Monday, September 20, 2010


I woke early. Some time in the first few hours after waking I made a list. The list seemed to be things I felt I had to complain about: the meeting place double-booked; the train company who charged me excess fare when the fault was theirs; the bookshop who forgot I was coming forcing me to make two journeys and then I had to chase some ideas I'd had and make some phone-calls.

I went to the gym and made my muscles ache: a good feeling. I showered again and then made the phone-calls. I put some laundry in the washing machine and sorted some that was dry into piles. Then I sorted the rubbish in the kitchen, removing junk mail from envelopes, checking that none of it was important: paper, waste, paper, cans, glass. An article or two caught my eye; one about Alzheimers and it worried me that I seemed to be failing all the tests.

It was lunch-time then so I ate at my desk and flicked open my Kindle and downloaded more Balzac. I read making notes about the way he wrote. the references to French history (which for him would have been recent events) and the slightly archaic vocabulary reflecting another time: 'poesy of their situation', 'phrenological study', 'lined his nose with snuff', a general marvelling at the 'German genius' and their 'capacity for reverie and mysticism', 'inutility', 'coquettishly', and the way 'capitalist' is a term of admiration rather than insult. And it seemed to me that there is so much already to read of such great worth, I wondered why does anyone bother trying to write more. So then, disconsolately, I did the ironing and listened to the last scrap of 'The Clockwork Bird Chronicle' by Murakami and realised why - there is still more to say.

And today I heard this: Albioni's second oboe concerto in D minor (opus 9) on the radio and loved it so much I repeated what it was again and again so I would remember it.


Anonymous ojimenez said...

"Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length" --Robert Frost

Thank you for Albinoni !

Tue Sep 21, 03:06:00 am  
Blogger Anne S said...

My favourite piece of classical music is also by Albinoni, the Adagio in G. You Tube link is

Apropos Kindle and free books, I've discovered a free E books site that actually has the entire Whittemore Jerusalem Quartet in ebook form (pdf). Whether this is legal I'm not sure, but at least they're not selling them for money. They also have Little,Big by John Crowley.

Tue Sep 21, 07:40:00 am  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

And thanks for your Robert Frost quote, Ojimenez! Very true.

Great link, Anne. Thanks you. Very smooth gorgeous violin-playing and the images are unusual and beautiful too.

Thanks too for the tip about I'm not sure about the legalities of all this either. I ought to investigate, I guess...

Tue Sep 21, 08:25:00 am  
Blogger Sue Guiney said...

Thanks for the Albinoni. A wonderful way to start the day.

Tue Sep 21, 09:35:00 am  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Hi Sue - yes, great, isn't it?

Tue Sep 21, 11:19:00 am  
Anonymous Mary said...

I'm so glad you came to the conclusion that books keep getting written because there is more to say. I would hate to have you stop writing. When I ran across your books on the library shelves, I was absolutely delighted. Not only had I read the two I saw (one was face-out on the shelf), I was pleased that I knew you from our online correspondence.

Sat Sep 25, 10:00:00 pm  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Oh Mary, you are so kind - thank you! I am very pleased to know you online too!

Sun Sep 26, 10:16:00 am  

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