Repairing equipment of any kind is usually beyond me. The pocket reading glasses known I think as quick readers come apart in my hands as I take them from their case. One of the wings has come off. A tiny screw is missing which is all I need to restore the wing when it is slotted into place. But a miniature Phillips screwdriver is needed to secure it. I tip the case over a table and there is is the screw. But if I possess the necessary tool, I don't know where it is. Come on, improvise. The tip of a nail-file engages withe head of the screw, and to my surprise the screw tightens. A rare victory over the contrariness of objects.
The pressure of events can concentrate the mind. In the present circumstances between hospital visits, I find myself reading magazine articles from beginning to end, which I would normally no more than skim. I open a book of Zen stories beautifully written in Spanish. With a tranquillity worthy of the subject I read and slowly absorb one of the stories. A great calm descends.
I tip-toe, making use of the present tense and ensuring I don't disturb your trance. In the evenings I enter a trance of my own, reading The Red And The Black. But in English.
You don't strike me as the sort of person who would have crackers at Christmas. A bit too instantaneous, hardly trance-inducing. But if you do opt for the more expensive sort. Twice, maybe more, the little prezzie has been a spectacles repair kit. Nail varnish, if such there be to hand, will secure the screw.
I have somewhere a set of those invaluable tools from a Christmas cracker. We always have crackers at Christmas. But I couldn't find the screw drivers. The nail file did the trick.
I am glad that you are reading The Red and the Black. What an account of class and hierarachy, of intelligence and emotion, of calculation and cleverness. A truly French novel don't you think, which tells us a as much about the the French as say Middlemarch does about the English!
I read it in English the first time round.
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