Somehow I was in the mood for being a bit lazy today. The winter is gradually getting colder but I am warm and snug. The low sun streaming in the windows has been alternating with bursts of noisy rain..
After a few chores by lunchtime I was ready to finish reading Maggie O’Farrell;s Instructions for a Heatwave. How inappropriate has it been reading about London in the midst the 1976 drought, the parched and cracked lawns, the effect it had on people, particularly Irish born Gretta Riordan, her three adult children and their worry about the husband and father who inexplicably has gone missing.
It’s an interesting story about the irritations between various family members, their problems and misunderstandings. There is a build up of tensions as various snippets of the family’s background and secrets come to light to help solve the mystery.. As in most novels to my mind there is a slight exaggeration or dramatization of the characters compared to what I would expect in real life but it is a very believable story. I enjoyed it more than the only other Farrell novel that I have read, The Hand that First Held Mine.
Then by chance this afternoon I watched the 1966 movie of Ray Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451, a clunky old movie which I found quite riveting. I had read this book early in its life and had seen the movie before. I was very much a Ray Bradbury fan, seeing how ordinary people would cope with a strangely changing society. But after so long just the overall impression remained, not much in the way of detail.
It was quite distressing seeing all those familiar books being burnt, cover after cover in the flames, always enough time to appreciate the book which was being burnt. It can happen. It has happened. And the censorship of books is a small example of the book burning. mentality. I am old enough to have read Lady Chatterley’s Lover from a copy sold from under the counter by an obliging bookseller. And it is quite embarrassing to look at the list of books which used to be banned in Australia, a list full of well known and respected authors.
But attitudes change. Mainly it is the political influence which moulds the censorship ideas. These days printed books on pornography, suicide and anything which encourages terrorism comes under close scrutiny in Australia. Less easy to police though is the internet.
As reading is always associated with coffee for me, today’s coffee came from a newly acquired Nespresso machine. It makes a beautiful coffee but my main complaint is with the bully boys who control the sale of the coffee capsules to make my coffee. To shop online I am quite happy to supply my name and address and credit card details but this firm is unbelievable, the amount of information they extracted from me before they would send me a single capsule. What control.. What manipulation. What the heck does it matter where I had bought the machine . What if it had been a present and I didn’tknow its source, would they have refused to send me coffee capsules ? I’m surprised they didn’t ask my bra size and shoe size !