Thursday, 10 March 2011

Flattery will get you everywhere

I had been feeling rather apathetic about my blog. And then the charming Simon at Tough Cookies wrote a post in which he said I was inspiring. Me. Yeah right! Currently, I feel like I would have difficulty inspiring a flea to jump. But thank you Simon, you have inspired me to turn my attention to my RTBCs.

Simon talked about finding the balance between stay at home duties and artistic aspirations. At the moment, on my seesaw of priorities, the great lumpen kid of domestic responsibility sits staring up, arms folded, impassible, at my flighty little kid of creative expression, who has been left high and dry, feet unable to touch solid ground.

The only mildly creative, mind-expanding activity in which I engage is reading. Bex's bookshelves has disappeared but that's only because I'd rather read a book than write about one I've read (or write a blog post, sorry!!!). Since last regaling you with my oh-so-insightful book reviews (gosh, it's good, yes it's really very good) I have read:

Any Human Heart, by William Boyd
The Adventures of Monsieur Robinet, by John Hegley (ah, John Hegley, another perpetual RTBC), this book is bilingual, another reason to love it
Travelling Light, by Tove Jansson (again a permament fixture in the RTBC hall of fame)
The Observations, by Jane Harris

They were all really good. Gosh, yes, really very good. A couple were recommendations from Ju and as she is ever reliable in the treacherous field of book recommendations I was delighted to receive a birthday parcel with two new books from her today.

Have I mentioned that I love books? I love escaping, discovering, connecting with something outside of myself. I love being made to turn the pages even when I can't keep my eyelids open (or they are gummed together, thank you conjunctivitis*). I love being shown something with a different perspective, an alternative way of thinking. I love more than anything reading something that makes me realise that the author has at some point thought or felt like me. I love being made to laugh out loud. This last batch of books were full of these moments. I like collecting quotes and I have decided that rather than review my books I am simply going to share with you my favourite quotes. You already have enough of my words.

This time I will limit myself to this rather brilliant notion of life as seen through a journal (what is a blog but a modern day journal?) from William Boyd:

"But our human lives aren't like that, and a true journal presents us with the more riotous and disorganised reality. The various stages of development are there but they are jumbled up, couterposed and repeated randomly ... It doesn't make sense the logical, perceived progression never takes place. The true journal intime understands this fact and doesn't try to posit any order or hierarchy, doesn't try to judge or analyse: I am all these different people - all these different people are me."

What, you want more? Ok, ok, one more, from the gloriously random Mr. Hegley. A poem.

"Today Monsieur Robinet makes his contribution to the town festival. Carefully he places pebbles on the grass, for the letters of a message for the people: TELEVISION IS BAD FOR YOUR CONVERSATION WITH THE DOG. His dog quietly keeps guard over his master's pile of pebbles."

Oh, and this from The Observations, from the ribald but poignant narrative voice of Bessy Buckley, I can't not share this!

"She was that lazy I bet she lay down to fart."

I thank Bessy (Jane) also for discovering the brilliant word, betwattled, meaning bewildered.

At the moment I am in a constant state of betwattlement.

* According to the NHS website, conjunctivitis particularly affects children and the elderly. The elderly. Sigh.


  1. I love quotes! In my Little Black Book of Read Books, I include meaningful quotes from the books I've read (+dates of start/finish and brief review).
    p.s. Simon feels honoured to be mentioned on RTBC

  2. I'm honoured to be mentioned too!
    Disclaimer: I've not actually read the books I sent you (yet)so don't blame me if they're rubbish!
    Both Mr Hegley and The Observations are fab, however.
    Oh, and I too am currently glasses-ridden due to gunge of the eye. It affects children, the elderly and parents.


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