What the Day Owes the Night

Posted on May 22, 2012


The first book arrived yesterday, left under a dwarf Lady Bush by the front door, (it’s a peach tree), the literary equivalent of a baby left under a gooseberry bush, except one you’d like to keep you awake at night.

The delivery is small and squat, with large print and reasonably short chapters – perfect for reading in bed, but impossible to shove under a plate-edge at lunchtime. The perennial problem. And before you say it, I know. Really. I do. A Kindle would solve this problem, but I do like holding books, smelling books, passing books on, swapping them in backpackers.  Across the cover, it announces that it’s an International Bestseller.  This means I’m evidently an idiot, as before I embarked on this jaunt, I’d never heard of it or its author.   Clearly, broadening my horizons was long overdue.

Now it’s here, I’m afraid to start. Starting means I’m really going to do this.   It means mapping out my reading for about 3 years.  I could well end up like one of those old people found under a pile of paper, without having cleaned the house, the dishes or myself, too short-sighted to notice the cobwebs and too deaf to hear the mice.  Oh well, as long as I lose my sense of smell, I shaln’t care too much I guess.

So… true to form when faced with a long journey, I’m going to start with one small step – somewhere else. Already I feel more energetic.

I was reliably informed today, that people have in fact been born in Antarctica.  Thanks Robert, but damn your eyes! This presents me with a problem. If people were born there, I have to read something from there.  Not only do I have to read something, I have to track down one of the 11 people who can call themselves Antarcticans, hope that they’ve written something, even if it’s only a school essay on what they did in the summer – watch the ice melt? – and I need to do this before I finish Angola in about three week’s time.

If anyone knows Emilio Marcos Palma, the first person born below the 60th parallel, do drop him a line.  Let’s hope he’s a poet at the very least.





Posted in: Reading