Tuesday, 31 August 2010

We need to talk about....

I shall also remember this summer for the books I read. The one which will place itself most firmly in summer 2010 is 'We need to talk about Kevin' by Lionel Shriver. When it was first published it just did not interest me. Over time, mainly through reading interviews with Lionel Shriver I've thought that perhaps I would like to read it. I'm so glad I have read it and I'm so glad that was when I was ready for it, not when there was all the hype. I especially liked the beginning part of the story where she and her husband are thinking about whether or not to have children.

'"I love to talk about other people. Not peoples. People I know, people close to me - people who drive me crazy. But I feel as if I'm using my family up... Honestly Franklin, maybe we should have a kid just to have something else to talk about."
"Now that... is frivoulous."
I stayed your hand. "It's not. What we talk about is what we want to think about, is what are lives are about. I'm not sure I want to spend mine looking over my shoulder at a generation whose lineage I'm personaly helping to truncate."' Lionel Shriver We need to talk about Kevin.

What did you think about this book/story?
ps. No picture today - I'm not sure what image would be appropriate.

Friday, 27 August 2010

Fools for Memory

On Sunday we visited Tate Modern and the Exposed exhibition.
I loved the series of photographs by Harry Callahan 'Women lost in thought'.

Harry Callahan 'Women lost in thought' series. Tate Modern Exposed

'You know that we women are such fools for memory; I declare we do walk backwards through life, with our faces turned towards the past.'
Rose Tremain Music and Silence
These past few weeks that's really been me, onto the present now.
As I re read this quote though it puzzles me. Do you think it's only women who are 'fools for memory'? I'm not sure. I know I am but I don't think it's because I'm a woman. How about you?

Thursday, 26 August 2010

I walk down the street

I was saddest about leaving the small area of London I/we'd lived in than the flat. In the last few days it was when walking along the streets near our flat that I felt nostalgic. This poem came to my mind. It's another one from my mother, sent during one of my many 'dating the wrong man' times. So in some ways it doesn't fit with the emotions of moving... but yet it is the fact that I walked down another street that I met Warmth and that now we're moving on together.

1. I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the pavement, I fall in.
I am lost... I am helpless, it isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find my way out.

2. I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the pavement.
I pretend I don't see it. I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in the same place.
But it isn't my fault.

3. I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the pavement.
I see it is there. I still fall in... it's a habit.
My eyes are open
I know where I am
It is my fault.
I get out immediately.

4. I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the pavement.
I walk around it.

5. I walk down another street.

Author Unknown if you know please do let me know.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

After the wedding

'After the wedding, they had left London. There they had learned one another. They had learned every inch of their bodies; they had learned every look, every tone, every inflection of the voice; they had learned one another's tastes, thoughts, responses.' Penelope Lively Consequences @
One year on from our wedding we've moved, from West London to South East London. This flat is where we have learned about each other. I have learned about me, I have learned about us.
Sorry slipped back into memory land wth this post, but I do love this quote, and Penelope Lively too.

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

A Universe of Beaches

'Do I love you? My god, if your love were a grain of sand, mine would be a universe of beaches.'
William Goldman The Princess Bride

We honeymooned in Cornwall. Glorious sandy beaches - a universe of beaches one could say.

Monday, 23 August 2010

So I am married

'So I am married, whatever that means. I think it means that now I know.'
Anne Enright 'Pale hands I loved, beside the shalimar' in Yesterday's Weather.


I'd saved this quote pre engagement but knowing we probably were going to marry and it spoke to me. It felt appropriate to post it today. I like the ambiguity of it - what does it mean I now know?

Saturday, 21 August 2010

He Wishes for...

To end this wedding feast memory lane...

I have always loved this poem and Warmth went on about not really understanding it, what was it all about. Still we had it on one of the tables. And then... he read it to me as part of his speech....

Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.
W.B. Yeats

Thank you for indulging me.

Friday, 20 August 2010

22nd August 2009

And so it continues today...
Jose Saramago - Warmth's favourite author
The man and woman over there...you can see that they like each other, that they're fond of each other, that they love each other, you can see that they're happy, look they just smiled.' Jose Saramago Seeing

I Love sleeping...
'At night they slept curled together like two cashews' Anne Tyler Digging to America

We'd watched Life is Beautiful and both loved it. Warmth wrote this in my valentine's card that year.
'Last night, I dreamt about you all night' Life is Beautiful

Old Possoms book of practical cats we both have strong childhood memories of this and it connects to our London life.
The cottagers of Rotherhithe knew something of his fame;
At Hammersmith and Putney people shuddered at his name.
They would fortify the hen-house, lock up the silly goose,
When the rumour ran along the shore:
T.S. Eliot Growltiger's Last Stand

Charles Dickens - my favourite author
'A heart well worth winning, and well won. A heart that, once won, goes through fire and water for the winner, and never changes, and is never daunted.' Charles Dickens Our Mutual Friend

Anna Karenina - Warmth's Valentines day gift to me after we'd been dating a few weeks - I knew he liked me when I received this.
'In their conversationeverything had been said; it had been said that she loved him, and that she would tell her father and mother that he would come tomorrow morning.'

'There were no other eyes like those in the world. There was only one creature in the world who would concentrate for him all the brightness and meaning of life. It was she.'
Leo Tolstoy Anna Karenina

Our first dance
'And when you smile the world is brighter
You touch my hand and I'm a king
Your kiss to me is worth a fortune
Your love for me is everything
Elvis Presley The wonder of You

Madness It Must Be Love for old school friends of Warmth.
As soon as I wake up
Every night, every day
I know that it's you I need
To take the blues away

It must be love, love love...

I read Adam Bede for this passage. It was nearly going to be in our service.

'What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined together to strengthen each other in all sorrow, to share with each other in al gladness, to be one with each other in the silent unspoken memories.' George Eliot Adam Bede

Thursday, 19 August 2010

22nd August 2009

Another day of indulgence. As you know Warmth and I both share a love of reading. We wanted to reflect this shared interest in some way. So, on the back of each menu we would write a quote which had meaning for us, and may have meaning for the guests on our table. This will take two days - there were 17 tables...

A favourite book for both of us and a quote to acknowledge that it's not always simple.
'A realisation that the founding principle of exiatence is what we call love, which works itself out sometimes not clearly, not cleanly, not immediately, nonetheless ineleuctably.' Yann Martel The life of Pi

'The Owl and the Pusst-cat went to sea
In a beautiful pea green boat.'
Edward Lear

There had to be Shakespeare. Warmth sent me this play as a 'save the date' for a date at The Globe.
'You see me,... where I stand,
Such as I am. Though for myself alone
I would not be ambitious in my wish
To wish myself much better, yet for you
I would be trebled twenty times myself,
A thousand times more fair, ten thousand times
More rich, that only to stand in your account
I might in virtues, beauties, livings, friends,
Exceed account.'
Shakespeare The Merchant of Venice

The Warmth Family love this musical, and I'm a great musical fan.
'On this night of a thousand stars
Let me take you to heaven's door
Where the music of love's guitars
Plays for evermore.'

We loved Rapture and she'd become Poet Laureate in 2009.
'as I open the bedroom door. The curtains stir. There you are
on the bed, like a gift, like a touchable dream.'
Carol Ann Duffy - Rapture

Part of our Russian literature reading - Gogol
'Countless as the sands of the sea are human passions.' Gogol

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

22nd August 2009

Please indulge me as I re-live the memories from this time last year. Photographs a mixture of professional and friends.

Today favourite words from our service.
Thou wilt show me the path of life;
In thy presence is stillness and joy.
Psalm 16:11

'Glorious in His faithfulness'
Praise my soul the king of heaven - Henry Francis Lyte

'My beloved speaks and says to me:
'Arise, my love, my fair one,
and come away;
for now the winter is past,
the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth;
the time of singing has come...'
Set me as a seal upon your heart,
as a seal on your arm;

Song of Songs 2:10-13;6,7

'And now, my friends, all that is true, all that is noble, all that is just and pure, all that is lovable and gracious, whatever is excellent and admirable - fill your thoughts with these things.

Philippians 4: 4-9

'Be thou my best thought in the day and the night,

both waking and sleeping, thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Vision Irish Traditional

'Tell out, my soul, the glories of His word:
Firm is His promise, and His mercy sure
Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord
To children's children and for evermore.'

Bishop Timothy Dudley-Smith

The Lord Bless you and keep you,
The Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you.
The Lord lift up the light of His countenance upon you,
and give you peace. Amen
John Rutter

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Bathroom of the Vanities

Warmth bought me Christopher Reid's A Scattering for my birthday, it's a collection of poems he wrote after his wife died. Here's part of my favourite one, which seems appropriate as we pack up our flat. Thankfully we're packing up under very different circumstances to this poem.

Bathroom of the Vanities

The model mask, the mannequin moue,

the face I loved to catch her pulling

after sundry perfecting dabs

and micro-adjustments in front of the mirror

will never be seen, by me or the mirror, again.


Odd bottles in an orderly queue -

Issey Miyake, Parum, Tea Rose, the eternal billing

doves of L'Air du Temps - keep their caps

on, converse their last drops of essence and aura

and wait for no one.

Christopher Reid


How poignant thinking about all our lotions, potions, scents which we will leave behind.

The memories scents evoke...

Monday, 16 August 2010


On the bus with Warmth riding through High Street Kensington. A favourite place of mine to shop. A part of London where Warmth once had a shop. A shop where I popped in a few times. Did he serve me?

Love at First Sight Wislawa Szymborska

Since they'd never met before, they're sure
that there'd been nothing between them,
But what's the word from the streets, staircases, hallways -
perhaps they've passed by each other a million times?

I want to ask them
if they don't remember-
a moment face to face
in some revolving door?

They'd be amazed to hear
that Chance has been toying with them
now for years

Not quite ready yet
to become their Destiny,
it pushed them close, drove them apart,

There were signs and signals,
even if they couldn't read them yet,
Perhaps three years ago
or just last Tuesday
a certain leaf fluttered
from one shoulder to another?

There were door knobs and doorbells
where one touch had covered another
Suitcases checked and standing side by side.
One night, perhaps the same dream,
grown hazy by morning.

Every beginning
is only a sequel, after all,
and the book of events
is always open halfway through.

staircase, door, leaf, suitcase

Friday, 13 August 2010

Unknown Seas

Chatting with a dear friend at a party about 'when will I meet someone?' reminded me of these two quotes from Charles Dickens which comforted me. I tried to quote them to her but I'd drunk a little too much fizz.

'How can we tell what coming people are aboard the ships that may be sailing to us now from unknown seas?'

'Him who is coming to court and marry me'
'When is he coming?... Where is he coming from?'
'Why good gracious, how can I tell? He is coming from somewhere or other, I suppose, and he is coming some day or other, I suppose. I don't know any more about him at present.' Charles Dickens Our Mutual Friend


Thursday, 12 August 2010

Date Night

Out on the SouthBank meeting a friend and it seemed to be date central. The sun was shining, everyone was smiling and thinking about dating reminded me of this quote.
'I considered ducking the appointment, but eventually decided to let the heart speak, and rolled up. I had after all, spent three days wondering what it would be like to be married to her.' Julian Barnes Metroland


Does this ring true with you?

I spent ages trying to find the right image. In the end I chose this but I still get a little 'ooh' when it enters my line of vision plus it's on The SouthBank.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Elizabeth and her German Garden

Somewhere I read a post about 'Elizabeth and her German Garden' and being a great fan of Elizabeth von Arnim I tucked it away in my memoryand then lo and behold there was a copy in a second hand bookshop. Thank you to whomever originally posted about it. It was perfect holiday reading.

' I lived in a world of dandelions and delights. The dandelions carpeted the three lawns... under and among the groups of leafless oaks... were blue hepaticas, white anemones, violets... And then, before I had a little got used to the joy of their flowers against the sky, came the lilacs - masses and masses of them...

the acacias all blossomed too, and four great clumps of pale, silvery-pink peonies flowered under the south windows, I felt so absolutely happy, and blest, and thankful, and grateful, that I really cannot describe it. My days seemed to melt away in a dream of pink and purple peace.' Elizabeth von Arnim Elizabeth and Her German Garden

My days on holiday really did melt away in a dream....

dandelions , anemomes, lilacs, peonies

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Mighty Rivers

We've returned from our lovely holiday holidaying by the mighty Loire

'Human feeling is like the mighty rivers that bless the earth; it does not wait for beauty - it flows with restless force and brings beauty with it.' George Eliot Adam Bede