WIP: Raw

This is a story self started, 2014, in the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig. Kept it going when she moved from Annaghmakerrig to Inchicore. Father H still alive then.

Varnish and varnish. I’ll say this for K: she is tenacious. Especially about her delusions.

“Me mum’s a thick,” she said once. “A focking thick.”

“Hmmm,” I said.

“She a root rotter,” K said.

The “I” is a man, but everyone who’s read the story automatically thinks it’s a woman because they know self wrote it and she’s, umm, a woman?

LOL

Stay tuned.

Lynn Barber for The Guardian: Self Dies

Paul Theroux, 19 February 2000:

. . .  he didn’t look remotely like the Paul Theroux I met 15 years ago at a dinner party in London. That Theroux was urbane and elegant — this one is wearing shorts and has a string of dolphins tattooed around his ankle. Oh, please! You cannot be a serious writer and have dolphins tattooed around your ankle — I am sorry, it would take too long to explain, but you just can’t.

She is hilarious. Self first made her acquaintance (via The Irish Times) at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre (or TGC), spring 2014. She was instantly smitten.

Then forgot about her. Until just now.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

The Year 2016 Thus Far: Favorite Places

Philadelphia: So glad that she was in the City of Brotherly love when Orlando happened. Because there is something comforting about being in the city where her older sister went to Biz School:

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City of Brotherly Love: June 2016

New York:  Chris, William, Mandy, Carmen, Judy, Luis

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Living Room of Brother-in-Law’s Apartment, Manhattan, June 2016

The British Museum, because, because. Just because.

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Classical Elegance: The British Museum, early June 2016

Dodo and Helen came from different parts: Cambridge and York, respectively. We met in London:

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Everything is easier with friends: On the No. 10 bus, June 2016

And Bletchley Park:

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Swan, Bletchley Park, June 2016

Bloomsbury Square and environs:

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The Duke of Bedford’s Private Garden in Bloomsbury, June 2016

This is the first of a series of posts where self will keep looking back to 2016 Thus Far.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Pure 2: New York and London

  • “I love finding beauty in the mundane, and purity in the midst of our chaotic, over-connected world.”

— Jen H., Daily Post Photo Challenge (Theme: PURE)

Examples: a city-scape; a museum

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New York skyline, June 2016: The “purity” of early morning, the day not yet begun

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Classical Elegance: The British Museum, early June 2016

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Classical Elegance, The British Museum, June 2016

New York looks peaceful in the early morning light.

The venerable British Museum opened up its interior with classically simple lines.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Numbers 4: Exhibits, Museum of the History of Science (Oxford) and the British Museum

Self-explanatory!

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Oxford, England: May 2016

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Assyrian Gallery, British Museum, London: May 2016

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Another Caption from the Assyrian Gallery in the British Museum: May 2016

Sylvain Landry – Week 47: BLUE

The Sylvain Landry Week 47 theme is BLUE.

He always comes up with the most interesting prompts.

Self knows the picture is not entirely blue. But the blue that’s there is pretty obvious.

This is the Chihuly that’s in the lobby of the Victoria & Albert Museum. It’s a huge sculpture, jaw-dropping.

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In the lobby of the Victoria & Albert Museum, last week (May 2016)

Isn’t it gorgeous? Stunning?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Spare 5: More From London and Oxford

Self is thinking of “spare” as in “simple.” Below, three more examples.

First picture: 6th floor, Tate Modern in Banksea.

The view. It’s all about the view.

The meat pie isn’t bad, either.

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The Tate Modern is housed in what used to be the Battersea Power Station. In keeping with its industrial spirit, everything in the Tate Modern has that utilitarian feel. Even the restaurant, on the 6th floor. It’s called The Kitchen.

2nd: A few days ago, self was in Oxford. Her host, Jenny Lewis, took self (and Abigail, whose 9th birthday is coming up! And Abigail’s dad, Tom) on a boat ride.

Oxford is 120 miles from London. She vaguely remembers the guide saying it took about three days to go by boat from there to Oxford (This was probably in the era of the Tudors)

Here’s the view at the start of the boat trip:

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Boating in Oxford: Sunday, 29 May 2016

Final picture: When self is in London, she stays in a very simple hotel. She loves to walk, and explore bookstores and museums. Though she never ends up straying very far from Great Russell Street.

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Those slash marks in self’s half-broke camera turned out to be a plus! Especially in taking pictures like this, that have a very “still” quality.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

SPARE: Daily Post Photo Challenge, 27 May 2016

Spare landscapes are often quite beautiful in their minimalism (if you choose to look)

— Krista, The Daily Post

Below are a few pictures that struck me as evocative of this week’s theme, SPARE:

Self took a walking tour of Oxford, day before yesterday. The quadrangles in front of the main buildings are surprisingly spare: free of fountains and monuments. Pristine.

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The building used to house Oxford University Press.

The India House was of course a very important building, especially during the days of the British Empire. With true British understatement, there are no signs indicating the building’s historice function: only the elephant on the weathervane:

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Weathervane on top of India House, Oxford, UK

Finally, the Weston Library is a moden structure directly across the street from the Bodleian Library, one of the oldest libraries in Oxford. The facade is spare, with one banner announcing the current exhibit (in honor of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death): Shakespeare’s Dead:

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A banner announces the Weston Library’s current exhibit.

Hope these are suitable examples of SPARE.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Sometimes You Just Gotta Have That Chocolate Milkshake

Have dear blog readers ever tasted a lukewarm chocolate milkshake?

(Self knows, right?)

It is a hot day in Oxford, UK. Everyone strolling around, including three tourists who are attracting attention for a (fake) loud quarrel — self is pretty clued-in now to what’s fake and what’s real. All you have to do, really, is look at the person’s face. The woman who is allegedly being wronged by her two male companions has a huge, shit-eating grin on her face. She has cropped, dyed-platinum-blonde hair. She has deep brown, leathery skin. She’s wearing blue jeans and a white tank top. This makes her stand out because most of the women self sees around Oxford are of two, maybe three types: young Asian women who are extremely thin, very stylish, and very low-key; young white women who wear sneakers, cigarette jeans, and muted sweaters; older white women who dress a bit eccentrically, in floppy hats, or voluminous, bright sweaters. The strange woman keeps screaming, at the top of her voice, ruining a pleasant afternoon: LEAVE ME ALONE! ASSHOLE!

Really, self hates the drama. This is on a tiny street, where everyone’s so quiet, they all jerk their heads up and look alarmed. If self were to be truly cynical about it, which she isn’t, she might hug her purse closer to her body, just in case there is a point to this loud altercation.

Demonstrative fake quarrel aside, today self got to:

  • see a couple of Shakespeare folios
  • see the Harry Potter dining room
  • see an annotated map of Tolkien’s Middle Earth
  • check out Blackwell’s Crime & Thriller section, where she jotted down the titles of a couple of mysteries she wants to add to her reading list.
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An Amazing, Almost-Summer Day in Oxford, UK

Really, if a lukewarm chocolate milkshake is the worst part of self’s day, she’s had a pretty good day.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Elena Ferrante and the Expert Use of Abruptness

I recall him as short and broad, but handsome, with a proud face. One night he came out of the house as usual and died . . . The funeral was very bitter . . .

My Brilliant Friend, by Elena Ferrante

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