Thursday, August 26, 2010

Cats, cars and creativity

Book News:

During the week, The Delaneys and Me fluttered up and down the Amazon Gay Fiction charts, managing as high as No 20 at one point, though it's not there now. It also gained a 4-star review at the I Love Books blog - many thanks, Lily.

Creative Accountancy for Beginners also briefly reached the dizzy heights of No 5 in the Omnlit Bestsellers chart but, again, it's not there now. Ah, these swift moments of writing glory make up for the dull trudging and very rain-filled days, you know ... Would that there were more of them (the moments, not the rain!) ... You can also find all my available ebooks half-price at the WH Smith's sale - you'll need to type in my name in the search field for real shopping enjoyment, ho ho.

At Vulpes Libris, you can read my review of Anne Tyler's Celestial Navigation - a magnificent and quietly lyrical novel, but oh so devastating. And, meanwhile, Amazon have sent me the leather cover for my Kindle in what they blithely call "frustration-free packaging". Arrgghh!!!! I had to rip it apart with my bare hands and a pair of scissors, whilst cursing. Weirdly another Amazon package was delivered later on without frustration-free packaging and that was far easier to open, deep deep sigh. However, the main thing is I am now the proud owner of a Kindle case, but there's no ruddy Kindle. Where's my Kindle, Mr Amazon??? You promised it at the end of August, but now the expected delivery date has vanished from my account and my friends tell me it's only going to be in the UK at the end of September. I am not happy. Really, you should have emailed me to explain ... Another sigh. I hope it's here by Christmas. Christmas 2010, that is.

This week's meditations are:

Meditation 409
A cloak torn
into a perfect dozen

indicates power
of a sort

for two
and a cold winter

for one.

Meditation 410
After the drama
and crowded muddle
of forty powerful years

the cool simplicity
and spacious places
of death.

Meditation 411
So many arguments,
threats, violence,
demand and counter-demand,

death and shouting
and only God
is silent.

Life News:

Well, this appears to be the week when everyone gets bizarrely riled up by the video footage of a woman putting a cat in a wheelie bin. Um, sorry but it really doesn't bother me that much. It's a cat. Not a baby or a small child or indeed any kind of human, which would of course be terrible. But I can't really get excited about a cat. I hasten to add I do like cats (though not dogs) and have in the past had two of my own, one of whom I would happily on occasions have put into a bin if I'd ever been able to catch up with the beast, Gawd bless 'er. And I suspect my neighbours might have helped me! But really, it's just an animal, and (again, sorry ...) not as important as a person, to my mind. Then again, I was brought up in a farming community and animals are what you eventually kill to eat, aren't they? I do however think it's truly despicable that the unfortunate woman's pesky neighbours were stupid (or cruel) enough to put the video on the Internet. How mean and over-the-top (and anyway, what sort of people actually video their neighbours on a security camera??? Hell, I wouldn't want them to live near me - God knows what they'd find out!!). They should simply have spoken privately to the cat-in-bin woman, asked for an apology, received one graciously, plus a promise for her not to do it again, and that would have been fine. Perhaps though they should have been added to the bin with their wretched cat? Which apparently isn't that bright, but probably brighter than its owners who, to my mind, come out of this far worse.

Anyway, apart from thinking cat-in-bin woman should not have apologised to the general public for what isn't after all a crime, and should in fact have brazened it out with threats to put more irritating animals in bins for each death-threat(!) she's received, here's my list of what I'd put in a wheelie bin if given the chance. Feel free to think of your own!

1. Dogs (especially golden labradors - I can't stand 'em)
2. Junket (look it up if you need to but, trust me, it's vile)
3. The evil person who invented a phone system where you have to go through a series of hoops and pressing of numbers before you can even speak to someone.
4. Call centres.
5. The really horrible and downright vicious Satan-kitten I looked after once in Kent for a work colleague on hols during an utterly hellish week, and which terrified me, my two cats, the postman, my lodger, and the friend who came round to laugh at us all, and which I would gladly give to cat-in-bin woman to dispose of as she wished. Even now.
6. The person who abandoned their really ugly car outside our flat four months ago (unlocked if anyone would like to steal it - please?) and which has been messing up our parking arrangements ever since.
7. JRR Tolkien (behold the Land of Tosh ...)
8. Lloyds Bank.
9. People who fail to spell my name correctly no matter how much I say it's Anne-with-an-e. Anne. How hard is it to remember, people??
10. Mondays.

Gosh, that was cathartic - I feel cleansed, my dears, cleansed. Thank goodness the house only has three wheelie bins to its name. Though I suspect they're all full now ...

But, to put all this media-hype and lunacy into perspective, let's not forget that there are a million other things other than poor cat-in-bin woman to get angry or upset about, such as the poor miners in Chile, God bless them, and the flooding in Pakistan. Not to mention the situation in Iraq, Afghanistan and the genuine slavery and sex-trafficking going on every ruddy second in this country. Now that's real news, deserving of our censure and action ...

However, to end on a brighter note (hurrah!), I have thoroughly enjoyed my Clarins massage today and I am now chilled, calm and normal. Well, almost, eh. And I mustn't forget that at The Bemused Gardener blogspot I have been discovering new plants where I least expected them, the joys of tea on the lawn and poisons from Portugal. What fun!

Anne Brooke
The Bemused Gardener


Lover of Books, Films and Good Coffee Shops Everywhere! said...

Hi Anne

I agree with most of your 'want to bin' but the top dog on my 'I want a dog when I retire list' is a chocolate labrador - will I be an outcast when we get one? :-0

Loving 'the bemused gardener' blog by the way. Not sure if you realise that most council's do discount compost bins:-


Anne Brooke said...

I will love it because it's yours, Sue! As long as it doesn't bite me - most Labs do in the end :))

And, ooh, discount compost bins - thank you!!! (I promise not to put your dog in it though ...!!!) I will save that link and tell K!

You are now our official Garden Consultant, you know.


Lover of Books, Films and Good Coffee Shops Everywhere! said...

Yes, it makes a change to get any sort of discount from a Council doesn't it!! I think they probably do water butts too.

I was going to do some gardening this morning - we've got some out of control teasels around the pond - but the rain and wind has just set in again so I'll just have to sit indoors with a book and nice cup of tea (such hardship!)


Anne Brooke said...

Sounds like a blissful morning! I was intending to prune the buddleia a bit more but I'll see what the rain does! :))