So. Much. Better.
Still a little ‘coughy,’ and the right nostril keeps seizing up - but whether that’s the cold or my youthful overindulgences coming back to haunt me is debatable. I’m going with the viral infection.
But, all in all, I can confidently say that I can see this cold thing fading. Every day a little more. And yes, it’s a slow and annoying process - I wanted to go back to the gym this weekend, but don’t want to hammer my body if it’s still mending - but it’s happening, and happening progressively, so all’s good.
The weather continues to be bitterly cold and dark and I’ve clearly being living in England too long, if my conversation has now become a series of statements of the bleeding obvious about the weather. It’s January. In Northern Europe. What do you expect?
Good things: The trains have, by and large, been on time (not an unremarkable event, I promise you), and, most importantly of all, IT HASN’T RAINED!
David and I have this ongoing clash over weather: I love the summer - hot days, balmy nights, give me a tropical Island Paradise any time (except, oddly enough, for the two weeks at the end of the year: Christmas is not Christmas if it’s not accompanied by Northern European weather. D, on the other hand, would quite happily Christmas in Australia). D, on the other hand, hates heat. “If I’m cold,” he reasons, “I can put on another layer. But if I’m hot, it’s impossible to take off any more clothes and I’m still uncomfortable.”
You can’t really argue with the logic, but still, I prefer heat. I dislike cold. I LOATHE rain. Loathe it. Snow, I can just about deal with - though it gets a bit hateful when it starts turning to slush. But rain - especially when one has no choice other than to go out in it - is pure spite from Heaven.
And like all spite from heaven - natural disasters, small children falling over - I have no problem watching it through glass - double glazing or HDTV screen, for example - but have no desire to actually partake.
Dinner last night was posh fillet of fish - “Pieces du Poisson,” perhaps? Basically, a six pack of finger rolls. Six Birds Eye Fish Fingers. Bake the fingers, split the rolls. Add to each roll a little salad, a dusting of finely grated cheddar, stuff the baked crispy fish fingers into the rolls, top with a drizzle of (surprisingly sweet) M&S Tartare Sauce, and devour. A bit no-really-cooking, but soooo good.
Lunch today, sadly, will have to be purchased, as the evening ran away with me; I spent it watching my new favourite programme - something that has that twat from Top Gear who isn’t the Clarkson Twat, and features lots of people running around in mud and swimming pools and receiving blows to the head (and not the good sort of blows, neither). I watched it in sheer horror, and found myself laughing and clapping like Liza Minnelli in a biscuit factory. Shameful but fun.
And I finished reading “The Secret Adversary”. This was Agatha Christie’s second published work (at the age of 32) and it is, quite frankly, a preposterous little book. In places, it’s beyond preposterous, but it’s a book I love reading and re-reading. It reminds me in places of some of Herge’s Tintin books. Having started her career with a Poirot detective novel, she, here, goes off on a sort of John Buchan ‘Adventure’ or proto-thriller type of thing so that, as opposed to a classic ‘whodunit’ we get a sort of ‘will-they-manage-to-do-it.’
Where it falls down is that it’s slightly lacking in any real tension - but then many of her books are, being more cerebral than genuinely emotional; the dialogue is a bit odd in places, but the book is 84 years old, and people - of a certain sort - most likely spoke in that “Spiffing, Top Ho,” (where the phrase Top Ho doesn’t refer to an excellent prostitute).
Where it stands is in the basic plotting, and the way that the dénouement, once it comes, is perfectly logical, in light of what’s been laid out before. By which I mean that all the loose ends are tied up, and all the little plot points - the point of which, in the main, has been to diffuse the readers’ suspicion, and create what tension there is - are explained, so the reader doesn’t feel cheated.
The Tommy & Tuppence stories (the two main characters - protagonists seems a rather grand phrase for so many of Christie’s characters) get infinitely better as they progress, so that by the time we get to By The Pricking of my Thumbs or Postern Of Fate, we’ve got some very good writing indeed. Even N or M, set during WWII, is, if I recall correctly, a cracking good read, with a highly surprising dénouement. But before we get to them, I need to read the short story collection Partners in Crime, which is slated for the book after next.
The weekend awaits, and is scheduled to include a trip to the garage with Sid the Car at 8am tomorrow for his annual checkup and first MOT cert; a haircut; a (frugal) trip to the supermarket; the tidying of, and discarding of as much as I can of, my home filing; writing - I have a final draft of a novel to polish, the first draft of the next novel to start, and a few short stories to tidy and send off to various places. Not all of it will be accomplished, but the first thing, this evening, is to decide what I’m going to do, ‘cos this is the weekend when the writing starts in earnest.
Have a great one, y’all!