The Other Elizabeth Taylor
You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.
Once again it has been too long time since my last posting and I do humbly apologise. My computer has been very poorly, it went on an absolute go-slow and had to have a spell in a local hospital for computers with some expert intensive care. It is back now thoroughly rejuvenated and raring to go with faster speeds than it has ever had and with more memory installed. To think I thought it was on the way out and was ready to throw it out the window such was my anger.
Wish I could go somewhere and have similar treatment for today I am a wee bit slow and poorly myself as I have a very sore throat and have lost my voice. It came on suddenly so I guess it is the laryngitis type virus which has been doing the rounds. (Some may call it a blessing perhaps, my loss of voice? But I say that if I lose my voice it can also be to my advantage as I don’t have to answer people if I don’t want to).
There is not much news to report. The monsoon season continues and I think we are probably into our sixth week of rain, it could be more.
Thank God for books I say and music and Strictly on TV, all pure escapism that I am happy to admit to. I may not be able to speak but I can read , I can watch and I can listen.
I have been doing a bit more on M’s family tree and was very excited the other night when I discovered that he is related to Elizabeth Taylor, no not the actress but the famous novelist. Now I am envious because I have not found anyone quite so illustrious in my family and a writer to boot.
I thought I would seek out a biography of said lady and lo and behold, one of those coincidences, her first and only biography was published in April of this year by Nicola Beauman of Persephone Books fame and we have copies in the library service. All are out on loan but I have placed a request for it. I have always admired Taylor and know several other people who do as well, little did I know that M was related to her.
I am reading a new book written by another of my favourite authors, Susan Hill. It is called Howards End is on the Landing, great title eh?
The subject is books and reading - a year of reading from home - so for a bibliophile like me it is pure heaven. Once I finish this blog post I will retire to my bed with honey, lemon and paracetamol and lose myself in her words. If you haven’t ever read Susan Hill, apart from this one I would recommend The Magic Apple Tree, it is one of my top ten favourites and a must-read book.
So that’s all for today, I have no energy for much more.
But I shall sign off with not one but two poems by Carol Ann Duffy, Poet Laureate. I watched the South Bank Show on Sunday night which featured Carol and was reminded again of two of my favourite poems.
Some days, although we cannot pray, a prayer
utters itself. So, a woman will lift
her head from the sieve of her hands and stare
at the minims1 sung by a tree, a sudden gift.
Some nights, although we are faithless, the truth
enters our hearts, that small familiar pain;
then a man will stand stock-still, hearing his youth
in the distant Latin chanting of a train.
Pray for us now. 2 Grade I piano scales
console the lodger looking out across
a Midlands town. Then dusk, and someone calls
a child's name as though they named their loss.
Darkness outside. Inside, the radio's prayer -
Rockall. Malin. Dogger. Finisterre.
Carol Ann Duffy
A Child's Sleep
I stood at the edge of my child's sleep
hearing her breathe;
although I could not enter there,
I could not leave.
Her sleep was a small wood,
perfumed with flowers;
dark, peaceful, sacred,
acred in hours.
And she was the spirit that lives
in the heart of such woods;
without time, without history,
I spoke her name, a pebble dropped
in the still night,
and saw her stir, both open palms
cupping their soft light;
then went to the window. The greater dark
outside the room
gazed back, maternal, wise,
with its face of moon.
Carol Ann Duffy
Bye for now,
Go mbeannai Dia duit,