Showing posts from 2018

Heartburn & Paris Etc

I never seem to read anything in sequence for book group anymore.  Wrong book for the wrong meeting, or I have to go home because I was falling asleep because I spent three hundred hours of my life filling in forms for the government to satisfy itself that I am doing my job (generally ensuring that I don't have time to do my job) or some other thing.

So here is my record.  Not even all about books.  After the wonderful America is not the Heart by Elaine Castillo, I read Nora Ephron's Heartburn, (originally published c.1983 and recently reissued by Virago Classics, for the first time.

After reading almost everything I could find about Elaine Castillo after finishing her novel, this is what stuck in my mind:
What is striking about “America Is Not the Heart” is how it’s unapologetically Filipino, peppered with expressions in Ilocano, Pangasinan, and Tagalog and nuances like wearing tsinelas, calling everyone Ate, faith healing -- with no italics, no footnotes, no glossary of terms…

America is not the Heart

"Your word for love is survival.  Everything else is a story that isn't about you."
Today is about the novel America is not the Heart.  This book is really good, and it has made me think a lot.  I've even staved off reading my next book (Nora Ephron's Heartburn) so that I can think about America is not the Heart some more.  I hadn't finished it in time for book group, and no one else wants to talk to me about it (yet), so this morning I decided I could articulate my thoughts on my little, old, mostly neglected blog.  At least the thoughts could take solid form instead of swirling in my head.

I found a review for America is not the Heart when I was looking on the Guardian for something new to read.  It's a great place for new inspiration for me - it's where I found Sarah Perry's The Essex Serpent, Tobias Hill's What was Promised and Selina Todd's The People.  The New York Times review for America is not the Heart was similarly promising.


Ancient remedies

I went away for the weekend and suffered a traumatic incident.

It started off quite innocently.  I was at my parents house, and they have properly (wastefully) good water pressure and gas hot water and so I had a very long shower and eventually followed that with borrowing Mum's hair dryer.

Ever since Hitchcock's shower scene, we have known that bathrooms are dangerous.  Behind the clean white lines lurk danger, and yesterday was no exception.  There should have been high pitched violins playing when I decided to step on Mum and Dad's scales.

The scales told a message I was not interested in hearing, using numbers I did not think should have relevance to me.  I thought they might be broken, but my longsuffering and ever loving husband just talked supportively about exercise when I told him, which is not the same at all as declaring the scales corrupt and incorrect.

So it's no bloody wonder that I'm looking at dressing in stretchy jeggings and flowy merino tunics.  …

Trousers should stay up

Trousers should stay up.  Who knows what part of my anatomy will need a sewing intervention next.  It took me far too many years to develop successful interventions on my cleavage (or more specifically, how to cover it without strain lines - even tent dresses require alterations). 

Ageing seems to be about parts of my body migrating south.  I can now see exactly how fat ankles come about, and no doubt that is a joy in store for me once I sort out keeping trousers in the right place.

I think back five years, even three, and I don't recall walking down corridors hitching my trousers back above my belly.  Or stopping in my office to hike my waistband back up to where it should live.  There is no positive behaviour management system for my body, or not one I'm looking for right now. This is not a zone for discussing exercise.  Or spanx.  I'm not that kind of feminist

So, I'm back in maths mode this afternoon, thinking about where the tension should best be in order to ho…