Saturday, 14 January 2012


It's the weekend and I'm back from a few days in London for work with not much to show for it on the books front. I did go to see a film (on my own, which is, I think, a first - I've done theatre, ballet and opera on my own before but never the cinema) and came home enthusing about The Artist, a modern take on the silent movie, funny and charming, perhaps not earth-shattering, but well worth watching. It's a hot tip for an Oscar, I gather, but although I thought it perfectly delightful, I can't help feeling that something slightly weightier should be the best film of the year. Best character for me, of course, was Jack the dog, played by Jack Russell Uggie, but his co-stars are pretty good too.

I'd happy to report that my Century of Books is off to a flying start with 1976 done and dusted. And I'm reading Margaret Kennedy's The Constant Nymph and Dodie Smith's memoir of childhood Look Back with Love in one of the delicious Slightly Foxed Editions simultaneously (I thought I'd read it before but it turns out not - it must have been the second volume). I've also posted on Hurlyburlybuss, on Fell Farm for Christmas. Since keeping up a second blog is going to make some time pressures for this one, I decided to introduce a weekend post here which will be bookish ramblings, hence Divagations, lifted from Angela Thirkell. For those who don't know AT, both the author and her characters (especially Mrs Morland, who is very much AT's self-portrait) are prone to divagating (digressing or wandering) at great length, as am I. Happily for those around me, most of my divagations take the place of internal monologues, often while staring out of the window of the train. This week I was so cross with East Coast for making the exchange of Rewards points for tickets so complicated that I just sat there and seethed, further irritated by the hideously uncomfortable seats - complicated by the need, presumably, for stock suitable for the non-electrified section between Edinburgh and Aberdeen, East Coast has acquired some very old carriages (from East Midlands, I think). All the support has long gone from the seats, mine wouldn't recline and the train was too busy to make moving an option. I shall be avoiding the Aberdeen train in future (I used to like them, because the first-class carriages had ducky little lights at the tables which looked very cosy - and before anyone splutters, I buy my first-class tickets ages in advance so that I get cheap ones, and don't travel standard unless I have to because the seats make my back agony for days).

Finally, for Jenny, another doggy picture. The Bolter is groaning with displeasure behind me, she thinks I spend far too much time extolling the elegance of the AP's "new" dog, who shall be known here as The Wisp. An ex-racing greyhound, she's lived with the APs for just over a year now, a gentle and graceful creature who is proof that greyhounds take to sofas like ducks to water.


  1. Awwwwwwww. What a pretty greyhound. Thanks! :D I seriously want a greyhound so bad, but I'm afraid I would prove to be allergic to them -- my allergies are weird and unpredictable. Also, of course, it would be tricky to have a big dog (and expensive to have any dog) in New York City.

    I'm seeing The Artist tomorrow and am well excited about it. I do not expect it to blow my mind, just to be highly delightful.

  2. Jenny, I think greyhounds are less allergy-provoking than many dogs, and I've seen quite a few being walked in central London - but very complicated having a dog in a city, I think!

    Hope you enjoyed The Artist?