Katie Melua is most pleasing on the eardrums

This song plays on cable a lot when Betty is at work (this is the job at which Betty sits a lot and watches cable, readers understand). It is reminiscent of C. S. Lewis’s poetry, in the following way: on first hearing, it struck Betty as being cerebral and poncy to the point of awkwardness. This impression was quite wrong. On repeated listenings, just as it is when one repeatedly reads one of Lewis’s poems — “Love’s as Warm as Tears”, let’s say, or the devastatingly lovely “Footnote to All Prayers” — the piece is revealed to be strikingly simple, sufficiently but not ostentatiously complex, beautifully shaped: and integrated, shaped by its own structure, not decorated or embellished. The best words in the best order, as another poet used to say, and he was right.

More NaNoWriMo plans

So the National Novel Writing Month plans are coming along slowly. It was probably only a matter of time before the boy person friend, bless his tiny heart, realised that NaNo contributions don’t have to be individual affairs.

Boy person friend: Can we collaborate? Ooh?

Moi: No.

BPF: But don’t you want to help me to succeed?

Moi: But I did Script Frenzy with Smokey last year and we wrote about a hunnerd words.

BPF: But Smokey has a child and a husband. I am unencumbered.

Moi: It would be like when we try to buy peanut butter together.

BPF: No, no. [Thinks briefly about that experience.] Your ideas are legitimate. You can decide things. You can decide the colour of the toothbrush the main character uses.

Moi: You see?

BPF: No, no. [A pause, and then he gives a rakish sideways look.] Will it be red?

He is a sweetie.

My MbTs are dead

Well, it took four years, but my Masai Barefoot Technology shoes have finally given up the ghost. Boy, will I miss them. As well as looking like smallish tugboats, they kept my feet toasty warm and my Raynaud’s at bay. Check out how nice they were.

They didn’t exactly go gently into that good night, but they’re gone now. May they rest in peace.

Sometimes life leaves me nonplussed

So I was walking home from work the other day (very carefully, mind) and I came across a boutique window. I have been into this boutique before, which was a mistake: it’s rather small and it creates awkwardness when leaving, but still, she often has nice wee jackets. Nevertheless, I walked past at speed (but carefully), and so it took me a moment to register the shirt that was displayed in the window.

Slow Woman Crossing

What on earth, gentle readers? I’m genuinely perplexed. Should I be offended, or delighted?

Regarding a related matter, people do think you’re a bit suspish when you lurk around their boutiques taking photographs.


Why does the word “arnica” appeal to me? I’ve been using it (the herb, not the word) to disperse my substantial bruise-acreage. It has no particular scent: in face, there’s no particular way of knowing it’s in there at all. Allow me to free-associate a little: arnica reminds me, irrationally, of homoeopathy, which reminds me of Susan Sarandon as Marmee March, bless her, which reminds me of New England, which reminds me, neatly, of Dr.Hauschka’s Birch-Arnica body oil. That one does have a scent; it’s a bit like a forest floor crossed with a Swedish bathhouse. Yummers.

I do know a couple of people called Anneke or Annika, but I am perplexed as to why I would find arnica so nice — homey, efficacious, vaguely eccentric, and good.