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Mother of two, living life in small-town South Africa

Turning over a new leaf

So, I’m in a book club. And I can almost say that without cringing. I joined a book club almost as soon as I moved to Grahamstown three years ago. It was awful. Thankfully, it all came to a spectacular halt when one of the women started having an affair with the husband of another woman in the club. (I just can’t bring myself to use the word “member”. As in, One member withdrew after another member started poking her husband. Eeuw.) Then another, er, member withdrew as she felt the book club was a front for swinging. S’true. It was a real Jilly Cooper moment.

But now I’ve linked up with a bunch of really interesting women who seem to take it all pretty lightly, but are kind of serious. Just the way I like it. And, honestly, it’s really wonderful to be reading again. After Carolina was born, I kind of gave up on being a book worm. Femina magazine was about as deep as I could go. Anyway, had an hour time out this afternoon and spent it on my bed, in the sun, with a book. I felt, almost, like my old self. Am reading The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai. Not entirely sure it’s what I feel like right now (which is probably something more gritty and fucked up instead of beautiful and lyrical…) but I’m reading, which is good enough for me.

Could fulfillment ever be felt as deeply as loss? Romantically she decided that love must surely reside in the gap between desire and fulfillment, in the lack, not the contentment. Love was the ache, the anticipation, the retreat, everything around it but the emotion itself. – Kiran Desai, The Inheritance of Loss

See. That’s why…

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Forgive me, I lurk

While doing some research on travel sites for a proposal, I came across this NYT column on lurking. As I’m often reminded, lurking is “very not in the spirit of interactive media”. Forgive me, but I lurk. I stalk. I hover around your blogs, postings and noticeboards. I seldom, if ever, comment. I may deserve your scorn, but now I have an excuse. The NYT has given me one: “… lurking can’t be a new phenomenon. What name did it used to go by — this practice of anonymously sitting back and taking in long sequences of words without producing any yourself? Hey, wasn’t it once called, perhaps, ‘reading’?”

So here’s Virginia Heffernan’s take on it:

Which brings me to my lurking problem. I can’t tell whether lurking is a devious violation of Web ethics or a return to luxurious nonparticipatory reading. I do know it seems indulgent. When I lurk, I relax, fall silent, become a cosseted 19th-century baroness whose electronic servants bring her funny pictures and distracting tales. I have no responsibilities. I’m entirely on intake. If I were reading Tolstoy or Anita Shreve this way, I’d be an N.E.A.-certified exemplar of civilization.

Exactly.

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