Time goes by so
I can hardly believe it’s over a week since I last posted on this blog. Where does the time go? I have a theory about that. Everyone knows that the years go more quickly the older you get. But had you realised that the months are of different lengths? I don’t mean Thirty days hath September, April, June and November and all that. Danielle, a friend in the USA, was saying how ill-prepared she was for Thanksgiving and Christmas. That immediately made me realise that November is a far shorter month than any other on the calendar. Never mind that it has thirty days. Its days are shorter and fly by at twice the speed of October’s. One minute you are saying how nice the leaves look as they begin to turn into their autumn dress. Next minute it’s Thanksgiving and the butcher is telling you he’s sold out of turkeys. And if November is the fastest month of the twelve surely February is the slowest. Wet, cold, windy… It just drags on forever. And there is no way round it. Even if we could get the United Nations to agree on a new calendar it would still go quickly when you had a lot to do and creep by when you were anxious for the new season to arrive.
I have a separate postcard blog but the sending and receiving of postcards has become such a major part of my life that I must mention it here on my main blog.
We have a daily post apart from Sunday. It is delivered to the door and flops through the letterbox and onto the mat. And nowadays the sound of it arriving is sometimes the highlight of my day. Even if the day has something else exciting happening I can’t wait to see what the postman has brought. It is rare for there to be no postcards at all. I now have so many Postcrossing cards travelling and so many friends who use it either as a means of swapping cards or as a means of communication. These latter have sent so many beautiful and interesting cards that I couldn’t choose just one or two to show you here but I thought I’d show you some of the more interesting ones from strangers.
I suppose this doesn’t wholly qualify as a stranger – it is from someone who went to the same Prep. school as me. He is now in the Cayman Islands:-
Cats seem to be the subject of so many cards nowadays. This one is painted by Anton Gortsevich and came from Sasha in Russia.
This cat came from Oksana in Belarus and is one of many painted by the super artist Irina Zeniuk.
Charlie Lovett’s “The Bookman’s Tale” (2013) is one of the most delightful books I’ve read for a while. A thriller, a novel of love and obsession, the hero is an antiquarian bookseller and it bobs back and forth between the 1980s, the 1990s and the 1870s. What more could I want?
Danielle in Nebraska mentioned on her blog a series of old British crime stories called the British Library Crime Classics. I took a look at them on Amazon and found a set of five at a reduced price, all by authors I had never heard of. I got them and if the first one is anything to go by this series is a great discovery. The one I’ve read is “The Lake District Murder” by John Bude (the pseudonym of Ernest Elmore, co-founder of the Crime Writers’ Association). Published for the first time since the 1930s, it particularly appealed to me because I knew all the places referred to – they were part of what I considered my second home in my youth.
In that youth I read all the Agatha Christie books. I could never exactly count how many there were but around 66 with 14 collections of short stories. One I hadn’t read was “Black Coffee”. That was for the simple reason that it hadn’t been published – it was first published in 1998 being the first of her plays to be novelised by another author- Charles Osborne. Originally performed in 1930 it stars Hercule Poirot and is a typical, enjoyable Agatha Christie read.
Yet another crime story I’ve read recently is “The Shadows in the Street” by Susan Hill (2010.
And now for something for completely different. Terry Pratchett has a new children’s book out – “Dragons at Crumbling Castle” (2014). Fourteen early stories, dug out from the archives, that show off the skills of the young Terry, provide an early look at the Carpet People and who couldn’t love Hercules the Tortoise.
Two books I’ve started but have yet to finish are “Stormbird” by Conn Iggulden (the first in the Wars of the Roses series) and “The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul”. Both are proving most enjoyable.
I love blank notebooks. I can’t resist buying them, especially if they have lovely bindings. And my family are well aware of this love and treat me to new notebooks on my birthday and at Christmas (hint, hint). What I then write in them varies enormously. Last week Heather commented on the importance of the written word – written for oneself as opposed to composed on the computer and, sometimes, created with an audience in mind. I promptly started writing a diary again in one of those lovely notebooks. It survived two days and then missed four days. I must be more disciplined but at the same time I shall not force myself to make an entry every day.
Every so often I comment on the vagaries of the spellchecker.
This week I had an e-mail from a friend which asked for my elephant number. I gave him my phone number instead.
Another friend obviously meant to say ‘Glad you liked them’ but the phone decided she meant ‘God you liked them’. Or perhaps she really had not expected them to be enjoyed and meant ‘God! You liked them?’ Who knows.
And when I mistyped postcrossing and wrote ppstcrossing instead my e-mail system suggested I really meant cross-dressing. Duh!