August 19th, 2013


The Little Stranger: Sarah Waters

Ghost stories are usually about repression. In the 19th century the thing being repressed was sex; in Waters' version of the late 1940s it's something else, but I can't say what exactly for fear of giving the game away. The Little Stranger is not only a ghost story but a whodunnit- and Waters is as adept as Christie (whose territory she impinges on- mysterious happenings in an isolated great house) at hiding crucial information in plain sight. She writes with wonderful clarity, an eye for the telling image and a profound understanding of the vagaries- the overspilling messiness- of human nature.  Her characters draw you in and implicate you in their unpleasantness .It took me hours after turning the final page to shake off my feelings of guilt. 

Letting Go

The older one gets the more one should simplify one's life.

Rupert Murdoch- still acquiring companies in his 80s- has entirely the wrong idea.  At his age one should (figuratively speaking) be taking to the road with one's staff and begging bowl.

As the burial service says, "We bring nothing into this world and we can take nothing out".

It irks me that I have so many things.

And this business of shuttling between two houses is ridiculous.

Birds Of Prey

Four birds of prey up high, riding the currents. It's their calling that alerts me- a persistent, catlike mewing. One of them folds its wings and drops.

I'm thinking buzzards. Common buzzards. We've been told they're about.