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05 August 2009


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Have you read The Winter Vault???

Ah yes...I recognise the symptoms well, being a fellow sufferer. Makes life more interesting, though, I think.
I remember when I did my A level in Politics (so long ago) and my tutor, a very learned lady, after grading a essay, asked whether I'd considered a career in journalism. It wasn't a criticism, as such, she said- more a comment on my ability to stray from the immediate subject....plus ca change.

Not so much butterfly as labyrinthine, D. There is a definite thread running through, although it takes your kind of genius to follow it! I loved Priscilla Napier's account of her childhood in Egypt in "A Late Beginner" so I am off to seek out the Penelope Lively and Lucie Duff Gordon.

Hello Friend in Transit or are you temporarily Kalk Bay Friend again? ? (Oh and give da boyz a big hug from me . . .) Am now reminiscing about the view of St James, the Tibetan Tea Rooms, Harbour House, Boulders Bay and the penguins, the Olympia Cafe, Just Nuisance, elephants in Addo, the cheetahs, Kirstenbosch, the Tsitsikamma, the goats' cheese lunch at Alje's farm and so much more. Sigh . . . Haven't read Winter Vault yet - is it as good as we hoped?

Journalism was very much frowned upon at my convent school, RO, and a journalist was what I wanted to be from about the age of 12 (having recovered from wanting to be a) a nurse, b) a ballet dancer or c) a vet. When I announced my plans to become a hack, the Head of English snorted and said that it was no profession for a lady.

Ooh, genius eh, M? That cheered me up no end. I'm sure you'll enjoy both books and I can also recommend P Lively's 'A House Remembered', a memoir of her grandmother's house at Golsoncott up on Exmoor.

Another butterfly here, altho' sadly one who does work as an academic of sorts -- I used to love the serendipitous coming-together of elements from disparate courses during my undergrad years, and I'm still much more interested in synthesis than in analysis -- or at least as, is probably fairer to say. And I think a breadth of knowledge and an ability to make connections makes for the most interesting companions and for brilliant dinner conversations . . . (and great blog posts!)

Not Kalk Bay, Seapoint this time round, still in transit. The Boyz send their love, do check out Estorbo's birthday bash. Thinking of you as I'm setting off with Alje tomorrow morning to visit Dea in the Tsitsikamma for the weekend...... will send photos!

Like you, I am very taken with these connections and the link betwen the Shelleys and your house seems somehow propitious.

BTW - glad to hear that the WB story arrived safely.


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Thought for life

  • The House of Breath, William Goyen
    We are the carriers of lives and legends - who knows the unseen frescoes on the private walls of the skull?

Thinking about . . .

  • Daniel Klein, Travels with Epicurus
    I too listen to music more and more. Throughout my life, music has stirred me more than any other art form, and now, in old age, I find myself listening to it almost every evening, usually alone, for hours at a time.
  • Julia Blackburn, Thin Paths
    I began writing because I liked to write things down. I learnt foreign languages because they seemed to enter my head by a process of osmosis.
  • Joan Bakewell, Stop the Clocks
    I live contentedly alone. It's better that way and I am often thoughtful about what has been and what might have been. There are many like me.
  • Patti Smith, M Train
    Oh to be reborn within the pages of a book.
  • Patti Smith, M Train
    Why is it that we lose the things we love, and things cavalier cling to us and will be the measure of our worth after we’re gone?
  • Judith Kerr, Observer Magazine, 22 November 2015
    I don't believe in God. I find it much easier to believe in ancestors. I like to imagine they are pointing us in the right direction.

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