Sunday was a quiet day for most of the day. We went off to church, where Ray preached about Saint Peter before we had lunch. We got eh house back into some semblance of order by evening.
This morning, I was just opening my presents when there was a power cut. I had just unwrapped a book from domel when the lights went out. Candles were called for as it wasn't light yet.
Breakfast was cornflakes, as porridge, toast and coffee were all impossible. The train was running, but late. A train arrived at 7:51 just as I arrived at the platform. (There be a stopper at 7:45 and an express at 7:58.) It ran non-stop to Waterloo (as expresses do) and then stopped at every station to Wellington.
The peole at Subway sent a large morning tea, as directed, which I think is one that my work colleagues will remember for a long time, setting a high standard for originality and quality. It also meant that several, including me, didn't need to venture out for lunch.
Viv has gone out to Toastmasters tonight, it being the last night of the Toastmasters year, which is part of the reason we celebrated on Saturday and Sunday.
Thank you to domel, jiggery_pokery and therobbergirl who have wished me a happy birthday so far - I'm sure others will join them.
The curious incident of the dog in the night-time by Mark Haddon, ISBN 0224063782
The Economist wrote:
MARK HADDON'S new novel comes with glowing endorsements from Ian McEwan ("superb") and Oliver Sacks ("brilliant"). It has been sold to publishers all over the world, and the film rights have been snapped up by Warner Bros. In Britain it is available, like the Harry Potter books, in two separate editions-one for youngsters (Mr Haddon has previously published 15 children's books) and one for grown-ups.
What is all the fuss about? Certainly "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" is a detective story with a difference. For one thing, the murder victim is a poodle. For another, the hero and narrator is a 15-year-old boy with Asperger's syndrome, a form of autism.
Christopher is a whizz at maths and science. He has a fantastic memory and near-photographic powers of observation ("Mr Jeavons smells of soap and wears brown shoes that have approximately 60 tiny circular holes in each of them"). Yet his meticulously matter-of-fact mind is also stubbornly-and painfully-inflexible. Familiar figures of speech have him foxed. Ordinary conversation and displays of emotion make him feel uncomfortable; he doesn't even like looking at other people's faces because he finds their expressions so confusing. He will simply walk away from any conversation that he is not enjoying. Noise and crowds often cause him to retreat into a corner and scream at the top of his lungs.
The story begins when Christopher discovers a neighbour's dog neatly skewered by a garden fork. A big fan of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries, Christopher resolves to find out who killed the animal, and why. Mr Haddon invests his story with humour as well as pathos. At times it makes for quite uncomfortable reading, as Christopher's investigation leads him to learn more about the break-up of his parents' marriage.
Mr Haddon's achievement is to make Christopher more than the sum of his tics; a character, not just a dramatised condition. He has given his unlikely hero a convincing voice-and the detective novel an interesting twist. For once, the pundits speak the truth.