An Unusual Iris: Cee’s Flower of the Day

While walking around Oxford yesterday evening — all the students are out with their families; restaurants and bars are sooooo crowded. Self is still wearing her mask but 90% of the people she sees aren’t — she saw this unusual iris! She’d never seen an iris this color before.

Posting for Cee’s Flower of the Day.

Flower of the Day: Ali Wall Shift Dress

Self had a fantastic time in East London, where she discovered her new favorite London store, Wall and Jones, on Hackney Road.

For today’s Flower of the Day (hosted by Cee Neuner), self is sharing a picture of one of her finds, a sleeveless shift dress with hoodie, by English designer Ali Wall. Hey, the print has white roses! Love it so much. When she wears it, she feels like she’s wearing an impressionist painting.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Poetry Friday: Meg Barton

RELATIVITY

from the chapbook I’d Still Have Been Annoyed About the Plums

Yesterday I threw out the shirt that I hate,
the one with the not-quite-comfortable collar.
Now that I am rid of it,
my mornings will be straightforward.

Today I threw away that hideous mug,
always the only one left in the cupboard.
Now that it’s gone,
drinking my coffee will always be a pleasure.

And now that Anna left last week,
Anna at work, who drove us all mad
with her grating voice and constant need for attention,
now she’s departed,
the rest of us will be able to live in harmony.

So how is it I never noticed
the other hated shirt before —
the one with the irritating buttons?
Or that mug with a chip on the handle?

And funny how annoying Gerald at work has suddenly become,
Eating his apple like that.

Thursday Trios: Oxford, May 2022

Posting for Mama Cormier’s Thursday Trios (even though it is Friday, ha!)

Self is in Oxford. It is raining today, here’s a picture of the cloudy skies and three antennas (?) on a long pole:

Her first meal in Oxford was this, at The Chester Arms on Chester Street. It was delicious!

There were three boats on the River Thames (almost the end-of-term, there are a lot of crew competitions going on):

Young Writer Angst

  • Yes, I had recently won a fiction contest that netted me all of two thousand dollars, but it was a laughable amount of money by business standards. To abandon the family firm and eke out a living as a writer seemed treasonous.K: A Novel, p. 126

Let’s Take Thoreau Down a Notch!

  • She was taken by Thoreau and seemed offended when I told her that Henry was not all he made himself out to be, that he had strolled into town most days to feast on his mother’s cookies. — K: A Novel, p. 83

Dean Chong Liu Chong of the CPC

While many of the foreign professors dressed like students and probably wanted to be students, if not sleep with them, I occasionally wore silk vests and tie clips. Every night I polished the incessant Beijing dust off my shoes. Perhaps I was overcompensating for my thin frame and boyish face. That afternoon, lowering my haunches to the blue couch, I felt like a freshman in big trouble.

“We are terminating your contract,” he said. “Your resident status will be revoked. You have one week to leave the country.”

I said nothing.

Why did I have such a hard egg in my throat? I had nothing to lose. This was not my country. I sometimes hated the place, I missed my sister and my mother, my best friend Mac, and yet I didn’t want to leave China.

K: A Novel, p.38

Sentence of the Day, 3rd Wednesday of May, 2022

The Chinese were making sure they would have graduates who could speak the mother tongue of every economically-relevant country on the planet.

K: A Novel, p. 28

Mid-Week Monochrome: Neal Street, London, First Week of May 2022

Posting for Brashley Photography’s Mid-Week Monochrome Challenge # 88 : WALKWAYS.

Professor K Ruminates on Everything, Including Anne Frank

Guess there isn’t much to do in Kun Chong Prison, which is why Professor K allows his mind to roam hither and thither.

For instance, he remembers the time a Chinese colleague asked him if he could offer up the names of exceptionally “angry” students. Actually, the colleague put it this way: “Do you have any students I can use?”

Then Professor K’s mind goes back through the mists of time. There was one student. Her name was Queena.

  • Queena reminded me of Anne Frank. Those shadowy eyes, the pointed chin, the puerile lips, the little cogs turning behind the face. As for the iconic photos of our most famous girl in hiding, I remember gazing at them as a boy and wishing Anne were prettier. Even then I knew it was a shameful and stupid thought, but I couldn’t help feeling sorry for her, that she wasn’t better looking. I couldn’t help wanting to fall in love with her and feeling that my failure to get the hots for Anne was somehow a failure to love the humanity we were all instructed to love.

Self finds this very, very funny. Apologies.

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