Monday, 9 August 2010

Life Isn't Fair, Darling

I am struck by the TOTAL UNFAIRNESS OF LIFE as I sit here with a COLD, in SUMMER, gloomily stuffing my face with Day Nurse capsules and contemplating whether to go and buy more Kleenex or just use loo roll to blow my already-reddening nose. I can handle sunburn in summer (and in fact am often forced to, what with the gingerness and generally lax attitude to sunscreen) but to have a cold in August seems rankly mean of Fate or whoever. Apparently the loo roll option is unwise, as it's generally made from wood pulp (rougher on the face) rather than cotton pulp. Oh, who cares anyway. Whatever happens I'm going to look like a crimson Spacehopper for the next week. The summer cold is particularly vile because you can't even wrap yourself in a duvet and sweat it out in front of a nice warm fire - and since I'm on a stupid stupid Atkins-type diet I can't have honey in my hot lemon and honey. Or hot lemon, as it now would be if I could face anything hot.
Reading a lot of amazingly good stuff at the moment -
the new Kate Atkinson ("Started Early, Took My Dog", due out 18th August), always good to see Jackson Brodie again, I'll let you know how it goes;
a quite extraordinary book by Tim Powers called "Last Call" which manages to convince you that Bugsy Siegel was in fact the last but one Fisher King, that the Castle Perilous is a casino in Las Vegas, and that if you ever play poker with Tarot cards you risk losing your immortal soul;
Procopius's "Secret History" which is basically the Byzantine version of the National Enquirer (you'll never guess how the Empress Theodora used to supplement her income in those pre-imperial career days!! No, really!!) - scandalous, gossipy, unputdownable;
"Ottoline And The Yellow Cat" by Chris Riddell, a completely charming childrens' book with illustrations worthy of Edward Gorey (but more optimistic).
I will also report back on "Brooklyn" by Colm Toibin and "Bel Canto" by Ann Patchett (book group choices) when I've got them out of the way. Sadly the cold has turned my brain into porridge and all I secretly want to do is read comics.