It’s quite odd being a computer down. I get the odd snatched catch up moment with it to do some writing and other essentials, when it’s not being used for essays and projects.
In the meantime, I have been using my computer-free time to read Ian McEwan’s Solar, a satire about Michael Beard, a socially inept, self-centred physicist with a suspect attitude to fidelity and relationships. He works at a centre for environmental research, hence the title.
It’s a satire in the vein of Martin Amis, similar to Money, but with a less flash central character – Beard’s escapades include eating the wrong person’s lunch and having problems peeing in the Arctic rather than Amis’s more 80s yuppy based extravagances. I’m enjoying McEwan’s descriptions, such as the way an Artic trip for environmentalists turns from organised, good intentions to subtle, selfish chaos, following the way of the world, but as a whole find this too emotionally detached. I need an emotional pull to feel really involved. One book in this latter vein that I’ve been meaning to re-read is Michael Frayn’s A Landing on the Sun, a lightly satirical but emotionally affecting novel about philosophers and the civil service.
Talking about re-reading, my friend Rachel has also started a book club wanted suggestions for a short book to start us off, so I’ve suggested The Sense of An Ending because I would love to re-read it for “clues”, as suggested by several people here.
I’ve tried baking, but the bread hast turned out hard, which I am told probably comes down to over or under kneading – currently I use a machine so I may go back to basics, as my dad used to do when we were children. He used to make lovely soft fresh bread.
On the more positive side, I took more millionaire’s shortbread in to a governors’ meeting yesterday evening, and this went down very well.
Will catch up with you all soon and hope you are all well!