“Again he shook his head. The world’s gone mad, he thought. The dead walk about and I think nothing of it. The return of corpses has become trivial in import. How quickly one accepts the incredible if only one sees it enough!”
I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
I’ve just finished reading Old St. Paul’s: A tale of the Plague and the Fire by William Harrison Ainsworth (1841), which, as I mentioned last week, details the 1665 plague of London, culminating with the Great Fire.
Several hundred years later, here I am (you are) in plagued-London (fill in the name of your city here).
“I think of every little trifle between me and Dora, and feel the truth, that trifles make the sum of life.”
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
Have I mentioned that bedtime is my favourite time of the day? It runs in the family. We are an early-to-bed-family … not necessarily early to rise. My Mama gets so excited for bed that she squeals when she burrows under the covers. I’ve inherited that habit too.
“After all,” Anne had said to Marilla once, “I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string.”
Anne of Avonlea, by L.M. Montgomery (Green Gables books)
“Across the veld were those hills of the Klein Karoo, rolling up and dipping down like waves. On and on, like a still and stony sea. I picked up my melktert and bit off a mouthful. It was good, the vanilla, milk and cinnamon working together to make that perfect comforting taste.”
Recipes for Love and Murder: A Tannie Maria Mystery by Sally Andrew
I don’t fit into normal size clothes, I’m told by my Hubby that I ‘always’ make changes to an item I order on a menu. And though I can cook well (I’d say) and can improvise a pretty tasty meal out of random leftovers in the fridge, I’ve never been able to strictly follow a recipe, without some degree of substitution.
“Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts. I was better after I had cried, than before–more sorry, more aware of my own ingratitude, more gentle.”
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Our neighbour has passed away.
The last time I saw Sharon she was her usual vivacious, smiling self. She excitedly told me that she and her husband, their grown up sons and girlfriends were leaving on safari in Botswana that week. She couldn’t wait. She clasped her hands across her stomach as we spoke and I noticed that it was distended.
She must have seen that I’d noticed. After a few seconds she quietly told me that the cancer had come back.
“I’m starting treatment at the Royal Marsdon when we’re back from Botswana. I’m in really good hands,” she said. That was September. Continue reading A life
“I am your Prince and you will marry me,” Humperdinck said. Buttercup whispered, “I am your servant and I refuse.” “I am you Prince and you cannot refuse.” “I am your loyal servant and I just did.” “Refusal means death.” “Kill me then.”
The Princess Bride by William Goldman
Ingredients: 2 or people, 1 x home, 2 x personalities, 2 x jobs, multiple roles
Optional, add to taste: animals, children, car, nanny, cleaner, housework, garden, dreams, personal tastes and interests, humour, neighbours, income, parents-in-law, siblings, illness, personal space and long-suffering.
Method: fold ingredients together carefully, heat gently, do not over-cook.
“So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they’re chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.”
Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
“How was your holiday in SA?” I asked, excited to hear how much our friend had enjoyed his visit to my homeland in December.
“South Africa is really in a bit of a mess,” he replied. Note, that in British English, a ‘bit of a mess’ is basically a large scale disaster.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“Nothing works. The Eskom situation is depressing. Most people I spoke to just want to get out of there.”
“His way of coping with the days was to think of activities as units of time, each unit consisting of about thirty minutes. Whole hours, he found, were more intimidating, and most things one could do in a day took half an hour. Reading the paper, having a bath, tidying the flat, watching Home and Away and Countdown, doing a quick crossword on the toilet, eating breakfast and lunch, going to the local shops… That was nine units of a twenty-unit day (the evenings didn’t count) filled by just the basic necessities. In fact, he had reached a stage where he wondered how his friends could juggle life and a job. Life took up so much time, so how could one work and, say, take a bath on the same day? He suspected that one or two people he knew were making some pretty unsavoury short cuts.”
About a Boy by Nick Hornby
DIY? Reading? Google searches? Tidying up the loft? Daytime TV?
“The whole of life is just like watching a film. Only it’s as though you always get in ten minutes after the big picture has started, and no-one will tell you the plot, so you have to work it out all yourself from the clues.”