Sunday, January 27, 2008

Swans, sparrows and surrealism

A nice, leisurely start to the morning today and then Lord H and I had a wander along the River Wey at Stoke Park to admire the birds. Which included swans, great crested grebes just coming into their spring plumage, a crowd of long-tailed tits and a host of house sparrows. I do have to admit to having a soft spot for the humble house sparrow - I did a project on them when I was at primary school and my poor father sat for hours outside the house trying to get a photograph of one. Needless to say, he failed, but I always admired the determination. These days of course, we'd just download a picture from the web. Not really the Empire Spirit, but there you go ...

I've also been extremely organised and domesticated by (a) making a nectarine and plum crumble for dinner (actually it was a sprinkle-on crumble mix, but hey it's still impressive) and (b) washing the car - at last! My application for domestic sainthood is already filled out and ready for posting.

For the remainder of the afternoon, I've been trogging on with the edits to The Gifting. The first hour or so was an experience much like putting my own head through a particularly large mangle as I struggled to work out just what the hell I was supposed to be doing. During that hour, I edited precisely three-quarters of a page and played a hell of a lot of online solitaire. 'Tis ever thus. But then something - as it tends to do, thank the Lord - eased up and I was able to spin through a few pages of Simon's first major story-telling session. Well, the Whitelanders are a narrative people, you know. Anyway, it got the engine cranking up into first again for a while, so I'm hoping that when I restart again tomorrow it won't take quite as long to warm up. Though you can never tell with this game.

Tonight, I'm planning a chill-out session in front of "Lark Rise to Candleford" and then we absolutely have to watch Monty Don's tour through gardens of the world. It's only in my forties that I've fallen in love with gardens - and how much more thrilling they are if they're Japanese (ah the rocks! the gravel!) - so it's something of a shame that we don't actually have one. But there you go - the choices of youth, eh. I do think that I make major life choices every decade which I then hang on to. In my twenties, I fell in love with my husband; in my thirties, it was Dutch flower paintings; and now it's gardens. Who knows what the fifties will bring.

Anyway, I've finished Murakami's latest, After Dark. It's Murakami so I love it - totally surreal and nothing makes any sense but you have to keep reading, though it does take a while to warm up. Hell, these days don't we all? But I must admit that I don't think it had the energy and commitment of his other novels, and the main character wasn't quite as gripping as usual. Perhaps that was because there were essentially two main characters who shared the glory? I don't know. Maybe he should just have concentrated on the musician, as I had the sense that he could run with his own novel, if given the chance.

And this week's haiku (picked from this week's blogs!) is:

It all comes to this:
a hospital bed; rustle
of nurses; silence.

Today's nice things:

1. Birds
2. Battling my way through to an edit - of sorts
3. TV.

Anne Brooke
Anne's website
Goldenford Publishers


Lexi said...

Yo Anne,

There's a woodpecker at the back of my Islington flat. I'm not a birder - is this impressive?

And, many years ago, when Monty Don and his wife Sarah were jewellers, I was in the same group workshop in Clerkenwell.

He was an old smoothie even then.

Anne Brooke said...

I'm impressed - doubly impressed!