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Pickle Me This

September 25, 2006


I just finished reading City of the Mind by Penelope Lively, who is one of my favourite authors, and every one of her books I like better than the last. City of the Mind is to place, what her Moon Tiger was to history. The city as a symbol, and the very specific history of London. Loved it. I especially love how Lively’s characters always have jobs. A job is vital to good characterization (for example Perowne the neurosurgeon in Saturday, or Reta Winters the writer in Unless) in contemporary work especially. “What do you do?” is so defining. The last Penelope Lively book I read was The Photograph, in which the main character was a garden designer, and in City of the Mind, the character was an architect, and a writer can show so much about a character by showing how he/she performs their job, engages with colleagues, and what led them to their field. It’s fascinating to learn too, about a profession as foreign as another language (neurosurgery anyone?). It just makes that character’s world so much more alive.

And I am back at my part time post at the library, which means I come home with more and more books every day. Today I took out Swing Low: A Life in order to learn a bit more about depression, as a character in my story suffers with it. And also got my hands on new books I was a Child of Holocaust Survivors and Creation by EO Wilson.

Beyond books, ah but not quite. Yesterday was spent at Word on the Street and it was a lot of fun. Echolocation was well-represented I thought and I gave a bookmark to the mayor.

Today’s highlight was an epistle from my epistolary-pal Bronwyn. She has asked me to be her matron of honour, and I don’t think I’ve ever been so honoured. I didn’t even dare to imagine such a thing would happen. I would have been happy just to be there. And now I will be there, but with a dress on. Whoever would have thought, when Bronwyn and I met during the summer of 2001 in Toronto that just a few years later we would be bridesmaiding for each other at our respective English weddings to a wonderful pair of Northern blokes. Life is funny. Hmmmm.

Am obsessed with The Weather Network’s School Days Pages. They tell you what to wear to and from school, which is a service I’ve been longing for forever. Don’t know how practical it really is though. This morning I should have worn snowboots, a parka and gloves, and then wellingtons and a slicker on my home. It’s the winter clothes again tomorrow morn, and then a light spring jacket in the afternoon. I don’t think I own that many clothes. And the winter boots are really quite premature, really. 8 degrees is hardly freezing.

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