Just reading a book of ghost stories by E Nesbit (for grownups, not children) - full of moments where a character leans forward from his fireside armchair, takes his pipe out of his mouth, and says "Great Scott, Langley, haven't you heard? It can't have been Edwards you spoke to - he's been dead since last week!". I love that kind of thing (M R James is another deeply fabulous and creepy example). I know H P Lovecraft is supposed to be the daddy but I can't take seriously stories that end with a full paragraph in italics ("and as it drew closer, its tentacles waving blindly, I could barely prevent myself from screaming in HORROR as the ghastly THING crept from the bowels of Great Cthulhu..."). Rather like the difference between films of the eerily suggested (Hitchcock, for example, or "The Others") and the slasher-porn likes of "Saw IV". Obviously I'm aware that what with my equally lavish use of capitals and italics I can hardly diss Lovecraft but there you go.
Absolutely chucking it down today - well, we've had the requisite 4 days in May that constitutes a British summer, and as always I am incorrectly dressed. For the last couple of sundrenched days I warily went to work in a coat (which I always ended up dragging home, purple-faced and drenched in sweat) and sneakers (my ankles were swollen like a couple of butternut squash). Yesterday I daringly wore flipflops, and as a result am so abraded between my toes that I'm hobbling like the little mermaid. Today - sneakers, light cardigan, no coat... and it's hosing it down like a carwash. I am resigned to always wearing the wrong clothes but this is getting silly. Tomorrow I shall wear a ballgown, wellies, a pith helmet and longjohns. With SPF 50 and one of those silver-foil hypothermia blankets.