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June, 2013
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Goodbye to Iain Banks
6/28/2013 3:30:08 PM

A wet day and waiting for Wimbledon to get started. Lots of work I should be doing but I can always find a distraction! Sorting through the pile of newspapers for recycling and came across the Guardian final interview with Iain Banks,who sadly died of cancer a couple of weeks ago. Have been meaning to read this - big fan both of his writing - and if you haven't read 'The Wasp Factory', do it now - and of his amazing attitude to life. This article is also really illuminating about his very individual approach to his impending death:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2013/jun/15/iain-banks-the-final-interview?INTCMP=SRCH


Never got on with his scifi stuff but may be I should give it a whirl again - and definitely downloading 'The Quarry' to my Kindle now.

Some kind of miracle
6/26/2013 6:43:12 PM

Just saw a car with a Remembrance Day poppy attached to its front grille. It will be July on Monday. If I'm lucky, I might still have mine pinned to my lapel when I get home on the day I buy it - in November. That one's been out in all weathers - for over 6 months! Surely some kind of miracle.

Bah humbug!
6/24/2013 4:43:32 PM

The first email inviting me to plan the office Christmas party early arrived via email last week. Yes – in June! I know the weather is more like that of November but…

…I swore out loud and deleted.

Winter clothes in the loft
6/24/2013 4:41:50 PM
As a child, the start of summer was clearly designated: it was when you put your winter woollies away in the loft. (Although that was actually the ‘attic’ – when did I start saying ‘loft’?!) It was when you started wearing your summer uniform to school. These days, I’m usually out of tights and into strappy sandals by the end of May; obviously, this year is the exception! ‘Ne’er caste a clout till May be out’, they say, but Wimbledon has started and I’m still wondering if it would look odd to wear boots at this time of year. So when is it officially summer? In primary school, I’m sure we were taught that spring was March, April and May with June, July and August constituting summer. This was confirmed recently when I discovered that the Met Office also designates 1 June as the start of summer – or perhaps they all went to primary school in the 1950s! But this started me off on another train of thought: how come midsummer’s day is 23 June and what about 21 June as the summer solstice? All I can tell you with any certainty is that we still have the spring/autumn-tog duvet on our bed, supplemented by the eiderdown on some nights.
Always there - or self aware?
6/24/2013 4:39:44 PM

Is it co-incidence or a new awareness about something that a particular subject suddenly seems to be constantly in the news and a topic of conversation? A friend remarked a while ago that it was only after his Dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer that he realised how much news coverage there was of the illness. I remember when trying to sort out a care home for my Dad – and exploring the vagaries of funding this – the papers were full of stories about abuse of the elderly and parliamentary discussions about the need for reform in financing care. But are these issues always being reported in some shape or form or is it simply that a change of focus in our own lives brings this coverage to our attention?

Keep calm and read on
6/24/2013 4:37:33 PM

Egham high street on a Saturday morning. Pass a young girl sporting a T-shirt emblazoned with: ‘Keep calm and listen to Olly Murs’. And, while I’m still pondering that particular take on the rediscovered WWII propaganda, I spy a poster outside the local church: ‘Keep calm and know that I am God’. Well, I thought, even they’re jumping on the bandwagon now! But, a little research, and I discover that actually God got there first and everything since is a variation on Psalm 46:10. So I did smile when I saw another example: ‘Keep psalm and carry on’. Although, ‘Keep calm and drink champagne’, would probably be my own personal mantra.

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