Books 2010

Books 2009

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Monday, 23 November 2009


I've being researching about Quito and reading your blog, I found your post very helpful :) . I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog!

Still love the early Paddington stories and glad that I had a son, and the young children of close friends, to give me the excuse to re-read them. Very fond of "Three Letters from the Andes" and surprised that I read it before you did!

I feel jealous that you got to meet Paddington. I remember that I found this lovely bear so touching when I was a child - because he was always in trouble and looked rather sad. And what a smart bear he is!
I like your Paddington story too, it is just "bearly" unrealistic, but well and truly plausible as a genuine Paddington story.

I also like the way your post begins, seemingly like a children's story, but the end is not at all for children. Anyway, I must be very blasé because "that final sentence" doesn't sound shocking in the least to me; we use to hear and read so many odd stories and news nowdays... But of course, back in the Fifties, it certainly sounded "unbearably" scandalous and offensive. Anyway, as you write, it is just an example of a conversation that proceeds by statement alone, it is not supposed to be true. Nevertheless, I tend to believe that there must be at least a book that tells a similar story (or even worse). And I could even bet on that - yes, lesson learned, put your money where your mouth is!

One more word on a more serious note, it is so true that all tourists think themselves as the right and entitled tourists who know best how to do the job properly and they despise other tourists. Well, we are as tourists what we are as humans.

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  • Nothing is of greater consolation to the author of a novel than the disovery of readings he had not conceived but which are then prompted by his readers. (Umberto Eco, Reflections on The Name of the Rose)
  • ... relatively few persons in London ... can afford the luxury of one or more servants. No fewer than 3,700,000 have no servants at all, and of the half million that have servants 227,000 have only one. (The Times, 6 June 1895)
  • Standing among savage scenery, the hotel offers stupendous revelations. There is a French widow in every bedroom, affording delightful prospects. (Tyrolean inn brochure, according to Gerard Hoffnung)
  • (A doctor is at an elderly relative's deathbed) "The old sawbones, eh?" he bellowed ... "Just in the nick, perhaps. Haul the old girl back by the short hairs, if you ask me. Devilish smart at his work ... Always take a fence with more confidence when I know he's out with us."
  • Too often, when a man of Monty Godkin's mental powers is plunged in thought, nothing happens at all. The machinery just whirs for a while, and that is the end of it. (P G Wodehouse, Heavy Weather)
  • ...the breed that take their pleasures as Saint Laurence took his grid (Kipling, The Five nations)

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