Monthly Archive for July, 2008

Rain on train

It has been so wet this week that it even started raining on the train I was on, not just the odd spot but pouring through the overhead luggage rack like a small tributary.  And the carriage was so crowded that I just had to sit there getting damper and damper panicking that when I stood up everyone would think I was incontinent.  I usually like train journeys as they’re a good chance to catch up on reading but I’ve seen rather too much of the wet flatlands of Essex and Cambridge this week for even this bibliophile to be distracted.  Biographies are good.  I took Kate Colquhoun’s biog of the Victorian gardener and polymath – weren’t they all? – Joseph Paxton who was the head gardener of Chatsworth in its heyday (and had a strangely close relationship with the Duke of Devonshire…) and went on to build Crystal Palace with no architectural training whatsoever.  I felt rather a waster.  I also read, as the mizzled landscape flowed past ever-slower Nuala O’Faolin’s ‘A Dream of You’ which started well but then descended into syrupy Irish sentimentality which I can only take if I’m drunk, either because I’m prone to sentimentality and find it less offensive after a few drinks or because I can’t then remember what I read when I wake up the next morning.Anyway, have a great, rainless summer for all those of you wise enough to go abroad for your holidays and for those, like me, who were stupid enough to book two weeks on a Scottish island I hope your suitcase is big enough for all those books.  I’m taking about a dozen, and same number of bottles of wine, in anticipation of being marooned inside for a fortnight looking at low dense cloud and driving rain, what the Scots refer to as ‘dreikh’.See you all on September 2nd.