But mainly, I find, if you put full stops in the middle of sentences for no reason whatsoever.
Eight things I have been reading lately
1) Several books on grammar for people who are of the age when they decided that it wasn’t worth teaching grammar in British schools. Well, I say ‘several books’. I’m reading two. And in both of them, I’ve got stuck on the chapter on tenses, which I have reread every night for a week. They still don’t make sense.
2) The internet. All of it, at least once a day, sometimes twice.
3) Mark Twain’s ‘Roughing It’. Which is delightful, as historical travelogues go (and it’s still my favourite genre – if you can’t time travel, it is the next best thing) although it is horrifically racist about American Indians, which may be representative of the age, but by jiminy it’s hard to read.
4) A book on game design that I meant to read ages ago.
5) Something about how to do parenting without dangling rewards. It is very good, but I can’t offer you any incentive to read it because that would be too much like implanting in your mind that the only reason for you to read it would be to please me or to expect reward for doing so, so I’ll just leave it there. To be fair I haven’t finished it yet, so I’m not 100% on the exact principles.
6) Food labels. Salt. Calories. Dairy or non-dairy? Does it contain gluten? What about liquid nitrogen, does it contain that? Unicorn protein? Ground-up mesopotamian artefact? Peanuts? Everyone round here is just so picky nowadays.
7) My teenage diaries. I was just packing stuff into a box to go into the loft. And dear heavens, they’re appalling. Part of me says that I should keep hold of them because one day I’ll regret it if I don’t, but then the other part of me says “Really? Because twenty years has already passed, and they are NOT getting any less embarrassing.”
8) Train timetables.
9) The Lelony Snicket books. Just because.
10) Plays. Bored of never reading plays any more, I started a play club with several similarly minded friends. It’s like a book club, except you don’t have to read anything between club meetings, you just decide on what play you’re going to read on the night, turn up with a copy (and some wine/food etc), then sit around and read it, swapping parts so everyone gets to read and listen equally. It is not the most academic way to read plays (there are a *fair* amount of silly voices as the night goes on and people try to find ways to distinguish characters/change sex quickly. Oh, and as the wine kicks in, obviously) so you have to only invite people who won’t be put out if it’s not Very Serious, but it is surprisingly amenable to discussion at the same time. It is GOOD. I recommend it.
Ten of the things Doozer now says (or tries to say)
1) CHOOOOOS. (as in “Mother, if we are going out, I will need to wear these CHOOOOOS on my feet”)
2) CHEEEEEEEZ (as in “I don’t care what you’ve been slaving over on that hot stove. Do you by any chance have any wensleydale? or in fact any CHEEEEEEZ?”)
3) DATS! DAT! (He calls this insistently up the stairs as I fill the cat bowls. The DATS come running. They care little for proper consonant prononciation)
4) TOST (“That adult-sized portion of porridge was nowhere near enough, are you mad? I will require some grilled bread. With marmite, if you have some.”)
5) DOH! (He’s a big fan of doors. He’ll often proclaim this, gleefully, while swinging one shut in your face).
6) SDTAHHHR (they are in the sdkhhhy, don’t you know?)
7) MOR? (with pleading eyes and a single finger held up? Oh go on then. Just ONE more.)
8) STAIR (said with a serious nod, this can mean either upstairs or downstairs, depending on where he believes a banana is most likely to be hiding)
9) Oh. (“I have just fed something through this gap in the floorboards. I am now unable to get it back, nor explain to you what it was due to my lack of vocabulary. It might have been a playing card – it might have been your credit card. Who can say for sure?”
10) THASSEEEEE (A lifetime of walking by it and saying “Doozer, can you see the sea? Look, it’s the sea!” has apparently paid off.
1) I discovered that Doozer’s model pig has surprisingly detailed genitalia today. It was quite the thing to discover at 7 o’clock on a Sunday morning, I tell you.
2) In the aftermath of this, I discovered that a Tyrannosaurus Rex from the same company (so, one assumes, one dedicated to verisimilitude in all genital areas) has NO genitalia. So that’s the question of dinosaur extinction solved, then.
3) I have a blister on my toe.
4) Recently, I have realised why I don’t go out to work in public places very much. It’s because I pull the faces responding to whatever (or whoever) I’m writing as I type.
5) What would be nice would be a holiday. Even a tiny one. I cannot work out how to make this happen.
6) I have two cats curled up, one on each foot. Best slippers EVER.
7) A few nights ago, I ate my first ever chocolate pretzel. I have eaten several others since.
8) I like my work at the moment. I like working. And I like my work.
9) Not all the time, obviously. I’m not mad. Also I like my Doozer. I like both. And lots of other things as well.
10) Last weekend, Doozer posted two thirds of a set of jigsaws through gaps in the floorboards. We can’t lift the floorboards here, and there’s no other way to retrieve them, so, after explaining to him why we don’t post things through gaps in the floorboards, and after he went to bed, I found myself carefully posting the other 4 pieces through. If someone’s going to get them one day, they might as well have the whole set.
I’m going to try doing five things every day this week, again. Just for discipline’s sake.
These were just some extra things, because I have been quiet so very long…