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city scale

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This is a pig that I met in New York.  She lived in the  children’s zoo in Central Park.

Right now I fell a little bit tired of London days, which I feel terrible about.  The Samuel Johnson quote about being tired of life rings through my ears whilst I type.  At the weekend I went to a city farm, had a picnic, saw a 3-d film, went through the docklands massive toytown on a toy train, saw some obscene and hilarious Japanese woodblack prints, watched Manhattan, kept the house clean and the animals happy, maybe even found a flat to live in next, cooked new recipes and sat in the sunshine.

Next week I will go to Bath and Brighton.  Perhaps that will shift things around.  Maybe I’ll go and see a different bit of town.  Maybe I’ll go on holiday.  Maybe I’ll learn to drive.

Here’s a London pig to round things off nicely.

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New Post

Can you believe I’ve not posted this year?  I can.  Blogs mean no editing, they mean drunk posts (like this) and no discipline.  They mean typing rubbish and setting it adrift.  Drftwood and that.  Anyway, Y’know, I like discipine and effort and I like the impact they have on my ramblings – I never wrote an essay til I was 10, but when I stuck my writings on that format it all came good.  Since then all the schooling I’ve done has been subsidized, and more so each year.  Assisted place, scholarship, access to learning fund, independent charity foundation, arts and humanities research council.  There’s always been a stake beyond myself in these chances and I never dance unaided.

dressing up

so, these days have been dark days. I have retreated into wardrobes.  Not to narnia, but to a different makebelieve makeitfeelbetter place.  Pretend pretentoius landscapes of sequins and old new-jersey jersey and leather and dirty gold bangles and grey and denim.  It’s my dress up retreat and it is never as impressive or convicing as I wish.  Partly because I have Got Fatter, (was I ever really thinner?  my poor stretched clothes say I was)…  Partly because it is, after all, not real.

biography themes

it has come to my noticing that perhaps the narrative themes i was meaning to think about earlier on (i think the second post?) are finding me…  which is neat enough, because i think one of them is ‘finding’.  finding things out, finding things around me.  i wanted three things to make it neater, so i looked up the dictionary and google.  apparently a finding is also a tool or material.  so i guess i should have stuck with two.

 

later i looked up ‘finds’ in the dictionary.  it was much more satisfactory.  I like the serendipity of definition 1, i like the studiousness of 3 and i especially like ‘to experience or feel’.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/finds

  1. To come upon, often by accident; meet with.
  2. To come upon or discover by searching or making an effort: found the leak in the pipe.
  3. To discover or ascertain through observation, experience, or study: found a solution; find the product of two numbers; found that it didn’t really matter.
    1. To perceive to be, after experience or consideration: found the gadget surprisingly useful; found the book entertaining.
    2. To experience or feel: found comfort in her smile.
    3. To bring (oneself) to an awareness of what one truly wishes to be and do in life.
    4. To perceive (oneself) to be in a specific place or condition: found herself at home that night; found himself drawn to the stranger.
  4. To recover (something lost): found her keys.
  5. To recover the use of; regain: found my voice and replied.
  6. To succeed in reaching; arrive at: The dart found its mark.
  7. To obtain or acquire by effort: found the money by economizing.
  8. To decide on and make a declaration about: The jury deliberated and found a verdict of guilty. All the jurors found him guilty.
  9. To furnish; supply.
    1. To bring (oneself) to an awareness of what one truly wishes to be and do in life.
    2. To perceive (oneself) to be in a specific place or condition: found herself at home that night; found himself drawn to the stranger.

this is what i found today

 

(it’s the same photograph twice there, on account of mw not knowing how to put the picture once)

 …

 

it reminded me of david shrigley…  although i don’t adore his guardian columns, there certainly is a special corner of my heart devoted to this little picture:

http://www.davidshrigley.com/photo_htmpgs/lost_pidgeon.html

books and bookcases and libraries

yesterday i didn’t really find anything on the way between the museum and the cathedral.  but a nice big bundle of books has just arrived from amazon with my name on it…  let’s take a peek inside that and see what there is…

it is two Christmas Presents and two little books for me.  One I bought because I liked the name and thought it might be a little rude (and it was 1.99) and the other is the rather wonderful ‘Everyday Life Reader’ (edited by Ben Highmore) which I have come across a few times i the last few years and enjoyed on every occasion.

Oh dear, I bought the bookcase to hold all my books and now I am buying books to put on the new bookcase (as yet only in my mind).  I shall be over-run.

But yes, it is a lovely book and one I could (and will) spend hours in.  I do like books and libraries so.  Doing my degree has left me scarred in this way.  A stubborn, frugal and forgetful student, I lost two purses in quick succession.  Finding the first after losing the second was a mixed blessing, as I had replaced all my cards once.  So for two years I refused to pay the £10 fee and NEVER took any books out on it in case they realised it was invalid (aside from one I borrowed on Joel’s card).  So my studies were bound to the library, a fact which suited me well when the library was nearby and had so many useful books in.

Nowadays, libraries aren’t so easy.  The nearby ones do not have the mixed collections I need, the one that might be good is ever so noisy and a four-hour round trip away.  I think I read a good proportion of LSE’s museums collection last year.

Sometimes I find lovely new libraries, like the Paul Hamlyn library at the British Museum, which is about as gorgeous as any library could be.  Partly because (unlike Founder’s) rather wonderfully it is also open to everyone.  It’s so simple too, you just wonder in at sit at one of the 16 seats and either help yourself to the books on the shelves or fill out a card and the librarians fetch the book for you and deliver it to your desk.  The only distractions are the world’s treasures, as fine a distraction as anyone could wish for.

I keep a little list of libraries to visit.  Senate House library, LSE (again) and the British Library are the main three, though I am saving them up a little bit for Wintry Days To Come.  On those days I shall dress up as a knitted girl (wool tights and heavy skirt and jumper and a woolly hat and scarf and gloves) and I will travel with a notebook and a fountain pen and I will read and make notes and drink big cups of tea slowly.

By the by there was a series on BBC4 this month about children’s books.  It was ever so interesting to me, and it was extra interesting to see some of the people talking as I’d come across them before on library days, writing my dissertation on children’s reading, or my essay on children’s literature (or both).  I loved that topic of work and hopefully one day I can return to it.  I heard one of my friends is hoping to write a children’s book.  What a lovely job that would be.  But yes, in summary the recommendations today are the everyday life reader, the paul hamlyn library, and the BBC4 documentaries.

the ways in which we find things

sometimes feel like they are just as important than the things themselves.

i thought that was Quite A Good Thought so i thought i’d share it.  It isn’t finished yet.

 

I have been re-reading Winnie-The-Pooh and do you know, the words feel so very familiar.