I am almost done reading a book by the late Unitarian Universalist Kurt Vonnegut called Timequake. I don't know whether to describe it as a novel, an autobiography or a lecture. "If it's the latter," I thought, "I hope they don't find out I last paid college fees ten years ago." Strangely enough I do still remember my college ID number. It's 9119299, do with that what you like. I don't think there are any perks connected to it, if only because the university must have changed its system for identifying students umpteen times since its inception in 1575.
In the book, which is very funny, as some but not many of my lecturers were, he ascribes to his uncle Alex Vonnegut the encouragement to really notice things when they were going well. To do this one would have to say out loud - on such occasions as drinking lemonade on a hot afternoon in the shade or smelling the aroma from a nearby bakery - "If this isn't nice, what is?"
I like that. I like that a lot.
Also he quotes the Indiana state song, On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away, which caused me to almost sing out loud on the train home. I can still hear Rufus Wainwright's song as I type:
Oh, the moonlight's fair tonight along the Wabash,
From the fields there comes the breath of newmown hay.
Through the sycamores the candle lights are gleaming,
On the banks of the Wabash, far away.
The conductor on the train from Rotterdam today was very worried about a throng of people about to descend on the train at any moment. I was standing on the 'balcony' between two first class compartiments. She offered me a seat in first class so that the impending crush of people could get on quickly and safely (although she didn't say that at first, only when there were a few more people). I declined, saying I'd been sitting all day.
Another book I recently finished A Density of Souls by Christopher Rice. (The son of Anne and Stan Rice does not appear to have a brother Dan.) I was very reluctant to read his mother's vampire novels and was proven correct when I did. His father's poetry, a lot of it quoted in his mother's books, doesn't speak to me. But Chris Rice's book blew me away.
What's it about? Just read the damn thing, okay?