Tuesday, 28 September 2010

I like the feel of a book.

Books are soft, they feel good in the hands, they have a certain weight. Then there is sentimentality: those carefully chosen books from a dear friend or lover, something is written inside the cover, there are pressed flowers in there somewhere as well, you read the book on some exotic holiday and the pressed flower is a memento. I have a book with rose petals from  a garden in India and all the wonderful people I met there wrote a memento inside. And books look good, there is design and artistry involved in creating the cover, they are meant to be seen and displayed and enjoyed.There are books with tear stains, coffee stains, locks of hair inside.I love my old books that when opened up have squiggles drawn inside by my children when they were toddlers.I remember the intense look in their little faces as they turned the pages, studied the content, and then drew a little toddler whirl with a biro. They even then knew there was something important about books and acknowledged this in their own way.Will ebooks bring the same joy and pleasure? No, they are sterile, cold and hard.Book sales may be diminishing but I don't think its because of ebooks taking their place, its a change environment, exciting, but its not the funeral of books, too much pleasure at stake.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Five men rule the world.( Sadly no women)

Tonight's BBC news reported on Rupert Murdoch wanting to buy out BSKYB. He owns most of the media here ( as well as Autralia?) and apparently is going after the BBC itself. Mr Murdoch and Bill Gates, and the trio at Google must be some of most powerful individuals that have ever existed on the planet.They are the new empires, overtaking McDonalds and Coca cola as global products. We are being told what to eat, drink and think. The only good thing I have to say about all of this, these guys didn't bomb or kill anyone to dominate us. If you know different answers on a postcard please, just for baddness.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Scary twitting and blogging.

I have just had this discussion with one of my fellow students on the Professional Writing MA about followers on twitter, some of the people following us, we have no idea who they are. Also we have both checked the stats views on blogger, and we are both attracting views from people in countries, who 1. by no stretch of the imagination can have any connection with us, and 2. English is definitely not their first language, and, 3. must have very little to do in their lives except scan random messages.More sinister than this? Don't know, don't like it, already been scammed, it wasn't nice.
   If Frankie and I, who I was talking about this to earlier on, were on a night out, and a couple of people who we didn't know suddenly started following us, we would probably hide, or maybe even ring the police. OK, I know there is a facility on twitter etc to block people but, somehow or other just randomly just picking up followers, for some strange reason only known to themselves, well, it just doesn't feel right.

Friday, 17 September 2010

First there were breakfast meetings-

and then there were training days on Saturdays and Sundays, but at least we got fed.I have had some first class lunches on training courses. I also remember about twenty years ago being served scones with fresh cream and jam, on arrival at a course! The recession has kicked in; I have had one of those weeks, two  cpd courses, both starting at 12.00 noon and running over lunch time,one course finished at 4.00pm, there was no food ! No sandwiches! Has the world gone mad? I know I lost weight this week.At least in the good old days of the breakfast meeting there was a fry -up waiting to send us  on our way.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Chairman Mao would have loved blogging.

He was just born at the wrong time. Can you imagine if he was around now, blogging would have been his favourite activity, or would it have been twitter. Maybe he would have used twitter if he had suddenly woke up in the middle of the night, with his laptop under his pillow, you know the way you do, a eureka moment that only comes in that strange dimension between waking and sleeping, some thought of genius, that will slip away too easily if it is not written down. It could perhaps be the answer to life the universe and everything, but it's just usually something mundane like 'Oh crikey I forgot to collect the dry cleaning.' But I digress Chairman Mao would have really really loved blogging and twitting, he could have given us so many more of his little red book thoughts.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

The answer to the Universe? Don't think so.

Stephen Hawking's   TheGrand Design is attracting a lot of comments, so I might as well put my spoke in.Another book, how sad, that sends out the message that there is nothing higher in life than a chemical soup.Hawking argues as strongly as those who justified, reasoned and proved that the earth was flat and the universe revolved around it.And it doesn't matter if you believe in God or not,but to put a religious spin on it Hawking must be bit of a God himself to be able to reduce us all to several black boards of chalk scratchings.So does all this theorising explain love, creativity,art,music,intelligence etc etc? No, it only explains where we  think might be at this point in 'time.'

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Hungry Hill

Underrated and nearly forgotten, perhaps with the exception of English Literature students, many of Daphne Du Maurier's works are gathering dust. As it happened by coincidence on a holiday in Glengariff in West Cork, my husband mentioned he had seen a Daphne Du Maurier in quite a lot of the local shops, even the grocery stores. I hadn't heard of Du Maurier's Hungry Hill, so I bought it and read it. She rises to the occasion, and is able to give a credible interpretation of the tensions between the dispossessed Anglo-Irish, dispossessed for they are neither one thing or the other; and the dispossessed Irish, the locals who see their land used to line the pockets of the Anglo-Irish landowners.Du Mauier's work, apart from being a gripping tale and worthy of being tuned into a TV costume drama, illustrates her perceptiveness of human nature and her ability to tell us what's going on inside her characters heads credibly and sympathetically. Its a classic as far as I am concerned, as it could even today give us insights into how some young men's brains work; this from a woman who was written off as a light weight romantic novelist. Her only fault in the book was to barely mention the Irish Famine.;