honours is voracious reading, I set to immediately.

Livejournal is so insular and involving, that it took me a long time to realise there was so many other blogs out there and I've been overloading my google reader ever since.

Steve McCurry Blog - beautiful, beautiful and haunting photographs. Basically the sort of things I shouldn't look too much at lest it persuade me to pack up the baby, sell the house, and start travelling the world immediately.

And from Five Star Fridays:

Vocation, vocation by Jerk Ethic is a moving and funny portrait of a daughter trying to deal with facing up to responsibilities of adulthood and dealing with the estate sale of her mother's house.

Save The Whales Eat the People (For Ethical Treatment of Animals) Hilarious and wonderful.

How Did I get here by Earnest Girl. It's lovely. Also a question I often ask myself.

Who Am I? by the Woman In the Window. Philosophy and snapshots of a life.

American People in Their Righteous Might from Julie Pippert. Quite a moving piece about the aftermath of September 11th in America and where to go from there.


I first read Lorrie Moore's People Like That Are the Only People Here: Canonical Babbling in Peed Onc - darkly comic and devastating story about a baby with cancer - in a David Sedaris anthology and it has remained one of my favourite stories of all time. It was a powerful piece of writing when I read it then, it's even more stark since having a child of my own. I love Lorrie Moore's stories - they are about events and unravellings in the lives of ordinary characters - dissapointment, fear, relationship dissolution - that also remind me of journal writing at its best (even though her stories are fiction).

So when I saw a book of her Collected Stories on Sale (3 for 2) in Foyles I jumped upon it right enough and also snapped up Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpreter of Maladies and the Collected Stories of Gabriel Garcia Marquez while I was at it. They haven't dissapointed.

Finally, as proof that I am unlikely to ever top my gloriously awful earliest writing, quite a few of my teenage diary extracts will feature in the new anthology by Sarah Brown ( Cringe: Toe-curlingly Embarassing Teenage Diaries, Love Letters and Bad Poetry). I am equal parts excited about this (I've seen the proofs, it's brilliant) and mortified (a hate letter to my cousin has some pretty heated and unjust accusations in it from a teenage girl leveled at a tennage sibling - as he doesn't really have hateful eyes or a stupid face). Thankfully, as he is no longer an adolescent he's a good sport - which is greatly fortunate since I think that particular extract will be appearing in the Times 2 today (along with the list of things my friend and I were planning to take to a desert island).

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
prophetsong
Sep. 21st, 2009 10:41 am (UTC)
That book looks fab. Will definitely order a copy! And your food sounds delicious :)
prophetessamy
Sep. 21st, 2009 04:46 pm (UTC)
What a LOVELY holiday this sounds like! Total bliss to me, with 5 planets in my privacy loving 8th house :D
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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