Reading matters

Just finished reading The Assignment by Friedrich Durrenmatt which it took quite a while to get into due to the very long sentences but once I did, the compelling narrative kept me intrigued to the point where I no longer noticed the strange writing style and became immersed in the fate of the main character, F, a woman charged with investigating the rape and murder somewhere in North Africa of the wife of a psychiatrist who feels guilty, and there is a recurring red fur coat, there’s quite a bit of philosophising too, and all in all it was an interesting read, pretty violent and grisly in parts, and it’s not very long, well, the sentences are but the book isn’t and now I am well into Iris Murdoch‘s “A Fairly Honourable Defeat” which is riveting and then a book I ordered last week called “A Very Long Engagement” by Sebastien Japrisot has just arrived (at the same time as some shoes I recently ordered from Ebay, black 3″ courts, very nice although they will need a bit of stretching because I so seldom wear proper shoes these days, it’s all sandals or wellies, but that’s no problem because we have a tin of leather stretcher in the cupboard and I spray the shoes with that and then put on a pair of socks and force my feet into the shoes and wear them for as long as I can and then take them off and repeat the process next day until they are comfortable) although I do think it’s a shame A Very Long Engagement isn’t available for the Kindle because it’s so much handier than a paperback and the spines don’t break and pages don’t fall out, still it only cost 1p so I shouldn’t and won’t complain and I shall start reading that when I’ve finished with Iris unless I change my mind, which is a woman’s prerogative, and decide instead to read one of the Lee Child thrillers lined up on the Kindle, but you never know, with 142 digital books on the machine, and half a dozen tree books next to the bed, I may decide to read something entirely different; it will just depend on how I feel.

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Now in the 5th week of the Dukan diet, and so far I’ve lost 12 lbs. I’ve not stuck to it religiously – that’s impossible if you eat out fairly frequently, and entertain as we do. I’ve had regular “naughty” days, but for most of the time I’ve followed the rules.

Despite being a vegetarian, I’ve found it’s not difficult to follow. We do occasionally eat fish, and get most of our protein from eggs, tofu and the wonderful Quorn. I feel healthy and fit, and never hungry. That’s the key to keeping to the diet – no unrequited hunger pangs.

I’ve learned to drink far more liquid than I used to, and to limit the amount of sugar and fat in my diet, as well as the quantity of bread/pasta/potatoes that I eat, without cutting them out completely. And by doing so I am losing weight steadily at about 2 lbs. a week and not experiencing any cravings. I am aware that the diet comes in for a great deal of criticism, but it’s working for me with my “adapted” version.

But what disturbs me is the constant thought that while in the Western world obesity is a major problem, and we fight to eat less, there are parts of the world where people people die because they don’t have enough to eat.

It all seems crazy.


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OH! What a circus.

I can barely believe what I read this morning in The Independent.

MPs in England have unanimously voted to ban the use of wild animals in circuses. It’s taken a long time, but better late than never.

However, it is reported that David Cameron was opposed to this ban! Can you believe that? In the 21st century, a supposedly educated, sophisticated family man condoning the miserable existence of wild creatures doomed to spend their lives in cages, endless travelling, dubious training methods and being forced to perform unnatural acts. For heaven’s sake, it sounds like something from ancient Rome.

It gets worse. Conservative back-bencher, Mark Pritchard who refused to toe the line and vote against the ban was firstly bribed, and subsequently threatened by the whips. Excuse me, is England no longer a democracy, led by a democratically-elected government?  Scandalous. Appalling. Disgusting.

What I ask is this: what was it that made it so important to Dave that the vote should fail? How could he possibly not support the ban? Shame on him.

He is a self-confessed keen hunter and shooter. Is killing animals not enough for him; does he enjoy torturing them as well? Double shame on him. Bully.

And bravo for Mark Pritchard, a man with the balls and backbone to stand up for himself, his beliefs and the rights of wild animals. Hero!

Read the full article in The Independent here.

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