Wednesday, 11 January 2012

A lengthy ramble through my life...

So what is happening in the Scriptor household at the moment?

Partner-sho-loves-tea has been consuming large quantites of the stuff as she has worked every day of the Christmas 'break' - marking essays, creating student handbooks, seeing clients, etc. The only time she hasn't been working is when she's been cooking. She and Son-who-watches-films cooked the Christmas dinner and an excellent job they made of it. And now the students and clients are back at the Centre and life is back to normal for her.

My health has gradually improved over the Christmas period and I feel quite reasonable at the moment.

Needless to say I've been catching up on my reading and am thoroughly enjoying four volume Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini which I can recomment to any fantasy adventure fans. I am reading that in 'real books' but the Kindle is becoming ever more popular with me. Apart from the advantage of being able to use a larger font when my eyes are bad it is so convenient to have so many books to choose from at any one time according to my mood. I've always been one to read quite a few books at the same time but with the Kindle that has increased. My favourite on the Kindle at the moment is the Etymologicon by Mark Forsyth. Anyone who loves delving into the English language will enjoy that.

The other book I'm reading is a Christmas present from Helen and Ian. It will take me about four years to complete! Perhaps I should explain the reason for that... The history of it goes back to 1970/2 when I read the Oxford Concise Dictionary of English Literature. I read all 600 pages aznd it took me nearly two years to complete because my objective was to learn its contents as I went along. I had to put fablon on the covers because I was wearing it out.

Now I'm reading the 5,000 entries in the Oxford Companion to English Literature. entries for this guide to all aspects of English Literature have been carefully selected from Margaret Drabble's renowned Oxford Companion to English Literature. It includes character entries and plot summaries, literary movements, critics, and critical theories, literary societies, periodicals, libraries, copyright, censorship, coffee houses, actors and actresses, printers, publishers, booksellers, and private presses. Author biographies are provided covering novelists, dramatists, poets, historians, philosophers, scholars, critics, editors and journalists. This edition covers topics once regarded as non-literary such as detective stories, science fiction, children's stories, and comic strips, as well as important movements and critical theories. It encompasses English and American literature and commonwealth, African, Caribbean, and Indian literature written in English.

At the same time I have gone back to the Concise Dictionary (which was published in 1939) because it has lots of classical stuff that the new Concise Companion lacks. I reckon that devoting proper attention to them will take me about four years but it should be good for training my memory and keeping Alzheimer's at bay.

The final act of loft sorting took place this week as we dropped off three boxes of books, a couple of bin bags of clothing and another box of odds and ends at one of the local charity shops. To celebrate I called in at the library and looked at the books on the sale table there - I was very restrained and only bought three.

Son-who-watches-films is in the process of clearing out his den with a view to putting down a new carpet and (if we can persuade him) re-decorating it.

Food-loving-Daughter and Son-in-law-who-cooks called in on Boxing Day and great fun was had as she assembled and coaxed a tune out of her present - a shehnai. The shehnai, shahnai, shenai or mangal vadya, is an aerophonic (wind) instrument, a double reed conical oboe, common in North India, West India and Pakistan, made out of wood, with a metal flare bell at the end. Its sound is thought to create and maintain a sense of auspiciousness and sanctity and, as a result, is widely used during marriages, processions, and in temples of West India, although it is also played in concerts. This tube-like instrument gradually broadens towards the lower end. It usually has between six and nine holes. It employs two sets of double reeds, making it a quadruple reed woodwind. So now you know!

Daughter-who-takes-photos and Son-in-law-and-friend-who-loves-otters came for a couple of days after New Year and it was good to catch up with their news though blogs and regular e-mails mean I generally know what's happening in their lives. Tomorrow I'll be blogging a Haiku for them.


  1. Busy (but good-busy) times for all of you, it seems - but the best news is that you are feeling better health-wise.

    My Christmas-and-New-Year-break was very lazy in comparison; it was back to work for me on Monday and somehow it feels good to resume normal life.

  2. Only you would read a dictionary from cover to cover! I bet even proof readers only get to do small parts.

  3. I was astounded that you read the dictionary!! Wow! The Shenai as you say is a mangal(auspicious) vadya (instrument) - I've heard that breath control to play it is very hard to attain.

  4. Glad you are feeling better and I agree with GB. I'm not sure I could read some of the books you are reading.

  5. Great post. Glad you are feeling better. I like the way you name everyone in the post. It's cute.

    I read quite a bit too, but mostly historic material or historic fiction. I just came home with a bagful from the library today!

  6. Happy that you are feeling better and completely amazed at what you are reading!

  7. Glad you are feeling somewhat improved and hope it continues. Looks like you had a great time with he family.


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