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May. 20th, 2016 | 11:30 am

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Journalling

Jun. 15th, 2012 | 05:43 pm

The problem with trying to keep a journal is that everything happens when you're not. Keeping one, that is. At least, that's *my* problem, anyway, your own experiences are, well, your own. So when I post things like "crumbs, not been here in a while, I should start this up again, see you soon," and then don't, well, I'm fooling no one but myself really.

So, what things have been happening lately?

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Dust

May. 20th, 2012 | 02:15 pm

Christ, two years.
Well, a year and five months.
Or something.

It's been a while, anyway.

How is everyone?

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(no subject)

Dec. 16th, 2010 | 05:40 pm

"Do you have travel books?"
"Yes we do, they are upstairs."
Beat.
"Would Nepal be downstairs?"
"No. Upstairs."

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From Iris Murdoch's The Nice and the Good

Dec. 16th, 2010 | 09:48 am

"There are principalities and powers, there is unknown good which flies magnetically toward the good we know. Human frailty forms a system, and faults in the past have their endlessly spreading network of results. We are not good people, and we shall always be involved in that great network, you and I. All we can do is constantly to notice when we begin to act badly, to check ourselves, to go back, to coax our weakness and inspire our strength, to call upon the names of virtues of which we know perhaps only the names. We are not good people, and the best we can hope for is to be gentle, to forgive each other and to forgive the past, to be forgiven ourselves and to accept this forgiveness, and to return again to the beautiful unexpected strangeness of the world."

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Patches!

Jun. 14th, 2010 | 05:21 pm

Yesterday was the first ever Patches Market. The idea was the brain-child of two people whose names I'm afraid I don't remember. The aim was to provide a space for local artists and artisans to come together and showcase their talents and maybe flog some things at the same time.

The space in question was the lovely Upper Barakka gardens in Valletta, and I arrived just before 4pm. Even though the market was supposed to have opened at 3pm, quite a few stalls were in the process of setting up and as I walked past St James Cavalier I was sure I could see Thomas Cuschieri disappearing through the garden gates. Into the gardens and it was him, he and Andrea had arrived a little late and were just getting their table together, their initial position was somewhere in the corner near the toilets but after a quick assay, moved to somewhere more central.

It did seem as though everyone was waiting for them, Andrea later learned that a lot of people had been looking forward to sampling her cakes, and before they were even finished setting up a line had formed. I did a quick walk around the set-up feeling, at that point, excruciatingly out of place. There were very few people I recognised there, though the ones I did recognise were people I like. There was Dav with some beautiful looking jewellery she'd made, Maria Muscat with some lovely things (I had my eyes on those shoes which remained stubbornly size 38. Oh well, maybe next time), Sarah Micallef and Carla Said with many more things, embroidered and handmade.

I wish I could describe everything in detail. I wish I could say that I took photographs, but I'm writing this at work so I have to be quick while the inclination to write survives the heat of the afternoon, and I don't have a camera so no pictures for you! You can probably find them on Facebook, if you know where to look. Well, after I found the other Schlock guys I felt a little less out of place, but still quite lost. For a while I hovered around Sarah's stall before some other people I knew showed up and we ended up back at Andrea and Thom's cake stall. Luke introduced me to his girlfriend Ann, who seemed very nice. They bought enough cake to feed an army and I led them to the cool under a tree where they devoured them, occasionally throwing me a crumb or two. Ann is very petite but managed to put away a whole tray of cakes all by herself.

The afternoon sauntered along at its own pace, and before I knew it it was gone 8pm and well past time to leave.

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Somerset

Jun. 4th, 2010 | 03:06 pm

I've just this minute finished reading a book of children's stories by W. Somerset Maugham. I've never read anything by him before, and I have to say that I very much enjoyed it. The book is called The Kite and other stories, and was first published in 1963. The edition is a Macmillan New Windmills and is hardcover in green with a stylised picture of a woman wearing a hat and hat-pins flying a kite with an expression of joy.

A friend bought the book, among others, at a book sale. It had at one point belonged to a school library and I suppose they must have been raising money for the school by selling off old books. Looking at the tone of the stories it is true that the contents might not be so suitable for the children of today. The first story is about an old man who travels thousands of miles to return to the house where he was born, because that is where he wants to die. The second story is about a Scotsman who is chased out of his home by the ghost of a gibbering madman, the third story is about a South American generalissimo with a wicked scar on his face who once faced down a firing squad. There is a definite streak of darkness through the book, yet here and there are moments of sunshine and I believe that Maugham has tried to capture something of the essence of human nature.

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Hail Mary

Jun. 3rd, 2010 | 03:46 pm

A German dude just walked into the store looking for a copy of Eating Animals by Safran Foer. We don't have it, it's still fairly new and it takes a while for authors like Safran Foer (good, but Maltese people don't really read "good" stuff) to get to Malta, and definitely not in hardback.
What struck me was that he had both shoulders tattooed. I didn't see his left shoulder because I was marvelling at the scene on his right. It was the scene from Mary Poppins as she's riding down out of the sky over London, hanging onto her umbrella with one hand, and her carpet bag in the other and a strange wistful expression on her face. In the background is Big Ben, and she's directly over the Houses of Parliament. He had that entire scene, Big Ben and all, tattooed onto his shoulder.

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Bloodsucking Fiends

Jun. 2nd, 2010 | 02:26 pm

I'm reading a book by a chap called Christopher Moore. It was one of those "buy three books for a tenner" deals, so I picked up Bloodsucking Fiends and another one called something like The Lust Lizard of Melancholy Cove. The cover blurb promised me something different, and the over all feel of the book from what I could gather before actually reading it, was something akin to Robert Rankin, only American.

This is not Robert Rankin. I'm determined to finish the book, then I think I will give them both away. I'm not going to bother with the second one. I'm hard pressed to come up with the reason I don't like it, the story is engaging enough, it's just if I try to sum up my feelings towards the book in single word then that word is "Ugh".

There's a quote from a Guardian reviewer on the back which states "Christopher Moore can write". I wonder if he's written something good that quote applies to. Either that or it's a simple statement of fact: he can write, with nothing else to clarify whether he can write well or write badly. He just possesses the ability to string words together into sentences and then sentences into paragraphs and those paragraphs into chapter sized chunklets and then... a book! More than I can manage anyway.

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WoW Fanfic

Jun. 1st, 2010 | 03:51 pm

Yeah, I know.
Well, I've been playing it for a while now. I started on the Alliance side, and I've had this story in my head since I rolled my first human character (fyi, my first EVER character was a Gnome). It's the sad story of a family called the Lamarcks (after the naturalist and early evolutionist) who were split apart by war.

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