Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Squirrels, books and old age

Was much taken today by the sight of one of the squirrels on campus using the pedestrian crossing to cross the road. How very sensible. Saves all that swinging from tree to tree stuff anyway. Evolution is a marvellous thing – soon the squirrels will be sitting at the desks giving us orders ... You heard it here first.

At work, Ruth has very kindly bought a copy of Maloney’s Law so I hope she enjoys the read. Thanks, Ruth – it’s very much appreciated! Though, sadly, the poor thing is still not well, so we sent her home after lunch, fitted out with a bottle of Lucozade and our good wishes. Hope she’s better soon …

Whilst on the subject of work, I’ve spent most of the day typing up a new brochure to go on the website – most of it is just getting entries from other documents and making sure it makes sense, but I do so love doing the secretarial stuff. Have also been trying to sort out the boss’s diary, which in some ways is a law unto itself. Plus I’m hoping IT will let me have full access to it fairly soon – it’s rather tricky doing everything at one remove. I have pieces of paper coming out of pieces of paper at the moment. No change there then.

So my lunchtime walk was much needed. I think I managed it before the rain sets in for the winter anyway, according to the forecast. Seems ages since I last had a stroll round campus, and I caught up on the latest exhibition at the gallery and had a chat with Jo in the Arts Office too. Lordy, but even my lunchtimes are super-efficient … And it was pleasant enough to sit by the lake for a while and admire the moorhens, robins and that squirrel. Lovely.

Will pop into see Gladys and reorganise her birdseed for her after work – I’m hoping her new medicine regime is working and she’s a bit happier in herself. It must be dreadful feeling so helpless – and being so old that you can’t just scarper from all the problems too. UPDATE: she's much better on that medicine - great news indeed. We even had a partial conversation or two, so that's good news as well. And, of course, I can’t miss It Takes Two and Autumnwatch. The deer are fascinating. Lovely also to see that some of it is set in Petworth Park which isn’t too far away from us, and is definitely well worth a visit or three.

Meanwhile, here’s a poem:


My reflection in the window
leads another kind
of life.

She's far more confident
than I am. I wonder
if I'd like her

if we met; she'd probably
look down her not inconsiderable nose
at me

and suggest I should
smarten up
if I want to get on

or at the very least
get a haircut,
a makeover, a decent jacket.

And who's to blame her?
Certainly not me.
Though I might put something

in her tea.

Ooh, and I’ve finished reading Per Petterson’s Out Stealing Horses – for the University Book Group in November. It’s amazing stuff – managing to be both literary and very, very readable (a rare combination in today’s world, I fear). I can thoroughly recommend it. A subtle tale of love and loss and grief, how families can be divided by the smallest of decisions, and how the past lingers on across the whole of a life. Some of the writing was just so totally wonderful and utterly true that I turned the pages down so I can go back and revel in it at my leisure. Okay, I could have done with a tad less description (but it does show character and builds up a picture of the man and his environment very well), and I thought the few pages before the utterly stunning end paragraph or two were a little shaky – but I’m being picky here. It’s very, very human – which is what I like in my books and which is so rarely (I think) achieved. Petterson does that and some. Rush out and buy it as soon as you can is what I say. Fabulous.

Today’s nice things:

1. Road-wise squirrels
2. Ruth buying Maloney’s Law, hurrah!
3. Lunchtime walks
4. TV
5. Poetry
6. Petterson’s book.

Anne Brooke
Anne's Website


Anonymous said...

I love that poem.
Gorgeous and funny.
I miss you being on LJ!

Anne Brooke said...

Thanks, Mara! Lovely to see you here. Sorry about LJ - I just couldn't take to it and it was one more blog to keep up!


Hugs to you