Tuesday, April 10, 2012
accuracy turquoise box
Got it wrong I think.
In the sunshine the black feathers of a magpie's tail glow with a turquoise sheen.
Hall's is not disposed to display books in French. Sabrina, the proprietor doesn't see the point of them. But staff and customers have prevailed. Beneath the central table, where newly arrived volumes are displayed, is a cardboard box. Readers of books in French are well advised to investigate. Today I find a Petit Larouse - a combined dictionary and encyclopedia, which no household where French is important should be without. I already have one, but having been driven on one or two occasions recently to carry it upstairs and then take it back to its home downstairs, I am tempted to invest in another, one for upstairs, one for down. If invest is the word. Sabrina is as generous in disposing of her French stock as she is reluctant to conserve it.
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The traditional symptom of growing old was when policemen started looking younger. But you have touched on another: the growing weight of dictionaries. Several years ago I too decided that one proper one (downstairs) wasn't enough and I needed one within arm's length (hand's length, by now, after some spatial reorganisation) here in my atelier. It allowed me to experiment. For decades I have upheld Chambers against Oxford. Crossing over for the upstairs dicker would have seemed like treachery so I bought the proper-length Penguin, albeit as a paperback. Advantage: better typography. Disadavantage: The spine is beginning to crack.
Logistical note. Both the Penguin and the Collins-Robert French-English lie flat on my atelier desk (actually a large bare-wood table bought from Ikea) after I discovered that storing them upright on the shelves behind was inimical to their bindings and to the power of my waning biceps.
Same reason I question the desirability of classy cast iron cookware for everything. I like my big pots When I heard someone expressing a desire for a Le Creuset stove-top kettle to replace their electric one, I thought that was some kind of stupid.
We always used to say that road sign represented a man having trouble with an umbrella!
Sorry meant to say 'I like my big pots... on occasion but I like to be able to reach for a lightweight stainless steel or aluminium job for everyday tasks.' This was an insertion I was in the middle of when distracted and forgot I hadn't finished.
Never say I don't allow you into the writing process!
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