So, I'm sitting in the passenger seat of a stationary, parked, Peugeot 2008 on the grounds of the former Duvale Priory. (Though I should say that there is no evidence on the ground, beyond the name of this collection of buildings, that "Duvale Priory" ever existed as a "monastery of men or women under religious vows that is headed by a prior or prioress".)
We are on holiday. We missed the turning back to the Priory ("Priory"?) and the detour that ensued sent Jonathan, who has been short on sleep, to sleep. I am keeping him company. He is, of course, oblivious to all of this.
We are staying in a converted barn (which, in turn, isn't obviously a barn, that is, a formerly agricultural building, but could be purpose built lodgings).
My throat hurt. This was both true, and excuse to request the Whiskey Mac that Kate brought me. While Jonathan slept listened to the second half of "Scary Monsters (and Super Creeps)" by David Bowie, and am now listening to Odelay.
All of this is context. Context is essential. Without context we are reduced to reading tabloid newspapers and shouting about foreigners. It doesn't end well, for anyone. Other than the owners of tabloids, and (one hopes) not even for them.
I'm reading the LRB. It's not my LRB. It's Kate's. I never have time, what with children, work and the endless noodling possibilities offered by the internet. I want to read the LRB (and sort my life out) but adding comments Below The Line to rugby and cricket stories on The Guardian is just too tempting. (Kate has forced me to stop posting BTL on climate change or political stories on the perfectly reasonable basis that it might damage my career.)
I'm reading the LRB. I'm reading a story, no, an article, in the LRB about "House of Names" by Colm Toibin (sorry, Colm, but it's an enormous faff to correctly accent your surname when you don't know the keyboard shortcuts, and life is just too short. I'm sure you'll live.) The article about House of Names hasn't yet touched on Colm Toibin or "House of Names" at all. I'm an entire column in, and still stuck in the 5th century BC, with Aeschylus. Presumably the author of this article is building to some clever allusion. (Reading on it turns out that I'm being unfair. "House of Names" is a re-writing (we are told) of Oresteia, by the aforementioned, so it's no so much an allusion and more of a the thing itself. I was being too cynical.)
(It's 2500 years old, Colm. Let it go. It doesn't need another treatment. If you don't believe me watch the latest Spider-Man reboot and ask yourself whether it was worth if.)
(At this point, I have to break and wake Jonathan, as he is stirring and if I let him sleep through another cycle we'll never get him to bed...)