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Wah! I've got a burning sore throat, which was stage one of the lurgy for Bloke who is still lurking near his bed, unheard of. So waaahhhh! Don't want to be poorly. I've gargled with salt water, taken ibuprofen and am now sucking a strepsil from a packet I found in the bathroom - 'best before 10 2009'. I want to get back to my life - we have an actual artist coming to the art group on Friday, to teach us about watercolour pencils and I want to go. I know a bit about how to use them but I know there's all sorts of other stuff. So I'm going to be well. I am.

Meanwhile I want to mention the last two books I read. I came to 'The Sleepwalker's Guide to Dancing' by Mira Jacob via twitter, as someone linked to a thing she wrote/said about being told by publishers that 'the [American] reading public' don't want to read novels by anyone other than white Americans. Her novel is about a family - relationships, intergenerational misunderstandings etc, and the family is one that moved from India to Albuquerque. It's not about being Indian, it's about being a daughter, a sister, a lover, but it's also an open door into another (to me) culture and I recommend it.

The other one is 'After Anna' by Alex Lake, which I found somewhere, looking for trashy but not insultingly banal or gratuitously nasty crime fiction. The name drew my eye, obviously. It's about a small child vanishing when she comes out of school and the mother, who was late to collect her, being vilified and blamed by the press. Interestingly, when I was still less than half way through, a few people shared a thing on facebook expressing outrage that the McCanns (whose daughter Madeline vanished without trace) are bringing out a book. So there it was in real life, the same as in the novel - harsh judgements, viciously and publicly expressed, on decisions made by parents that had led to the worst thing possible, the loss of a child. Man. Where do people get all this self-righteous anger and hatred from? The McCanns and their friends were spending the evening at a tapas bar 50 yards from their apartments where they had all left their children asleep. They checked on them every half hour. The bar reserved the same table for them each night of the holiday, the one nearest the children. With hindsight, if there'd been a babysitter, the girl would still be with her parents, but what kind of paranoid existence would you be living if you based all your decisions on the possibility of something as rare as child abduction happening? How can anyone think that losing a child is just deserts for wanting to spend the evening with friends? Ach, it got to me, the juxtaposition of the fictional and the real and the loss and the grieving.

I am grateful for: the return of Younger Daughter's Husband, recovered from his MS episode and from the treatment for said episode, letting me off the hook at last; bed; books; friends; sleeping cat, after too much fucking yowling


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