Thursday, 4 June 2009


The day before yesterday, about 7pm, the sky went dark. Not slowly, but suddenly, as if someone knocked a hole in it and drained all the battery fluid. The wind picked up and kept on picking up. Strange things banged and rattled. Lightning flashed at angles. Streets turned to rivers.

Yesterday, we went for a walk. A residential street in the center was closed from one end to the other. Two ancient and massive chestnut trees had come down into the road, bringing all the powerlines, cable connections and telephone wires with them. Their remains leaned against the houses opposite, poking through broken windows. Workers ambled about, as if in shock.

Today I read a fine story by Elias Canetti, about a remote Scottish laird and his wife, who imported her dresses from Paris - the latest fashions - but had no one to wear them for. So she kept them, wrapped and sealed in her wardrobe. The couple had some servants from Poland, but they laughed too loudly so the laird sacked them and went looking for quieter ones. He found one in a lighthouse in the remote north. The new man understood quiet, and could perceive the laird's needs before the laird could himself. But one day his wife discovered one of her dresses missing and went to look for the servant. She discovered him, in his room, wearing the dress and practicing ballet moves in front of a full length mirror.

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