The wrong book arrives from Amazon. I ordered The Complete Poems of Elizabeth Bishop. What arrives is a work of serious, you might say, cold academic criticism. It is a compilation of articles on the poet and value judgments are largely absent. Most of the articles are in French. It is part of a series called Lectures d'une oeuvre. The layout of the cover reveals the reason for the mistake, as the title, introduced by the phrase Lectures d'une oeuvre is called The Complete Poems of Elizabeth Bishop, just like The Complete Poems of Elizabeth Bishop. As anyone reading this post will have gathered, I am rather keen on Elizabeth Bishop, so I think I will read these serendipitous lectures.
In Barrica, a tapas bar in London, there are some grilled, small green peppers called pimientos de Padron. I last ate them in a tapas bar in Madrid. The are slightly spicy in flavour but rarely hot like a chilli pepper. Only sometimes you are luck (or unlucky) enough to get a hot one. So the pleasure of eating them is enhanced (or marred)by an element of Russian roulette. On this occasion none of the peppers is hot. Had there been one, there are a number of sherries on the wine list to come to the rescue, rather in the way that dock leaves are said to grow near stinging nettles. A chilled, salty manzanilla would have done the trick. As it happens I have one standing by just in case.