Sunday, December 19, 2010

What? Muppets.

I know I have posted this, but it's that time of the year, and it is made of win and awesome.

In other news, long walks are good, weather that is not trying to kill one is good, and, needless to say, coffee is good.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

The face of the earth

Is overrated. Personally, I would like to recommend a nice fallout shelter with food, booze, all those books I have but have not read, the collected Doctor Who and all of Shahrukh Khan’s movies. Give me the winter months and I bet I can come up with some really good crossovers (you know that RFD would have approved of a singing, dancing, besequined Doctor). Because really, what is winter but a succession of errands and obnoxious music followed by an extra dose of cold? (Why yes, I am all in black today. Black is what I wear on the outside because black is what I feel on the inside. With a purple cardigan and blue scarf I am managing to look both cheerful and bruised)

Also, I am old. I was just looking for a good picture of Shahrukh Khan in sequins* – surprisingly hard to find, given how many shiny, spangly costumes he wears – and happened across some fairly revealing shots. I made a little noise, covered my eyes, and thought, ah, my, that is quite indecent**.

*You're welcome. You now also have Deepika Padukone in a princess Leia bra
**And, frankly, a little gay, even with the women.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

In the interim

I briefly interrupt my regularly scheduled Bollywood to listen to The Great Gatsby, a book I read years ago and don’t remember at all, and which I took up again to prepare to a lecture that was, in fact, about Tender is the Night. Go figure. Mostly, I feel the same as I did when I first read the book – it defies me, like On the Road. I don’t get it. It faintly bores me. And yet...I read the end four times, the very end...

“Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter — to-morrow we wi

ll run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . . . And one fine morning ——-

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

All by itself, that is some of the most beautiful and sad prose known to man.

By the way, Beirut’s The Flying Club Cup must be the perfect accompaniment: “a Sunday smile...we wore it for a while...”.

I may now go read that book about insanity and death.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

What (not) to do

What do you do with yourself when you get overwhelmed with the giant stack of things in front of you? I know what I do. When I was in college I would run off during study sessions for, say, English linguistics, to learn Latin grammar. I am not at all kidding. Today, freshly home from Thanksgiving travel and faced with a giant pile of things to do, I repress the desire to start learning a new language, though that would make me happy. I repress the desire to try catching up on all my podcasts. I repress the desire to run away and bake things. But I will allow myself to watch my new movies as I do all this stuff that I am supposed to.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

So long, and thanks for all the pecan pie

Post-Thanksgiving there is a brief lull which is mostly given to the eating of leftovers and pie. It is a lovely lull, perhaps even better than the excellent event itself. I have been long overdue for a break in the persistent cloud cover of crazy, so I am grateful, very grateful, for that. In fact, I have much to be grateful for - much love and support above and beyond. Yet today I am mostly grateful for the opportunity to sit down and do nothing. Play Robot Unicorn Attack -not even any reading of my Most Excellent and Learned Tome.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


One of the really double-edged swords of adulthood is a love of comfort/a dislike of being inconvenienced. Having the resources to achieve comfort is a wonderful thing, and I cherish it, but if it makes me reluctant to go camping or try something new, then all is not well. I hate changing plans (and planes, for that matter). South America seems too dangerous to me. Australia is very far. India would require too much language learning. Even Germany feels kind of bothersome. I am too young to be this unadventurous.

Time to bring out the old penguin trick:

Ramón: [standing ontop of a cliff, trying to get ready to jump off]
Ramón: I can do this, I can do this... I have to trick myself.
[points at something behind him]
Ramón: Boy, look at that!
[looks at where he's pointing]
Ramón: What?
[falls off the cliff]

Thank you, Happy Feet.

That said, I still love my only-mediumly-famous famous people; my days of standing in the rain for six hours for anyone (hello there Greg Dulli from the Afghan Whigs – not even that famous; or that attractive*) are most definitely at an end. Besides, the mediumly famous are usually nicer; and these days niceness in the face of fame seems so much more impressive to me than glamour**.

*Not to knock Greg Dulli, but he ain’t no (pre-cheese-farm-wedded-bliss) Alex James
**If I want glamour, there’s always Shah Rukh Khan’s filmography. Singing! Dancing! Political overtones! Why is it that Bollywood is so inherently more glamourous than anything else? It has an unabashed love of the kitschy-yet -pretty, the hackneyed-yet-charming that I find especially appealing just at the moment.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Field hockey

Which I was offered many chances to play once upon a time. I don't regret not playing it; I seem to recall it involved rather a lot of bruised shins. Instead I watched Chak De India, a field hockey/Indian version of my beloved Bend it like Beckham, which is another movie about an underdog women's team in a sport I don't care about overmuch, sporting a coach shown to best advantage in white shirts. I recommend it. Especially to the Spouse, who wishes I played field hockey, and who will have to remain disappointed in that wish.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Backstory: a few weeks ago, I wrapped up a crazy week by going to a Bollywood party some friends had invited me to. I had a great time, but spent far too much time being glued to the miscellaneous screens, trying to follow the movie. Upon investigation, it turned out to be Om Shanti Om, I netflixed it, and my, what a romp.

Happy TDEC: *swinging happily to the freshly purchased soundtrack*
Reflective TDEC: It’s annoying that I can’t sing along. And that I have no idea of the background of any of this.
HTDEC: Mmm, sure, but think of the fun! The outrageous costumes! The dancing! The men whose masculinity is not diminished by shiny outfits and ruffles
RTDEC: Ok, sure, but what if some Indian person caught me listening to this. I’d look like a tool
HTDEC: RTDEC, who cares? Besides, what are you planning to do? Drive by Indian shops blasting Deewangi Deewangi?
RTDEC: I'd look stupid, wouldn’t I? Like a wannabe?
HTDEC: It’s a song, woman, not a statement
RTDEC: Can’t it be both?
HTDEC: You are being just like when we were fifteen and on vacation in the UK and you refused to speak English for fear of sounding foreign
RTDEC: I am self-conscious now
HTDEC: Will you just SHUT UP already? I am trying to enjoy the song. Look at the screen. The guy is wearing a pirate costume for no reason at all. Can’t you just be grateful?

Thursday, November 04, 2010

More blood, please?

It must be the time of year or the election, but it's Wednesday evening and I'm watching Being Human - a ghost, a werewolf and vampire combo deal - reading Sunshine in print - more vampires - and listening to The Eyre Affair. I'm trying to remember whether that last one has any vampires but I'm getting mixed up. Do you think there's a theme here?

Only Sunshine is really convincing me just at the moment, because it has vampires and cinnamon buns, and how can you go wrong with that? Being Human just kind of disappoints me, mainly because the vampire sort of looks like Aidan Gillen but isn't actually him. How very superficial of me, I know, but for now I have put my serious death and suffering (Under the Banner of Heaven) aside for some light death. The Eyre Affair certainly has plenty of that, vampires or not - and yes, I just remembered, it does actually have both werewolves and vampires, though not a lot of either. I swear I am not doing this on purpose. Well, it does make me forget about the Democrats for a while, and that must be good. The time travel/werewolf/vampire thing will distract you. You know what this evening needs? It needs a unizombie. I mean a zombie/unicorn hybrid, you know, undead, shiny, good hair.

Fuck, it's Edward Cullen, isn't it?

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Epic fail

You know, these days I am so careful about what I write on teh interwebs that I hardly get to write anything fun. This morning, however, I am too angry to care. Really, this country deserves better than this ship o' fools. I just watched the Democrats - the people who are quite as bad at living up to their supposed values as the Republicans - lose one of the biggest advantages in history, in spite of the best Republican efforts to shoot themselves in the foot (hello Christine O'Donnell!). I don't blame the Republicans. They do their thing. No; me, I am angry with the Democrats for failing utterly to make what is a pretty simple case, so that they could at least lose on merit rather than on sheer inanity. How about "we made it so that people can't be excluded from healthcare based on existing conditions" ? How about "we actually lowered taxes for the middle class"? But the Dems lived up to their rule of the last two years: all pussyfooting and lack of message. These are the same people who can't get out of their own way on popularly supported issues like the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell.

Sigh. What morans. For a moment there, they had a message. And then then they got distracted by a shiny thing.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


I have at least four really great ideas for blog posts and not enough energy to do them. But here is one vague stab at one that occurred to me earlier. I was reading about the budget cuts in Britain. Now, I dislike a Tory government as much as the next person but while reading this made me angry, it also made me feel sane. It was, after all, what I would expect of a conservative government. It is consistent with conservative values: smaller government, cuts in education, science and the arts; most of all, they are actually trying hard to balance the budget. And I feel about that much like I feel about Margaret Thatcher - I disagree with the policy, but I value that it is, at least, consistent. No extra spending on defense, and yes, even a tax hike for some higher income families. So they can balance the budget. It's a close to respecting the Tories I have come in a long time. Except then I remember that they are after the BBC, and anyone who threatens the BBC will be slapped with a wet towel repeatedly. No, you may not.

I'm with Mitch Benn on this. Did I mention Doctor Who?

Wednesday, October 06, 2010


My yoga teacher - when I did yoga - used to say that it was all practice. What he meant was that in yoga, as in life, it is more productive to work towards improvement than towards a fixed set of goals. Fixed goals do only limited good. They provide focus, but do not allow for the setbacks which all of us find every now and then. Not a very flexible model. Moreover, being goal-oriented draws attention away from the biggest part of the enterprise - the way in which you get there. Does it make you a happier human? A kinder one? A more fulfilled one? No? Maybe you're doing it wrong, if you'll excuse the lolcat reference. To quote a favourite obscure poet, "balance is the biggest part of movement"

Have a lovely evening.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010


As in: things you do to be interesting
Like read the New York Times, and Jon Krakauer books. Makes for good conversation. Making good conversation is important in life.

As in: raising one eyebrow. Fascinating...

As in: euphemism for you've bored me now I'm too polite to say something about it, to complain that I don't want to see any more pictures.

As in: no, really, it is interesting. I am interested.

I am mostly interested in tea, sleep and books this evening, and therefore of interest only to myself this evening. Have a lovely one, my friends. I am too incoherent to do more today.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Spread thin

“One stomach flu away from my golden weight”

In the words of The Devil Wears Prada. It’s what I keep thinking, because people keep telling me that I’ve lost weight. They mean it as a compliment, so I try to be gracious, not one of my skills at the best of times. My feeble efforts are considerably preferable to saying what is in my head, which is approximately the following: yes, it’s my steady diet of misery, caffeine, stress and chocolate. Right now I’m nauseous and I’ve slept about four hours, and today is a pretty good day, because at least I didn’t lie awake because of anxiety.

It’s all both true and not true. On Friday I saw a debate on zombies versus unicorns, Saturday I bought books and barley tea with a friend, and Sunday was all about crepes and more books. How bad can things really be?

I’m listening to Beirut, and this music really does sound like Beirut Unvisited, like eastern Europe in the sixties, like memories of French beaches.

So much to be grateful for. So much to be haunted by. So perhaps this is the perfect song.

Monday, September 27, 2010


It is as good a way as any, I suppose, to end the weekend: with Daleks. Or Darleks, if you like.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Next week is Banned Books Week. Time to whip out Lady Chatterly at Tom Lehrer's advice:

But seriously, time to sit in the park, reading And Tango Makes Three. The world needs more penguins.

However you do it, celebrate your right to read whatever you bloody well like.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Literarary pondings

A definition:

“It is the moment when our resolution seems about to become irrevocable—when the fatal iron gates are about to close upon us—that tests our strength. Then, after hours of clear reasoning and firm conviction, we snatch at any sophistry that will nullify our long struggles, and bring us the defeat that we love better than victory.”

Oh George Eliot and her infallible understanding of human frailty. Apt, too, the speaker: I first heard the quote from a hamster of a man, my first English professor, a truly engaging teacher who was later quietly removed for indiscretions with a student.

Anyway, that is The Mill on the Floss.

Perhaps more cheerily, this gloomy day (in my head - it was a glorious autumn day in the outside world) reminded me of Shelley -

"If winter comes, can spring be far behind?"

It seems especially pertinent today. Potent? Pungent? Portentous perhaps...

Friday, September 17, 2010


Which it isn't yet officially, but you can smell it in the air, crisp in the mornings...
I may need to buy some cider this weekend, and plan a camping trip (not actually take one - I'm working tomorrow afternoon. Bleh.)
But first Friday, and the annual budget. The crazy thing? I actually kind of like doing the budget.

Have a good Friday!

Saturday, September 11, 2010


I used to live in Portsmouth, where Dickens was born. The house still stands, in the little bit that remains of the old city - the rest of it is pretty ugly these days, not much helped by contemporary efforts. In the year I lived in Portsmouth, I visited the good ship Victory several times. I went to London and Brighton and Bristol and Cardiff, and loved it. Southampton even, though mostly for the shopping, and lovely Chicester and Winchester where Jane Austen is buried.

But Dickens now; I made a point of not visiting his birth house. I don't believe much in birthplaces, which are usually the crummy towns that motivate people to get the hell out. One could easily see Portsmouth that way, though I am very fond of it. It is not a highbrow place, and wouldn't have been in Dickens' time. Mostly, however, I just didn't care much for Dickens, the most commonplace of Victorian writers when I always loved obscurity & decadence. Oddly enough, that never stopped me from reading his books - I read The Pickwick Papers and Great Expectations, enjoyed the latter quite a bit, but stopped there. A few weeks ago, a colleague of good judgment and taste recommended the most recent production of Bleak House, the 2005 mini-series. I watched it all in one go before leaving for the heimat two week ago. It is quite spectacular, and I am wondering if I need to revisit Dickens. Wondering whether, after all the Nice Soothing books I've been reading, I should revisit Dickens' murky world. He has such great characters, and a sort of gentleness in subjecting them to misfortunes that almost reminds me of early Tennessee Williams. Peculiar. Perhaps adulthood is making me unafraid of conventional, and almost unfashionable, reading...

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Tomorrow I am off to the heimat. As I finish Dorothy Sayers & Jill Paton Walsh's Thrones, Dominations on my walk to the market, I find myself reminded of a person I used to be, and used to like being. You know, I miss Britain. I kind of miss the person I was when I was there. As for the heimat, it will be good to be there. My plans are scattered at best, so I am hoping this does not lead to disaster. I just haven't had headspace to plan.

This is about all I have had room for:

Oh, and Shakespeare in the park, apparently. Hm. Picnic.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


In a stack, beside the bed. Asimov, Orson Scott Card - Ender's Game, Arthur C. Clarke, and two Rex Stout books.

I just bought Philip Pullman's The Shadow in the North. Why? Maybe it was just Billie Piper being on the cover.

And yet instead of reading I am watching Perfect Strangers. Eighties comedy, stereotypes, and pink shirts.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Hamlet, sort of

Hamlet. It’s been a while since I’ve thought about Hamlet, and what with Emilie Autumn and my renewed crush on Ten, hence also somewhat on David Tennant, I find myself contemplating the sweat prince (ah, obscure In the Bleak Midwinter references!) once more. Why Emilie Autumn? Well, because of Opheliac, song and album, which could with more justice be called Hamletiac, though I admit it doesn’t sound nearly as good.

“Doubt thou the stars are fire
Doubt thou the sun doth move
Doubt truth to be a liar
But never doubt I love”

she sings. Confessions of love from a mad prince are about right. I’ll need to rewatch it this weekend (right, TDEC, what you need at this critical and difficult juncture in your life is 500-year-old death and suffering, as re-enacted by Patrick Stewart and David Tennant. Just the thing, actually.) I wish I could watch Cambridge Spies:

Queen: "Never trust a man with a bad moustache. Homosexualists never have moustaches... Have you noticed? I think it's a signal... To other chaps... 'Look! No moustache! Come and get me!' Ponces and spies, Anthony. The people with the most to hide never have moustaches. So which are you, Anthony? Ponce or spy?"

Anthony Blunt: "Oh... A little of both... Aren't we all?"

There, just the thought of it makes me happy. And it would make for a perfect day-long escape into the world of lovely British drama. You know, I kind of resent my fetish for Tennant. Sam West is lovely, and kind of obscure, especially out here, and he loves poetry and cross-stitching and fencing and theatre. He wears hats. He’s lovely. But David Tennant? David Tennant is just some Scottish bloke. I would love to blame it all on my love of the Tenth Doctor, but I love him in a bunch of other things too, he wins me over every time, but I still resent it. I hate it when I get lured into a mainstream filmstar crush, and he’s as mainstream as you get in Britain. And for all my long-standing affection of all things Scottish, I don’t like his Scottish accent, and find it jarring; I find his real self jarring*. It’s the kind of thing I wish I could talk myself out of. Only then, when I’m not looking, I will find myself watching Human Nature again and...

Notice how I used my Misery Cloud as an excuse to go on pointless tangent about David Tennant and Sam West and the general atrophying of my brain?

I am pathetic, yet happy.

*Oh, who am I kidding. He does bedtime stories. He kissed John Barrowman. Surely that wins him some reality points?

Monday, August 09, 2010


It's been a long time, and between the end of this season of Doctor Who and my abominable life, there hasn't been much to say. This morning I woke up from dreams of said Doctor (escapism? surely not!) and I thought - it must be time to make myself heard, even if it is early in the morning. I wish I had a whole morning to just sit and play Robot Unicorn Attack. Alas. Coffee and work will have to suffice.

(Maybe also that cardboard cutout of the Tenth Doctor)

So my dear and unfortunate reader, may your week bring, at least, a few hours of Robot Unicorn Attack and some silly eighties sitcom. Perfect Strangers? It'll do.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


I’ll do this like This American Life, in three acts.

Change – plus ça change?

In French they say that the more it changes, the more it stays the same. Like most clichés, it is both true and false. I am the same person I was when I was twelve, essentially – silly, game for most things, obsessed with books and loveliness. These days I find that I am also different. The best way I can think to express it is that my hands are hard to relax. It becomes harder to let go – harder to be generous, open, honest, emotionally free. Circumstances teach secrecy and parsimony, and I resentfully learn.

Change – unlearning

Changing is like getting chicken pox – a real bitch once you’re grown up. And yet here you are with your nose to the wall, and clearly you didn’t get where you wanted to be, and suddenly change doesn’t mean moving again (oh the lovely drug of geography), it means sitting down and talking to yourself sternly. Like science, it’s often counter-intuitive, and you think of Elvis Costello again

“The truth can’t hurt you
It’s just like the dark
It scares you witless
But in time you see things clear and stark.”

Change – bumper stickers

I saw one the other day that said “CHANGE – all you’ll have left when Obama’s done.”

Which was funnier than conservatives usually are. I won’t blame Barry, because these days his sonorous audiobooked voice helps me sleep, but I sympathise with the sentiment – too much change will bankrupt the hell out of the best of us.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Sleep, SLEEP

I need some. More than I have been getting. Also, pizza. No, wait, I just had some. Tony Blair? No, he's not very edible at all.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A small, well-loved thing

Like this, for example

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Nice Cup of Tea

As, this afternoon, I was trying to dispel one of those Eeyore personalised clouds, I got some tea. It was Lipton Decaffeinated, the only available option. When Douglas Adams wrote “almost, but not quite entirely, unlike tea”, decaf Lipton is probably what he had in mind. Foul, but ever so slightly better than no tea at all.

The other thing I think of is George Orwell’s eleven rules for making tea, and also of these buttons, which are a WIN. Actually, check out their Etsy store if you’re into Doctor Who, Firefly or the Hitchhiker’s Guide, they make great buttons and are very prompt and friendly.

Speaking of which, I love how tea is infused with obscure and near-magical properties in Doctor Who. (That’s my DW comment of the day. I had to make one.)

Such are small consolations. The other, by the way, is Billy Bragg – I was listening to him this afternoon, and as he sang

“One of them's off her food
And the other one's off his head
And both of them are off down the boozer”*

I laughed out loud.

Oh Billy, if I were single, and if you weren’t twenty years older with a wife and kid, I would throw my knickers at you.

*From Little Time Bomb. Mostly funny to me, and not nearly the funniest/best of Billy’s lyrics. My favourite, actually, is probably “if that face of yours could only talk, the stories it could tell” from Life With The Lions

Thursday, July 01, 2010

What the body remembers

Don’t be fooled, this is a Doctor Who post. With spoilers. There’s also some other stuff. With Jeremy Irons.

I was just thinking about Amy post Rory’s death, how she shows the grief she’s forgotten in her body. Though I don’t care much for her character, I find that both apt and affecting. We do keep all sorts of things in our bodies that our minds can’t handle. I have, on occasion, found myself crying at things I didn’t understand until much later. Maybe that’s just because I am getting to be such a sentimental one; but I find it oddly relieving to watch sad Doctor Who when I’ve had a bad day – something to have the emotions about in an impersonal, not about me sort of way.

Yesterday I watched the Jeremy Irons version of Lolita. Its arrival was badly timed, but I watched it anyway. The movie as a whole is inferior to the James Mason/Stanley Kubrick movie, I think, and a little too beguiling for my moral sensibilities – the first view of Lolita is just too much, the wet t-shirt thing... That said, Jeremy Irons lives up to the glory of his audiobook reading, with perfect pitch, humiliation, and warped grace. The smugness is a little absent, but I can’t say I mind. It’s a lovely portrayal, and as ever, the story is almost unbearable, both in its narrative and in its lyricism.

She was Lola in slacks. She was Dolly at school. She was Dolores on the dotted line. But in my arms she was always Lolita.

And my body hurts.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Music. Stuff.

I’ve always been fond of Moulin Rouge, and its brilliance in walking the line between the sublime and the ridiculous. By extension, I’ve always liked the music; but for some reason only bought the soundtrack a few weeks ago. This afternoon I found myself lying under a table, as happens frequently, disentangling cables (in skirt, pantyhose and heels mind you – dress code matters), and listening to El Tango de Roxanne. I’m sure some people hate it, I’m sure for some people it crosses the line, but it always did break my heart. I lay there for a minute, staring at the underside of the table.

It reminds me of Iris, which no, I won’t actually play that, that would be overkill. You bleed just to know you’re alive. No, instead I’ll follow the soundtrack to the sweet, quiet song – which by the way captures the era beautifully – Rufus Wainwright’s Complainte de la butte.

“princesse de la rue/sois la bienvenue/dans mon coeur brisé”

And I should be good and translate that, but frankly I’m out of poetic sentiment just at the mo.

Moulin Rouge feels just about right today. If only real life distress had such good costumes. Which in turn reminds me of Emilie Autumn’s rather amusing Marry Me.

Too many musical references, I know, but it’s all I’ve got today (yes we have no bananas).

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Giving thanks

That another week has been survived, and comes, at last, to a gracious end with Logopolis - the end of its era - and a glass of champagne.

And this is exactly how I feel:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

When I was seventeen

I was probably about seventeen when my friend over at Mirror Metaphysics was telling me about Kierkegaard, and the aesthetic, ethical and religious stages. It’s been a long time, forgive me if I misremember. But definitely Kierkegaard. (She was, and clearly is, that kind of girl – she read Kierkegaard and Shelley; I read Keats* and Wilde; but yes, we also listened to silly pop and discussed boys)

So she was relating his idea of the progression through the stages. It’s funny how these things sometimes stick in one’s mind. Years and years later I have not read a letter of his writings – philosophy and I, we are not friends – but every once in a while I wonder what sphere I am in. Clearly then I was all aestheticism, what with the knee breeches and pictures of a young Alfred Douglas. Later, when George Orwell took Oscar’s place as my point of reference, my compass, I thought – surely I am ethical now? And I left the Giant Corporation to work in non-profit. Surely I am ethical now? What’s more, I started going to Quaker meeting. Cue enlightenment?

Actually, no.

I sat in meetings feeling calm, and happy, but unenlightened. And then I got distracted by shiny things. So I stand on the sidelines, observing ethical organisations, giving time and even a little money, and abstractly admiring the only religious group I have considered joining. You know what I think of when I think of conversion? I think of Alfred Douglas’ City of the Soul. I love the Quakers and my favourite non-profit for the same reason – for being consistent, coherent, and true to their principles. How beautiful the simplicity.

*on a green hill in the English countryside. Really. In a 1920’s small bound edition.