Friday, 19 August 2016

Books, Finding Things and Other Oddments

I am currently reading: Salmon Fishing in the Yemen by Paul Torday.  I am enjoying this book immensely.  It's one of those rare reads which are what can only be described as a gem!
Before that I read Let Me Call You Sweetheart by Mary Higgins Clark.  I have read several of her novels so I knew what to expect - nothing too complex (this is not one of her best) but nevertheless a pleasant read.
In my last post I mentioned St. Anthony, the saint who is reputed to find lost things. I may be a little sceptical about many things associated with saints and their special gifts, but I am a believer in St. Anthony.  In this regard, I must tell an amusing story.  Many years ago one of my colleagues lost an important document and was at her wit's end, having searched high and low. I told her to say a prayer to Saint Anthony.  She laughed long and loudly because, as an atheist, she did not believe in anything spiritual, she told me.  I told her to try nonetheless and to believe just this one time that the document would turn up and I gave her a rhyming prayer to say which I had read somewhere "Saint Anthony, look around, something's lost and can't be found".  Five minutes later she found the document in a place she was sure she had already looked.  I hasten to add that this experience did not in any way convert her to religion or anything like that.  Psychology? Prayer? I have no idea how it worked or works.  But I still ask St. Anthony to help with things that are lost and I never fail to give a small offering at his shrine in Cork  for "St. Anthony's poor" because, so far, he has come up trumps (if I may be forgiven for using that expression in connection with a saint!).

I am going to visit my daughter and grandchildren in two weeks and am getting very excited about this. It will be a long day, a three and a half hour bus journey to the airport, the flight will be half as long, and around half an hour's drive on the other side.  In addition to my daughter's family, I will also meet up with former colleagues.  Great to see everybody.  I think that there is a wine and food festival in Frankfurt and I will certainly visit that. 
It is refreshing to have a change of scene and to discover that the subjects which are so much discussed in one country are hardly mentioned in another. Jane Austen wrote about this in Persuasion and "our littleness beyond our own circle".  And talking about Jane Austen and the times she wrote in, I am thankful for airplanes nowadays which get us to our destinations so swiftly. Just imagine, if I lived in the early 1800s I would have to get a horse and coach (go post, as they called it) and have to stay overnight at least once on the way to the ferry not to mention the long journey down to Frankfurt. On the other hand, having read diaries of ladies who travelled like that, it would have been quite an adventure and of course I would not have attempted to do it on my own.  Yes, it's quicker to fly nowadays but the hurly burly of getting through Security and finding the departure gate in time is surely not as romantic as alighting at an inn along the way. Maybe I'll start writing a historical romance.  That's a thought.

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