Oh christ, can't I touch anything without it breaking? Presumably [a coworker] did something muy dumb, but even so. Idiot me.
Gah, this conversation sucks. Can you think of anything sensible to say about getting the vote at 16? When I was sixteen I was into amnesty and comics and Paradise Lost and probably believed in dumb-ass slogans like "if voting changed anything they wouldn't let you do it" if I thought about party politics at all.
It's Local Democracy Week this week. What's your local council doing?
And, in other news:
While I was away from the Oxfam Bookshop some noble soul came and bought the full set of Dragonlance books. Now we just have a complete set of Guy N Smith paperbacks (including a very lurid Sucking Pit and three different editions of Night of the Crabs) to dispose of. Wish us luck.
While on holiday I read:
1. Dance Dance Dance by Haruki Murukami which must have been a publisher's proof edition as it's not yet available in paperback. One of the benefits of working in the Oxfam Bookshop! Hate to say it of one of my favourite authors, but this reads like he strung together the chapters he didn't consider good enough for A Wild Sheep Chase with a few bits of unrelated stuff from the bottom of his bits and pieces drawer in a "the mortgage payments are due!" panic. One of the characters is an overrated middle-aged golf-playing cult writer. Danger! Danger!
2. The Complete Knowledge of Sally Fry by Sylvia Murphy, which is about being a female academic, children, and all the rest of that stuff. Funny format (as an encyclopaedia, of sorts), anti-romantic, not too much in the way of compromises or happily ever afters. Not bad. Left it in the cabin for the next person.
3. Heartbreak on the High Sierra by Fiona Cooper, a rip-roaring thigh-slapping lesbian western. More novella than novel, I'd have happily read a dozen more chapters than there were, but, well, you take what you're given. A bit too much sobbing at the end -- I'm more of a fighter than a hanky-waver -- but all in all very fine if you like that sort of thing which of course I do.
4. Death and the Penguin by Andrey Kurkov, very hip at the moment because of its very cute cover, title and premise (struggling writer lives with a King Penguin he bought from Moscow Zoo). The writing's OK, too, in an emotionally-stunted-hero-caught-in-evil-p
5. Suckers by Anne Billson, a shockingly awful vampire-slaying story set in the resin of docklands yuppiedom in the 80s boomtime. As it predates the emergence of the shagging and slaying genre by some years, it has to wheel out the tedious old "is it all in her head?" chestnut which goes with the whole vampire apocalypse plot, er, not at all. Also contains some cackhanded social/psychological commentary and some horrible sucker punches of unsignalled gore. Unfortunately failed to leave it on the areoplane, not sure what to do with it. Art, maybe?