"…and suddenly your mind can no longer support the notion of a whole world full of life and objects and fellow-humans. The very idea of a universe appears monstrous and you become unable to participate. What on earth does that tree think it is up to? Why is that heap of gravel sitting there so patiently? What am I doing, staring out a window? Why are all these molecules of glass hanging together so as to allow me to look through them? The moment passes, of course, and we return to the proper realm of our dull thoughts and our duller newspapers: in less than a second we are part of the world again, ready to be irritated into apoplexy by the stupidity of a government minister or lured into caring about some asinine new movement in conceptual art; once again we become a part of the great compost heap.” Stephen Fry. The hippopotamus.
The more I read, the more I wish I could just spend the rest of my life doing so.
At the moment I'm working my way through a series of books I read religiously when I was younger and dug out again when I was home. There are twelve books in the series, I have 11 with one currently on its way from ebay. The books are about a girl called Jinny who moves to the Scottish highlands with her family, and yes, as anyone who knows me might guess, they are pony books. But unlike most pony books full of frightfully well to do middle class children, hooray henries and people who speak like they swallowed the 1930s, these ones are different because Jinny and the spiderweb of characters who surround her are just so vivid. They are full of mythical and spiritual storylines which give them a timeless feel even though they were all written in the 70s and 80s. One of the characters particularly, Ken, is just so perfect it shocks me to find someone like him in what is supposed to be a childrens book. On the face of it his character could easily have become a stereotype; a bit of a hippy, vegetarian, long hair etc. But on the page he really comes alive.
I'm also trying to track down a copy of 'A Book of Dreams' by Peter Reich, which is proving intensely tricky to find. All the ones on Ebay are going for ridiculous prices. Damnit.
Going to the cinema tonight to see Hulk. And I'm going to behave impeccably. I am.