Wednesday, December 13, 2006


It was darker at 8 this morning than when I woke, the rain has settled in but it is so mild we have the doors open onto the water.

I reread If in the night, prompted by Jessica's fierce screed on failure. It was voted Britain's favorite poem some years back, I certainly love it, or the first two verses anyway. The final verse is a worry, suggesting as it does it's better not to care, and I much prefer my mum's version of the last line: "You'll be a WOMAN, son!".

So much of Cissy's history reading deals with the downside of Empire, an uncomfortable new light on the assumptions I grew up with, and my own fogyish love affair with Victorian rectitude. I don't have much common sense so I often miss the bleeding obvious, all the while in love with high-minded principle. Norma is good at spotting that sort of thing, she is pragmatic and willing to see consequences. What I notice from my tower is that failure is a feeling.


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