"A commonplace book is what a provident poet cannot subsist without, for this proverbial reason, that “great wits have short memories:” and whereas, on the other hand, poets, being liars by profession, ought to have good memories; to reconcile these, a book of this sort, is in the nature of a supplemental memory, or a record of what occurs remarkable in every day’s reading or conversation." - Jonathan Swift, "A Letter of Advice to a Young Poet"

Friday, August 3, 2012

July Things

1. The Olympics

Did you know that the BBC Sport website is showing all of the olympics in live stream. Not only that, you can catch up on everything that's already happened, which is what I'm doing right now with the men's synchronized diving, and oh my god, this is brilliant. They're perfectly in synch, down to their every step, even as they approach the edge of the diving board.

Before that, I was catching up on the women's gymnastics, also amazing. I particularly like the parallel bars. Just wow.

2. Walking

I've been going on lots of long rambles since I got to England, some through the city, something through the country. I really like exploring on foot, and so far the weather has been allowing me lots of freedom to do so. I'll be posting pictures soon of my day of walking through the grounds of Blenheim Palace the other day.

3. Book Covers

I've been spending a lot of time in the local bookshops over the last two weeks - I find it's a wonderful refuge from the rush of a city or the onslaught of new sights and sounds. I just step inside and immerse myself in the smell and feel and aesthetic balm of new books. And I've been spending a lot of time just browsing the shelves, admiring cover designs, comparing different editions.

4. Fresh Bread

When you're traveling, and suddenly all the food is different, and you can't find your favorite familiar brands, you can really start to appreciate things that offer the same soothing goodness in far off places, like fresh baked bread. I found a couple of great delis and bakeries to turn to in the neighborhood, and was very happy when I did.

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