This and That

I’m sorry it’s been so quiet here. I had every intention of writing more about my trip, but I’ve been so distraught by the news out of Gaza that it’s been hard to blog. I’ve started several posts about the events, but then I get too angry and I have to stop, because, really, who needs another angry rant? There’s enough of those to last us a lifetime. I long for something perceptive or illuminating, or at the very least instructive, and I know I am not capable of it at the moment.

So I’ve tried to distract myself, by going to the Tate Modern (a special Kandinsky show was all the excuse I needed.) I’ve also had long evening hours to devote to reading and writing (thanks to jet lag). I’ve just started reading Hisham Matar’s In The Country of Men, which is out this week in the UK, but I don’t know if or when it’s out in America. It’s gotten quite a bit of attention, and so far it’s pretty good. And–this is the best part–I’ve managed to revise one chapter from my novel, and begin another. So it’s six down, six to go, and the process is still incredibly full of joy. I really just want to be left alone to finish the book.

But of course last night, I spent the entire evening watching the World Cup finals. What a delight it was to finally have commentators on TV who know something about the game–not like those poor ESPN blokes who try to fill the time by reading the player bios. What a disappointment, though. I was rooting for Italy, but even though they won, Zidane’s behavior made it impossible to really enjoy the result. He’s always been an aggressive player, but last night he completely lost his marbles. What a sad end to a brilliant career.

I’m off to Oxford in a little while, to attend the celebratory dinner for the Caine Prize at the university’s Bodleian Library. I’ve heard so much about the library; I hope we can get a tour.