Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts


SpaceX’s launch of Falcon 9

  1. You all should read this four-part series by Tim Urban at WaitButWhy (the link goes through to all of the content in one place, don’t worry) on space exploration (/colonisation) and Elon Musk. Not least for the two incredible videos of the Spirit and Curiosity rovers landing on Mars. I suggest that, once you get to the part about the Hubble Space Telescope, you soundtrack your reading for as long as it takes to listen to this.
  2. I saw my lovely friend Ella (long-time readers will recall her former incarnation on this blog as the Duchess) for a quick hour-long lunch last week, and it was great. She teaches in Vermont, so I haven’t seen much of her, except on FaceTime, for months. She was back for her mother’s birthday, and we went to a little Italian cafe on Kentish Town Road where the inefficiency of the service is compensated for by the outstanding quality of their pasta. We had lasagna and chorizo-mushroom penne and talked about office politics and our families and laughed a lot. I’d been having a particularly shit morning that day, so it was especially nice to just let go with an old friend, even briefly.
  3. My old college had its annual black-tie ball this weekend. This is the first year I haven’t gone. I went last year with some friends in the year below me, even though I was no longer a student or even participating in the life of the college much (despite still living in Oxford), and it was, overall, a mistake. I think one of the hardest things about graduating is knowing when to stop going back (at least for a few years); this is the time. I’ll probably return with some other friends to use High Table dining rights this summer, and it was great to see pictures of people I did know enjoying themselves and looking fly, but it’s not my place anymore. Or at least not in the same way. And that’s okay.
  4. Prince died, and even though I don’t think I’ve ever consciously listened to any of his music, let alone been a devotee, it seemed really, really sad. He was obviously a taboo-breaker and an outrageously talented instrumentalist: one of my coworkers reminisced about seeing him, in concert, hurl himself across the stage, lean backwards over a piano, and play, while upside-down, exactly the right chords at exactly the right moment. That kind of gold dust shouldn’t die at 57.
  5. I’m writing fiction again. That’s all for now. Hooray.

9 thoughts on “Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

    • I recommend a weekend morning – I’m a fast reader but there are lots of links and videos in the posts themselves and they’re so incredibly detailed that it took me ~2 hours. (~2 AWESOME hours.)

  1. ian darling says:

    Prince and the Pet Shop Boys made the 1980s bearable! It would have great if Stefanie could have signed up her Dashwoods with Paisley Park!

  2. I do love get-togethers with friends for lunch. A bunch of us who worked together a few years ago, and had some really good times, were planning a reunion this month, but a couple of them couldn’t make it, last minute. When people live some distance away, it’s hard to arrange.

    I have one former colleague/friend who lives in this city…we get together once a month.

    It is sad about Prince…..thanks for sharing today, and here’s MY BOOKISH THURSDAY POST

    • Once a month is pretty good going – it really is hard to arrange once you no longer all live together (or within a fifteen-minute walk of each other). Thanks for your post!

  3. I also was not a huge Prince fan, though I liked hi. He was one of the most brilliant musicians, though, and often seemed like a genuinely caring human being. 57 years is not enough time.

    • It’s not, is it? Even though he accomplished so much. He seems to have been like Bowie, in that he showed people that there were other ways of being than the homogeneous lifestyles they were shown by other parts of the media.

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