What I’m Reading Now #3

I just finished reading this book, after putting it off for a little while. I’ve talked about Sebastian Faulks before, and I absolutely adored Charlotte Gray, but I was hesitant to read something that wasn’t set in France, in the 1930’s or romantic. It feels weird to write that, but it wasn’t so much a thought-through thing, more a general assumption that I wouldn’t like it. I was doing some last minute Christmas shopping in Waterstones, and A Week in December was half price so I though ‘fuck it’.

It was a great read. I was surprised how much I enjoyed it, and although the subject matter wasn’t something that I would usually pick for entertainment value, I just enjoy his writing so much that it didn’t matter. There are some really grim bits, particularly involving the character of John Veals, and there were times that I couldn’t believe that financial cunts like that actually exist. But they do. And they work in London. It was challenging to stay through it.

Yet at other times, I was swept away with the charm Faulks manages to inject into an everyday, mundane character, which makes me remember that my everyday, mundane life is charming itself, and that love and pleasure and inspiration aren’t always the stuff of fiction.

I’m going through a bit of a Sebastian Faulks phase, so just after this I went to the library (pee ess how good are libraries? I’d forgotten the bliss!) and got out The Girl at the Lion D’Or, which I’ll talk about another time, but there is a startling similarity in a section of both books. The man and the woman are talking about reading, and the woman says she loves to read because it’s a wonderful escape, but the man replies that he thinks it gives him a better grip on reality. Let’s him understand other people better. I think this is a really interesting idea, and for me, it’s both. I feel as though I am escaping the real world, and delving into another that is far removed from my own, but when I come back to my life, I feel as though I’ve had an experience that has sort of changed me.

It’s as though by reading, you don’t necessarily have to have experienced that same event yourself, because if the writing is good enough, you’ll have felt the emotions, through empathising (or not, as the case may be) with the characters. Then at the end, you do come out a little bit changed. A little bit richer.

It’s something to think about, at the very least.

Remember the Days of the Old School Yard…

Despite the fact that I haven’t gotten out of my pyjamas today, there was a time, not too long ago, when I was considered to be quite the snappy dresser.

I was cyber stalking the lovely Ms Emma Bergmeier of Dropstitch, when I suddenly remembered these snaps taken by her in February, 2008 at the opening of Beck’s Music Box for the Perth International Arts Festival.

That’s quite the grimace you’ve got going on there, Sam.

Good hair though. I cut it myself, after a brief but intense period of wanting to look like Agyness Deyn. Came out looking more like a busty Missy Higgins, but I quite liked it.

I still have the dress. I bought it for $85 from Harry High Pants and love it so much that I lugged it all the way to the UK. I can’t remember the last time I wore it – actually I think it was my Mum’s 50th (a story for another time, let me tell you), but I do ache to whip out that bustle again.

These photos remind me of the Best Summer of My Life. I was working as an actor in the festival, had just lain eyes on the BF and began to sort-of-fancy-him-from-afar. He had mutton chops at the time and his costume was a top hat and tails. He looked like Abraham Lincoln. My best friend Ebony and I went out every night and partied with crazy Scottish boys and we laughed so much. I remember drinking ridiculous amounts of beer and dancing in circles. It was bliss.