This is inconvenient because I'm a guest at Kate's and thus far I am the most incommunicative one here, but in half an hour we are picking Pip up from the station and the three of us will make our way to the cottage in Devon.
Obviously Haruki Marukami's Wind-up Bird Chronicle is the Read of the Day.
What do I like about this book? That I wasn't really looking forward to reading it and a small half-sense of regret that I hadn't brought one of my other Christmas reads with me. That I started it and within two pages I was hooked. The writer is a beautiful story-teller and also a strong and thoughtful writer.
I like the seamless way that the author moves his characters between their own 'real' and 'imaginary worlds' and the way he blurs the dividing line between the two. I like the strong scent of spirituality and soul searching that runs beneath the story.
I like my admiration for the main character, Toru Okada, whose life is unravelling, I like that I was fond of him within the first few pages. I like how simply human and unpretentious and slow and directionless he is. And I like that he is so easily led. In the first part of the book, life seems to be something that is just happening to Toru, over and over, but in Part Two, which I have just started, he is beginning to take control of his life.
I'll probably still be reading it on the stroke of midnight and come to in an abandoned room in the early hours of the morning having just finished it, only to find the revelling has stopped.
Despite not drinking much yesterday to recover from my hangover, I feel oddly lethargic today. Everything is an effort. I hate to say it but I'm even a little bit dreading New Year. I must be old before my time, but all I really want to do is curl up in front of a log fire with a book, a bottle of Baileys and maybe a pretty man, in reserve. Well, I might finish the book and find myself at a loose end.
It's a bummer to feel antisocial on the most social day of the year. Probably worse for the people who have to hang around me though! Here's hoping no one notices.
I hope that all the Daily readers have a great New Year and that the computers are finally struck down with an impossible virus and none of us can go back to work next year, and we all have to become spiritual travellers and journeyers and re-organise the world from scratch.
I would find a cave in the mountains. With a little fire. I'd meditate and sing, and dance and have friends over for hot milk and cocoa every night. And maybe a bottle of Baileys. The old habits die hard.
Three Beautiful Things
1. To err is human
2. Monkey see monkey do
3. Irritation is more powerful than it looks