2013 — 6 December: Friday

Hello, pension. Say hello to bank account.1

Today's little post-breakfast adventure is going to be a walk with my friend Iris. We've chosen a cold day for it, though the Met Office is currently hinting at sunshine between 09:00 and noon so we should at least be able to see where we're going. Assuming my eyes are open by then.

If I have...

... as little interest in fashion as I like to kid myself, then why did I find this article so amusing? Source and snippet:

Everywhere are passages that beg to be read aloud to entertain one's friends: "The bottom's association with sexuality means that it features successfully only in fashions for young people. The more august members of society — professors at universities, judges and clerics, for example — still hide the outline of their buttocks securely beneath all-enveloping robes or long frock coats. The same is true of monks and nuns." Elsewhere McDowell informs us that "Lycra cycling and running shorts have brought the shape of the penis back into clear focus — but (perhaps mercifully) mainly among a specific and limited group of young and active, if not athletic, men."

Francine Prose in Prospect

The effect is different on women, surely? But, in any case, I don't see myself in Lycra shorts, somehow :-)

Contrasting styles

I've read essays and other material by both these authors and I know which one more often makes me laugh:

Where Didion's voice might be described as aloof, Ephron assumed the role of the reader's best friend, giving advice on everything from clothing ("Don't buy anything that is 100 percent wool") to husband selection ("Never marry a man you wouldn't want to be divorced from") to bikini waxing ("I dealt with the pain by using the breathing exercises I learned in Lamaze classes. I recommend them highly, although not for childbirth, for which they are virtually useless").

Heather Havrilesky in Book Forum

Bloody hell

Now why would the pope need advice from a panel of experts to try to fight clerical sex abuse within the rank ranks of his church? I can hear Christa's "Good god!" (Link.)

I have some advice. How about "It's wrong. Stop. You'll burn in (your own) hell." (Oh. Wait a minute. Perhaps they don't believe their own gibberish? Now there's a thought.)

Two walks...

... just two days apart leaves me with a vague feeling that perhaps I'm not quite as young as I used to be. Is that possible, do you suppose? Still, I was happy to see Iris on pretty good form given that it's not quite two months since she lost Roger. "Tick, v.g." as we used to say.

After our gruelling six-mile jungle trek walk I raced quickly home2 to deal bravely and very manfully (I thought) with a blister, and then we re-rendezvous-ed — this time at Brambridge — for lunch and a good, long natter.



1  But don't get too comfy in there. There's a whopping bill from a dentist on the short-term horizon. Grrr.
2  I expect she thought I was being a bit of a wimp. She's probably right. I didn't ask.