1. It's been a slow news week. Actually it's been the wierdest kind of week, one in which I have had no inkling of date or day unless I look at a news channel on television. I feel like I am living in somewhat of a vaccum. And although I know this is only a temporary state (and clearly one for which no amount of preparatory talks are enough) again I have friends to thank for calling to check I am alive, awake and kicking!
2. Skype works and I have everyone of any importance in my life on it. The problem is that some people don't have camera's or good quality camera's which makes it a bit of a one sided discussion; it gets old fast when you can only see a static picture and/ or no picture at all. Then there are the vagaries of internet speed which picks on the streaming quality making transmission shaky and unpredicatable. And finally the timing of getting to see/ chat with anyone is down to luck/ texts/ calls to get people online. When it does work though it is a joy to see smiling faces. In one case we will be conferencing a whole bunch of spread out family once a week so everyone can see everyone. This Sunday is the trial to see if it works for 4 sets of us simultaneously across countries and time zones at a pre-arranged time.
3. Not much by way of snail mail but I did get a host of books I ordered online, all neatly boxed up. Here is what is on the midnight menu for the next few weeks: The weekenders: adventures in Calcutta by Bella Bathurst, A good Indian wife by Anne Cherian, (Un)arranged marriage by Bali Rai, Tales from Firozsha Baag by Rohinton Mistry, Swimming Lessons and other stories by Rohinton Mistry, Such a long journey by Rohinton Mistry, The Cardamom Club by Jon Stock and In times of Siege by Githa Hariharan. By way of explanation on the Rohinton Mistry's, I have read them all ages ago and the copies are living in Delhi adopted by my mother. I need my own and to refresh my memory with these wonderful books.
4. I had a huge fight with somebody at Bloomsbury. I was reading 'Burnt Shadows' by Kamila Shamsie (one of my favourite authors) and suddenly the story made no sense. It was 3something am and I was somewhat sleep deprived so I thought it was just exhaustion playing tricks with my eyes. When I went back to it the next morning it still did not make any sense. Turns out the book has been wrongly bound and has huge chunks of pages missing - just when it was developing the most intriguing of turns. Anywho, I called Bloomsbury's complaints department and the long and short of it was that they wanted me to go return the book to the vendor I pruchased it from. When I pointed out that it could have been at an airport on another continent or a gift from someone the woman thought I was not being 'accomodating enough' at which point I lost my cool and pretty much yelled at her. I have to send her the book and a replacement will be posted. I have her name and her supervisors number so I'd better get it back in a hurry!
5. My new favourite ice cream is called half baked and has among other things brownies and cookie dough in it. We don't readily get cookie dough in London, or if we do I haven't seen it. I also don't know anybody who uses it so I would ahve no idea what to do if a roll of it came and thwacked me on the side of my head. I know it from the serial 'Friends' and am intrigued by how it can be eaten raw or baked. I want cookie dough.