Our new Kindle
I was very, very against Kindles (other electronic reading devices are available) for a long time. Partly because I am an English Literature graduate and book obsessive who loves the feel and smell of real books and doesn’t want these to die; partly because I dislike gadgets that are there for the sake of being a gadget, such as those machines that help you with your crosswords by suggesting words that fit with your existing letters. They’re rubbish, they break, and then they end up in landfill, a waste of plastic and metal and energy and resources.
With our trip coming up, however, I started to get a bit worried about how I was going to have enough books with me. On a two week holiday my average requirement is 8 books, so the amount needed for three months would mean that our luggage would be full of nothing else. A Kindle seemed the only solution. At the same time S was given one as a leaving gift from work and thus I was forced to admit that Kindles are, in fact, brilliant.
The other day I just wanted something new to read that wasn’t too arduous, but I knew I didn’t have any books in the house that fitted the bill. But instead of having to just reread something I already owned, I could turn to the Kindle and have a whole world of books at my fingertips.
(Aside: the book I ended up choosing was Warhorse by Michael Morpurgo, and I read it on the sofa next to S, punctuating my reading with little cries at certain sad points in the story. He was intrigued and started it when I’d finished. We were reading in bed one night when S turned to me and said, with a note of sadness in his voice, “Topthorn is going to die, isn’t he? No-one can be that noble and survive.” Clearly the story of Joey and his pals was having a major effect on him too. Then when I was in London last weekend, staying with a friend, I received a text from him (at 8.47am, we need to have words about what is an appropriate time on a Sunday morning to contact me) that simply said – SPOILER ALERT! SKIP THIS PARAGRAPH IF YOU HAVE NOT YET READ OR SEEN WARHORSE AND WANT TO KEEP THE PLOT A SECRET – “Topthorn is dead”. I could feel his anguish in those three words. My response? “Alas, poor Topthorn. I knew him, Joey.” I thought that was quite good for a Sunday morning, especially since I’d had a bottle of wine the night before.)
I’ve always been intrigued by the TV series Twin Peaks, especially since two of my former colleagues kept talking about how it was one of the best shows ever. Before Christmas a friend lent me the deluxe, super duper, bells and whistles gold standard definitive box set, which means I can not only see all the episodes but also have the Log Lady intros, interviews with David Lynch and many, many other obsessive facts at my fingertips. I’m watching it in fits and starts as it’s quite hard to watch all in one go, so I’ve only just found out who killed Laura Palmer, and still have 14 episodes left (and no clue where it’s going). When I’m finally done with this I have the box set of American Gothic, which I’m interested to see if I find as good at 29 as I did at 15.
My Herman the German cake
Bristol seems to be a bit awash with bowls of Herman at the moment – there’s going to be a whole load of sourdough apple cake being made in the next few weeks. Mine was given to me by a colleague last week and for the past seven days I have been carefully stirring and tending him, occasionally feeding him more sugar and milk and taking pride in the amount of bubbles he’s producing. Herman is due to be divided and cooked on Friday, so in perfect time for the long bank holiday weekend. Yum.