Wednesday, 28 January 2009


i had the dostoevsky class last night. our reading list consisted of kafka's the trial, in the penal colony, dostoevsky's crime and punishment and an excerpt from the brothers karamazov. i read all but the last one, which is (of course) what the class was focused on. not that reading the excerpt would have helped at all.

i've never understood literature - not really. i love (LOVE) books, and reading, and i read a lot, but i never pick up on all this stuff that is apparently "meant" - this means that - and this dream signifies that, and what she really means is this is a socio-political critique of the inherent madness inside all mothers so that explains the penguin....

i never get it.

and it's not like i don't get subtext - hell i can make a dirty joke out of just about anything! although, on reflection, that may have more to do with 10 years on british construction sites. what i mean is that i understand that there are layers.

i also understand that many writers don't write with any of this in mind whatsoever, and read these critiques thinking, "wtf??"

so, in a 90 minute class in a module called punishment and justice, we talked about ... ??? ... the schism between where christ and action lie in dostoevsky's view and how this relates to ...???... and how we must always be aware of the possibilities of the unintended consequences of "speech act" and this relates ...???...

i thought this degree would be hard core international law. statutes, readings, un sc resultions. i am so glad i am not paying for this.

it is interesting though.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

bottling promises

gooseberry wine is very very nice.

uh huh, oh yeah.

i do not think it would be an exaggeration to say that it makes your tongue - sparkle. it's dry, but slightly tangy - its a keeper.

and we only made a gallon.


THIS year, we said to ourselves today, between unseemly slurps from the "leftovers" from bottling, we will make TONS. oh yes. TONS.

Thursday, 22 January 2009


ok the book idea was stupid.
i blame hotel rooms.


in other news, i handed in my first post-grad essay today! yay! 4000 words on how the war on terriers has affected development. it was light and cheerful - for sure. with hindsight, not a great topic to be immersed in during the most depressing month of the year but luckily, it was obama getting sworn in so that saved the day.

and my new class is looking good. It's called punishment and justice, and i took it primarily because dostoevsky was on the reading list and i always wanted to be the sort of person who read dostoevsky and never got around to - you know - actually reading him. ditto kafka. and you know, it's very good! of course you know. i didn't, though. the literature portion is only 2 weeks - the rest is law, philosophy etc - job's a gud'un, as my lovely mancunian facilities manager would say.

other than that - just january. and a job that looks unfavourably upon hibernation. bastards.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

3 posts in one evening =

room service + wifi + some good music

what do you think of this template?

(and why didn't I order the creme brulee?)


I read a blog post the other day where the author had listed the books she had read that year, and I must confess, it looked paltry to me. But then I thought, I have no idea how much I actually read (except for "lots"). I have been trying very hard, with varying degrees of success, not to buy new books anymore, but how many do I actually go through? So, in the interests of scientific research, I'm going to note here what I've been reading and what I've finished.

So far this year, I've read:
Like water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel (reread - new years day hangover book:))
House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende (reread)
Home from the vinyl cafe by Stuart Maclean (more comfort rereading)
and of course copious amounts of law journal articles which I shall omit from this exercise.

Currently Reading:
My Invented Country by Isabel Allende
The i-chong: meditations from the joint by Tommy Chong
The loved dog by Tamar Geller

I crawled out from beneath my rock and surveyed the horizon

Earlier, my horizon was bleak and beautiful in that misty skeletal British mid-winter sort of way. I was on the train from Euston to Manchester, happily slurping through several G&T's kindly supplied by the steward, another fellow passenger on the "it's good to soften the edges" carriage. "It makes the journey go by faster," he laughed, sneaking me another one. Which was a good thing what with points failure at Coventry delaying everything into stretched-out sameness. I'm like that on long-haul flights, too. I know it's going to be 10 hours, but 2 hours in, I look up - surprised - "I'm still here?"

So, you may have surmised, it all got a bit chaotic there for a while. The flu was bad, and it was awful and I missed a whole week of work (a first), and I didn't feel quite right for weeks afterwards. All better now though, and freshly grateful for good health.

Then parents! and christmas! and new years! and suddenly back to work and it all seems like feverish imaginings. But it was good, and fun. I'm a lucky lucky woman.

Speaking of reality bumps, poor Humph sure had one when Mom left to go back to Canada. She came well-equipped with delicious doggy-biscuits, the willingness to scratch chins without fatigue and a soft streak Humph took full and complete advantage of. She also had a way of saying "Well hello there big boy" and I think Humph fell in love. He moped for days when she left, looking up as to say - "you? who are you to compare?" He is now back to normal.

And so am I, I suppose. My new class started last night, I'm back in manchester, work is crazy and uncertain, but it's all ok.