2016 — 5 July: Tuesday

I shall be greatly relieved to "see the back of" my little crew of house repair workmen after today's scheduled "clean up" operations. The constant bursts of semi-random activity all around the house get a bit disorientating after a month. And I could very easily do without the constant threnody that is the commercial radio "musical" accompaniment.

Meanwhile, Mr Hendy's crew...

... is now sending me email Service reminders summoning me to appear at their workshop. I'm amused to learn that I have a predicted driving pattern — did they install a tracking device?

We would like to remind you that your Mazda2 is now due for 
its 12,500 miles / 12 months service based on your predicted 
driving pattern. 

This routine service is due by 30/07/2016 or 12516 miles, 
whichever occurs first.

I've no wish to start "drifting" earlier each year for these services in the way that happened with my Toyota. That only makes for complications once the "MoT" inspections cut in after three years. At this point I have yet to "clock up" 3,500 miles... though I admit the car could certainly now do with a bit of a clean. So I can't say I'm feeling any great sense of urgency.

I shall toddle along1 for a chat. I did at least try their web site interface, but Life's a bit too short to wrestle with it, and it lacks a few crucial details. (Hard to specify a desired pickup time when there's no clue given on how long the "work" takes. Or even when they open for business.)

I've read only the first...

... of these "bibliotherapy" titles — and not for therapy, I might add — (though I did very much enjoy it). "Extractable and consumable advice on better living", heh? The trick is, clearly, to start by having an overlong title:

Books arguing this case often use the author's own inspirational story as evidence for the transformative power of the humanities. Witness William Deresiewicz's A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me about Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter, Joseph Luzzi's In a Dark Wood: What Dante Taught Me about Grief, Healing, and the Mysteries of Life, or Alain de Botton's How Proust Can Change Your Life. Similarly, A.O. Scott's new book, Better Living Through Criticism: How to Think about Art, Pleasure, Beauty, and Truth, frames interpretation as a means to life enhancement, an approach to winning friends and influencing people.

Paul Reitter and Chad Wellmon in Hedgehog Review

Should I email this to my local MP, I wonder?

Uncle ERNIE...

... has a £25 prize in the pipeline to me this month. Ev'ry little helps!

I shall let it help with the cost of a 2009 book about Sendak's art that I spotted in Bibliophile's catalogue, but ordered via Amazon (using Bibliophile as the Amazon seller):

Maguire on Sendake

"Books before car services", say I. Though that nice Mr Hendy did give me a 10% discount2 (for showing up in person? accepting a slot at 07:30 next Tuesday? not demanding a courtesy car?). Or was it my pensioner outfit that inspired pity? I didn't ask. (Gift-horses, and all that.) I await JLP's car insurance renewal quote next. IBM's pension payment will also be very welcome tomorrow!

Having three days ago...

... noted an extract from Christopher Logue's memoir "Prince Charming" (from the Grauniad in 1999), I've just dug out my paperback to re-acquaint myself:

Logue on Logue

It's stuffed full of memorable anecdotes, some rather more scurrilous than others. Here's the start of one such:

And it was! It actually was the Artie Shaw, king of swing, the big-band maestro, world-famous for his recordings of 'Begin the Beguine' and 'Frenesi', putting my rucksack into the boot of his Mercedes coupé. I expected us to purr away at once. Not at all.

Date: 1999

But if you want to know what happened next, read it for yourself. Logue's approach to the translation of Homer's Iliad for Donald Carne-Ross (a BBC producer for what was then called the Third Programme) was described thus when his "Audiologue" was reviewed in December 2001:

Textual fidelity was not a priority. He would leap back and forward in the text to insert sections from different parts of the Iliad as he required them, and sometimes would add things he had just read in the day's newspaper. It goes without saying that the results are better described as a version than a translation of Homer. Where Pope, for example, had "A rev'rend horror silenc'd all the sky" and Rieu the prosaic: "... and there was silence in his palace", Logue has written: "It was so quiet in Heaven you could hear/The north wind pluck a chicken in Australia."

Christoper Wood in THE



1  Which is, at least, something I can now do without having to schlepp all the way down into ghastly Millbrook.
2  Just as well, in the wake of my house repair bills. Big Bro's comment? "Expletive!" But the State Pension that's due to kick in this October will repair the financial hole within five years or so...