A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.




 

Breakfast In Carcassonne On My Way To Austin
Thursday, May 26, 2011

San Jerónimo, Mexico, 1968
In 2008 I read Julian Barnes’ Nothing to be Afraid Of and I became a fan of the author. His latest, Pulse, is a book of short stories with one common theme, that of the relationships between people. A paragraph with a killer sentence in Christopher Benfeys’ review in last week's NY Times Book Review caught my eye. As I write this Wednesday evening before I fly to Austin to attend my 50th anniversary high school graduation that sentence makes me happy but melancholy, too. That sentence is all about why I have been married since 1968 and why these last 15 or so years have been the best. The sentence?


For Barnes, Carcassonne [one of the stories] turns out to be code for coupledom. “I just wanted to marry her,” says a character in Ford Maddox Ford’s “ Good Soldier,” quoted by Barnes, “as some people want to go to Carcassonne.” If Garibaldi’s grandiose passion is partly the invention of historians messaging the facts, so, in its way, is Carcassonne, the fortified cathedral in town in southern France that looks so “solid and enduring” but is mostly a 19th century reconstruction.” Hapiness in coupledom, Barnes’ narrator concludes, consists of more mundane achievements: “ A couple’s first task, it has always seemed to me, is to solve the problem of breakfast; if this can be worked out amicably, most other difficulaties can too.”


Mexico, 1968

Tomorrow I have to set the alarm radio/clock for five if I am to make it to the airport two hours before the plane takes off at 7:40. This means that Rosemary and I will have to skip our usual (and  decidedly daily!) breakfast in bed with the NY Times, the Vancouver Sun, coffee, tea, toast, orange juice, V-8 and some sort of fruit like watermelon, papaya or mango. Five O’clock means I will shave tonight, drink a hurried tea when I wake up, brush my teeth and drive to the airport with Rosemary. She will drop me off and return to our bed where she will find our much more practical cats asleep. She might even snooze, and who knows, perhaps have a proper breakfast afterward.

The squirrels had nothing to be afraid of

A post literate moment with a ghost

A Cure for all diseases- Paul St. Pierre

The horror of being born- the philosopher opines



     

Previous Posts
A Charm Invests Her Face

Forward To The Past Reprised

Ale, Banjo & The Malibu Takes The Curves

A Hairspray Rapprochement With Rebecca

Donald Hodgson's Pristine May In A Hosta Garden

A Perfect Day In The Focal Point Studio

David Baines - Libels Present & Libels Past

Not A Hint Of Manly Posturing

A Cool Neon Glow & Synchronicity With Neal Hall

Terry David Mulligan Hands Free



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1/15/17 - 1/22/17

1/22/17 - 1/29/17

1/29/17 - 2/5/17

2/5/17 - 2/12/17

2/12/17 - 2/19/17

2/19/17 - 2/26/17

2/26/17 - 3/5/17

3/5/17 - 3/12/17

3/12/17 - 3/19/17

3/19/17 - 3/26/17

3/26/17 - 4/2/17

4/2/17 - 4/9/17

4/9/17 - 4/16/17

4/16/17 - 4/23/17

4/23/17 - 4/30/17

4/30/17 - 5/7/17

5/7/17 - 5/14/17

5/14/17 - 5/21/17

5/21/17 - 5/28/17

5/28/17 - 6/4/17

6/4/17 - 6/11/17

6/11/17 - 6/18/17

6/18/17 - 6/25/17

6/25/17 - 7/2/17

7/2/17 - 7/9/17

7/9/17 - 7/16/17

7/16/17 - 7/23/17

7/23/17 - 7/30/17

7/30/17 - 8/6/17

8/6/17 - 8/13/17

8/13/17 - 8/20/17

8/20/17 - 8/27/17

8/27/17 - 9/3/17

9/3/17 - 9/10/17

9/10/17 - 9/17/17

9/17/17 - 9/24/17

9/24/17 - 10/1/17

10/1/17 - 10/8/17

10/8/17 - 10/15/17

10/15/17 - 10/22/17