Friday, January 3, 2014

Bits and Pieces

I've been colder than a well-digger's boot today. There's something about the construction of my house that, when it's quite cold and the wind blows, it matters not where I set the thermostat; I'm simply not going to feel warm.

I remedied the situation somewhat by cooking up a big pot of hamburger/veggie soup with plenty of hot chili flakes as part of the seasoning. That, and several pieces of hot cornbread, baked in my heaviest iron skillet, at least warmed my innards. My nose and toes are still chilly, but my core temperature has risen by a degree or two, I'm sure.

* *
I recently finished reading a book.  A book-book.  Big deal, you say?  Since acquiring my Kindle, which I have kept loaded with freebie reading material from Amazon, I haven't had many book-books in my hands.  I had almost forgotten how heavy a book can be (not necessarily a good thing for arthritic wrists and hands), or how enjoyable it is to feel ink-on-paper under your hands (a good thing).  

This particular book was P.D. James' The Private Patient (Faber and Faber Limited, 2008), loaned to me just after Christmas by a friend. I've always found P.D. James' mystery novels very interesting. She really knows how to spin a tale, and how to captivate the reader with her opening words. As example:

" On November the 21st, the day of her forty-seventh birthday, and three weeks and two days before she was murdered, Rhoda Gradwyn went to Harley Street to keep a first appointment with her plastic surgeon, and there in a consulting room designed, so it appeared, to inspire confidence and allay apprehension, made the decision which would lead inexorably to her death."

I'm a big fan of British mystery novels, anyway, and Baroness James has a way with words that is vocabulary-expanding, to say the least.  I take perverse pleasure in having to occasionally resort to a dictionary to get a full understanding of her descriptive language. 

Baroness James  (more information here) is now 93 years old.  I hope she lives for many more years, but time is not on her side.  I always grieve the passing of authors whose work I enjoy; I think they should all live longer than I do, and continue to be published until my dying breath.  It that too much to ask? 

That's all the bits and pieces for now.  

Tomorrow is also a day.


Jackie said...

I love "book books"...and I understand completely what you are referring to.
I love the feel of them...the smell of them (isn't that silly to think about the 'smell' of a book...but I do)...and I love having the pages to turn. Don't get me wrong, I love my Kindle, too, but there is something wonderful about a "book book."
And....that menu you blogged about made me very hungry. I love my cast iron skillet, and it makes some mean cornbread! Yes, it does!

Betsy Adams said...

Hi Pat, Great to hear from you. I think of you often and wonder how you are. Glad to hear that you seem to be doing well.

We are both still fine and staying busy traveling, hiking, gardening, birding, etc…. Luckily, we are both still in good health.

Please stay in touch. I miss you.

Happy 2014.

Arkansas Patti said...

I know what you mean about real books being heavy. I am spoiled by Kindle.
That lead in has a definite hook. Sounds like something I would like.
One think I love about Kindle is the instant word check for meaning.

Marvin said...

Spicy soup and a good book is about the best one can do in this cold weather. At least the wind has stopped blowing up this direction. Hope you have a good 2014.