Sunday, 30 August 2015

I've stopped blogging here on blogger.com.
You can find me on Wordpress: totally random thoughts and memories
I find it more convenient and user friendly than blogger.com

Sunday, 12 July 2015

In memory of James Tate


In memory of James Tate, American poet extraordinaire. 1943-2015












It Happens Like This


I was outside St. Cecelia's Rectory
smoking a cigarette when a goat appeared beside me.
It was mostly black and white, with a little reddish
brown here and there. When I started to walk away,
it followed. I was amused and delighted, but wondered
what the laws were on this kind of thing. There's
a leash law for dogs, but what about goats? People
smiled at me and admired the goat. "It's not my goat,"
I explained. "It's the town's goat. I'm just taking
my turn caring for it." "I didn't know we had a goat,"
one of them said. "I wonder when my turn is." "Soon,"
I said. "Be patient. Your time is coming." The goat
stayed by my side. It stopped when I stopped. It looked
up at me and I stared into its eyes. I felt he knew
everything essential about me. We walked on. A police-
man on his beat looked us over. "That's a mighty
fine goat you got there," he said, stopping to admire.
"It's the town's goat," I said. "His family goes back
three-hundred years with us," I said, "from the beginning."
The officer leaned forward to touch him, then stopped
and looked up at me. "Mind if I pat him?" he asked.
"Touching this goat will change your life," I said.
"It's your decision." He thought real hard for a minute,
and then stood up and said, "What's his name?" "He's
called the Prince of Peace," I said. "God! This town
is like a fairy tale. Everywhere you turn there's mystery
and wonder. And I'm just a child playing cops and robbers
forever. Please forgive me if I cry." "We forgive you,
Officer," I said. "And we understand why you, more than
anybody, should never touch the Prince." The goat and
I walked on. It was getting dark and we were beginning
to wonder where we would spend the night. 

Friday, 10 July 2015

The Bone ClocksThe Bone Clocks by David Mitchell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars






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I really didn't want to finish this book. I found myself reading slower and slower. Now I've finished it and have tears in my eyes. I can't begin to describe how David Mitchell's work affects me.
Highly recommended although not as good as Cloud Atlas.

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Walking to school

Oh, the joy of walking to school! The shady pavement and the interesting homes all along the street.
Oh, the joy of walking with the neighbour's children too; one on a bike and one on a scooter.
Oh, the joy of listening to seven-year-old girls talking.
"This is where Dr Dipstick lives" (turns out to be true, he's a clown doctor).
"Granny, the dog's name is Lollypop, not Mollypop!"
The Gabion wall where pretty coloured glass ornaments are interspersed among the stones. "Look, Gran, this one is a starfish."
Oh, the unjoy of stepping in dog pooh - but the children's laughter made up for the indignity.
Olive trees, lemon trees all along the street.


Monday, 5 January 2015

The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload

The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information OverloadThe Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload by Daniel J. Levitin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This is long book (481 pages including notes) and I'm struggling! Although I'm interested, I find my eyes closing - the same thing when I watch documentaries on TV - I'm interested but end up going to sleep and missing the choice bits. At least with this book, when I nod off it falls on me and wakes me up! To be sure, it contains some excellent ideas how to organise one's life - many of which I do anyway.

I think to myself, I'm 70 years old so it is possible that age and experience count for quite a lot. One thing I discovered is that I am a "medical minimalist" meaning that I interact with doctors and medicine as little as possible (p.261). I didn't know it had a name!





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Friday, 2 January 2015

Resolutions for 2015

My New Year Resolutions for 2015 are similar to the ones I set for 2014 with a couple of additions and some smoothing out of wrinkles - as I am doing in the photo!.


1) I intend to devote more time to writing - blog, novel or journal, possibly all three, each day.
2) Juggling will be attempted more often this year. Once in a while is not enough and I'd love to master the art.
3) Same as last year, the doctor is on the 'to avoid' list.
4) Same as last year, I'll turn upside down each day - I did well in 2014 and only missed a couple of days.
5) Less time on Facebook, more time in the garden.