Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Psst...over here

I'll be posting for the month of June - the entire month, as in every day - at a new address. Join me at from June 1st!

I will keep updating that blogspot and not here, but don't worry, I remain

Randomly Yours,

Monday, May 23, 2011

French Elegance

Author: Muriel Barbery
Book: The Elegance of the Hedgehog
Language: Translated from French
Publisher: Gallic Books, 2008

A writer friend of mine urged me to read this book, so when I saw it in the airport bookshop I decided it would keep me company for the flight home from Barcelona. My copy has a beautiful cover, with dreamy-coloured French houses in twilight, a stained-glass window effect and (appropriately) elegant text. Humour and levity balance the profound thoughts of life,  culture and the delicacy of human interactions.

The hedgehog of the title is the book's main character, Renee. More cultured and observant than any concierge ought to be, Renee is a clever but understated woman who conceals her inner elegance. She is known as Madame Michel to the residents of the prestigious Paris apartment on the Left Bank. The novel is propelled by two narratives, one from Renee and the other twelve-year-old Paloma, who lives in the apartment where Renee is the concierge. Paloma is not your typical preteen. She is determined to escape what she believes is a 'predictably bourgeoise future' (Gallic, back cover copy) and is intent on writing 'profound thoughts' in her journal prior to committing suicide on her thirteenth birthday. She is one of three people who sees glimpses of the intelligence Renee tries to hide.

The characters' speech is nuanced just so, and the travails of everyday life are expressed in sure, deliberate prose. Barbery's supporting characters could easily have been empty caricatures, but each contributes to the atmosphere of Renee's Paris. The book is charming and accessible, and French down to the spine.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Wedding, as Tweeted by Me

I never would have thought I'd be on Twitter, much less tweeting about the royal wedding of Wills and Kate - but it was nice, given that I was at home with Jody on our couch, to feel like we weren't the only two people watching. I made tea, cucumber sandwiches, and curried egg sandwiches, and we toasted the couple.


Nearly missed the first glimpse of  in her dress b/c Jody chose tonight to rip apart TV and other cables 

In reply to my friend KF, who tweeted: Advanced Hair Pro William. Speak to Warney after,  Better a balding husband than one with big ears. 

John Rutter has composed a song with lyrics from Psalms for the Westminster choir - what a lovely wedding gift

It's ok to transform your partner, but don't try to reform them - wise words. This address is very nice. # royalwedding

In reply to my friend KF, who tweeted: YEE. I heard the word YEE. And now doth. THIS WEDDING IS THE BEST. Thou! Oh man. THEE.Don't forget TROTH

What is up with Princess Beatrice's hat? 

Now that's what I call a carriage  

Waiting for the balcony kiss. It better not be on the cheek,

Two little kisses, and now the flypast.  

 couple interviewed by ch 7 - he flubbed his words, "It's a once in a moment lifetime."  

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