Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Feeling like an ash hole

I'm eating cold sausages and bacon rashers left over from last night's pancake feast. Ash Wednesday today, so the Resident Fan Boy will give up coffee for the next forty days and compound his sacrifice by making coffee for me after dinner. This evening, if the weather is not treacherous, he will take the dried out fronds of the palm leaves that have been stuck behind a picture frame above the computer and get smudged with the ashes at church.

In the meantime, I climb the hill to younger daughter's school, trying to take arty pictures of February devastation.As I bring younger daughter to her locker, I take the opportunity to congratulate Guardian Angel on her award.
"What award?"
"The book review award."
"I won an award?"
At this point Russian Prodigy, a rather nasty piece of work who has been known to speak to younger daughter as if she's an imbecile when people are watching and stuff snow into her boots when they're not, appears from nowhere, fixes me with an alarmed stare and declares: "She's not supposed to know! We were told not to tell her!"
I return her stare and say: "But the parents got an email about it yesterday! There was nothing in it about it being a surprise!" Indeed, the lengthy and rather poorly punctuated message had appeared on my monitor the previous morning. Why on earth would they send such a notice and try to surprised the recipients more than 24 hours later? All the same, I leave the school under a cloud, and feeling rather upset and disgruntled, am halfway home before I remember I was wanting to take pictures of the stuff I missed en route to school.

While I'm snapping, I see a regular on my street, a book under one arm and her trusty dachshund under the other. It's a mystery, of course. The book, that is.
"They end well," she shrugs apologetically. "That's why I like 'em, I guess."
"Yes," I say, being a P.D. James fan and of not much else in that genre, "Justice prevails."

I wind up in the coffee shop to scribble and sort. I'm re-examining two of my favourite books about writing, both by Henriette Anne Klauser: Writing on Both Sides of the Brain and Put Your Heart on Paper. She's since come out with two more books and all are available at my library. A guy in one of the booths making business calls is intrigued and asks if I'm a writer. "Not for money," I smile ruefully. I've just read in one of the books: "The difference between a writer and an author is Page 53."

The coffee shop seems to be tuned to an easy-listening satellite station this morning; they're playing The Carpenters and that ghastly "I Am Your Lady" song from the Eighties, which would easily make the Songs I Loathe list. Before I'm driven out, though, a James Taylor ditty that I do like comes on (I don't like all of James Taylor's stuff, but he did write some lovely songs), and it just happens to be another one of the songs Launchcast sent me when I first began listening to my station. Here's the video for it, and check out who's singing back-up! Feeling a little less ashen, I make my way into the salty morning.

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