“Niggle was a painter. Not a very successful one, partly because he had many other things to do. Most of these things he thought were a nuisance; but he did them fairly well, when he could not get out of them: which (in his opinion) was far too often. There were other hindrances, too. For one thing, he was sometimes just idle, and did nothing at all. For another, he was kind-hearted, in a way … it did not prevent him from grumbling, losing his temper, and swearing (mostly to himself). All the same, it did land him in a good many odd jobs for his neighbour, Mr. Parish, a man with a lame leg.”
Leaf by Niggle by J.R.R. Tolkien
I was bemoaning (to a Thespian friend of mine) the realities of hiring Millennials. “This means,” I wined, “that Hubby and I have to become boss-parents to grown people – teaching them patience; how to get up when they fall down; that things worth doing don’t come easy; that making an impact will take more than a day, a month, a year.”
To which my dear honest friend replied, “But don’t we all need to learn those lessons?”
Ah, the voice of wisdom…
She’s an empathetic listener, but annoyingly too much like my conscience. I felt convicted right away.
“And there was never a better time to delve for pleasure in language than the sixteenth century, when novelty blew through English like a spring breeze. Some twelve thousand words, a phenomenal number, entered the language between 1500 and 1650, about half of them still in use today, and old words were employed in ways not tried before. Nouns became verbs and adverbs; adverbs became adjectives. Expressions that could not have grammatically existed before – such as ‘breathing one’s last’ and ‘backing a horse’, both coined by Shakespeare – were suddenly popping up everywhere.”
Shakespeare: The World as Stage by Bill Bryson
Dear … My face is politeness for You.
It’s been a hard day’s night. As to me. I guess for You too. I must be in a harry – I”m under thumb of my wife. I carefully exam Your docs and let You know some later. Mayby today.
I wish You unforgettable everning. Cordially, Mr …
“Along the Paris streets, the death-carts rumble, hollow and harsh. Six tumbrels carry the day’s wine to La Guillotine. All the devouring and insatiate Monsters imagined since imagination could record itself, are fused in one realisation, Guillotine.”
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
We walked slowly, our eyes fixed on the domed roof. The headphone-thingy talked about symmetry, symbolism, liberté, égalité, fraternity. Léon Foucault’s pendulum swung back and forth beside us where it has almost always been since 1851. Christ looked on from his mosaic-ed position on the eastern wall, down at La Convention Nationale sculpture, as if blessing French nationalism … Continue reading Paris when it sizzles at 38 deg C
“He was the crazy one who had painted himself black and defeated the world. She was the book thief without the words. Trust me, though, the words were on their way, and when they arrived, Liesel would hold them in her hands like the clouds, and she would wring them out like rain.”
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
I knew this day would come. It’s been lying in wait, holding on for just a Tuesday like this one to pounce – writers block! One writer described it as the bogeymanwaiting in the mirror. I’m looking into the mirror now, and all I see is little old me, defenceless. January is one of those months – regenerative, scary and disappointing all wrapped into 31 cold, short days. It holds so much promise, but who can carry all that pressure without occasionally stumbling at the awesome weight of the load? Continue reading January writer’s block: stalking me like a monster
“If you ask the great city, ‘Who is this person?,’ she will answer, ‘He is my child.”
Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
Comment allez vous mes lecteurs?
Whatever you do, don’t take the decision to learn a new language lightly. To slightly mis-quote from one of my favourite novels set in France, the journey of learning a language is “the best of times, it (is) the worst of times, it (is) the age of wisdom, it (is) the age of foolishness…”.
“We might treat a rabbit as a pet or become emotionally attached to a goose, but we had come from cities and supermarkets, where flesh was hygienically distanced from any resemblance to living creatures. A shrink-wrapped pork chop has a sanitised, abstract appearance that has nothing whatsoever to do with the warm, mucky bulk of a pig. Out here in the country there is no avoiding the direct link between death and dinner…”
A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle
I am a ‘wannabe’ foodie, but unsurprisingly making little effort to get the esteemed status. There, I’ve said it. Living in a city where you can go out for three meals a day for the rest of your life and never exhaust the options, some will consider my opening admission simply disgraceful. I’m sorry 😦