Saturday, 6 September 2008


Parker team photo coutesy of Lizzie:

1. I feel properly back in Cambridge now, because I went to a feast last night. They're a little hard work when they're the long ones with a sorbet after the fish and it's very difficult not to drink -- just a few sips of each wine gets you tipsy. But this is really a very spoilt thing to complain about! I was glad to sit next to a rather aged friend with whom I wanted to catch up, but unhappily what I discovered is that his mind is wandering somewhat. Although it's not impossible that I was just failing to keep up with his trains of thought, which have always been unusual.

2. I read quite fast, possibly because of the way my mother taught me to read when I was little, I don't know. I think I do absorb what's there, just quickly, and it makes reading an expensive hobby. I am experimenting with audiobooks at present, though only of books I've already read. At you can download them much more cheaply if you subscribe than if you buy them individually, and I have just finished Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, which was over thirty-four hours unabridged. Only some books could take this, and unfortunately most of the ones that spring to mind aren't available: Allan Garganus, Oldest Living Confederate's Widow Tells All; Pynchon, Mason and Dixon; Dorothy Dunnett's Niccolo series. But I have also now listened to a fantastic unabridged Moonstone, with a different narrator for each section -- Patrick Tull is Gabriel Betteredge -- and I also listened to the whole of the BBC's dramatised Barchester Chronicles. I think they would have been better served by an unabridged reading, because the BBC version was overly dependent on soliloquies. Next is a reading of the first Aubrey and Maturin book.

3. I don't think I have previously posted this excellent Pet Shop Boys video:

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