Ragged But Right

Because the internet keeps the things I used to leave on trains.



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  1. "Because of its mostly affluent locale, Carnival is always full of one-time Booker Prize winners and Foreign Secretaries trying not to enjoy the homophobic ragga and checking if their house has been broken into. They usually cling to the relative safety of Portobello Road, which is lined with stalls where you can buy overpriced drinks inside the shells of the things they’re made from. They treat Carnival like a colonial garden party, making patronising remarks about the “colourful” crowd and enquiring about jerk chicken recipes they’ll never swap for Sunday roast."
    — I was trying to explain Carnival to someone who had never been to Carnival this weekend and to be honest, I mostly ended up quoting this magnificent Clive Martin piece almost verbatim.  Sure, it’s 2 years old, but it remains pretty perfect.  
  2. LOL. I guess it’s the £10 queue for Hamlet tickets then.  I was honestly there at 9:59.  Dammit. 

    LOL. I guess it’s the £10 queue for Hamlet tickets then.  I was honestly there at 9:59.  Dammit. 

  3. I have say somewhere, that I finished work to go on maternity leave today by closing a cookbook deal for an author I believe in more than I can say with exactly the right publisher and I feel a tiny bit like boom.

  4. Over the Black Line

    "That’s it, you’re over the black line" said the nurse, and I didn’t even notice that we were until she said it.  

    You can never go back into the Special Care Baby Unit after you cross the black line, said my brother, as he made his way to the car carrying his 2 week old daughter in her new carseat.  ”This is your Prince William moment” I said, and the carseat clicked in easily and I knew he’d been practising.

    It’s probably always extraordinary to watch your little brother parent, to watch him drive carefully for the first time in his life, to watch him prepare to take his daughter home.  It’s something extra, though, when the baby is born 6 weeks early, all of a sudden, on her mum’s last day at work. Lily Winifred Anne, 4 tiny pounds at birth.  She spent her first two and a half weeks in the SCBU, and so did my brother and his wife.  And the first time I saw him with her, I could’t believe it.  The gentle affection, the care, the joy of it all.  Now they’ve taken her home and this is the beginning day of the rest of Lily’s life, and they get to parent her every day in their house, and there is nothing, nothing more extraordinary than that.  Than crossing the black line, out into the light world, out into the first day. 

  5. We had an American cousin staying with us last night.  She’s pre-med and a member of  [redacted] sorority at [redacted] California college so she spent dinner telling us all about Greek Life.  ”I could tell you some weird shit” she said, conspiratorially.  She wore a lot of sportswear.  I really enjoyed it!  Though I also kept trying to shoehorn Feminism in there, slightly annoyingly, I suspect.  Aaanyway,after this girl’s semester abroad, in which her mind was kind of blown by Life That Was Not Greek, she made a conscious decision never to say anything bad about her body in her sorority.  Apparently this is an outrageous act of political anarchy, akin to literally setting off a bomb in the girl’s bathroom.  She reported the following conversation:

    Sorority Sister: OMG, I’m so fat, it’s obscene.  Ugh, look at me, so gross.

    American Cousin:  I don’t think I look fat, I think I look great.

    Sorority Sister: I’m obsessed with you. 

  6. I think the thing I love the most

    is that Broad City took the implied ‘Morgan fucks her brother’ joke to the bridge. But that is among many, many things.  A little piece of magic, is that TV show.  Are you watching it already?  Watch it already! 

  7. University Life

    I went to a talk today at UCL - it’s rare that I get to do something like that anymore - and it was literally about Arrested Development.  It was really good, in that under-attented, strip-lighting way.  My fella does one next week about Twin Peaks, so he was checking out the format.  I am just a mad fan of AR, so I ligged along.

    It reminded me of something I loved about being in Ithaca; that sweet juxtaposition of the life of the University and my working life in publishing.  When I first got to Ithaca I was so up myself about Cornell; pfff, all those people doing science on books, when books actually live in the real world! I thought. I won’t be going up the hill to any of that

    But life in a college town has a way of showing you that the college has a lot to offer, even if you don’t go there.  Perhaps it’s slightly a lack of anything much else. It started with the open lectures of the 19th century reading group, followed by the sort of Anne Carson performance/lecture that could never have flown in the real world, and suddenly I was getting it.  Universities allow us to investigate the world without commerce.  They allow us to investigate commerce!  There’s such value in that.  I miss being reminded of it on a weekly basis.  

  8. slaughterhouse90210:

“It is a good thing to know what it is to be poor, and a better thing if you can do it in company.”  ― Marilynne Robinson, Gilead



    “It is a good thing to know what it is to be poor, and a better thing if you can do it in company.”
    ― Marilynne Robinson, Gilead


  9. No wait, the best email I have gotten so far today is one from my Ithaca friend telling me that she is having a baby at the same time as me, and that she has finished a draft of a novel about a GIRL LOGGER for me to read I mean, Other Women, they are the motherfucking best thing. 

  10. "There will be stories of great colleagues and research anxiety and plans on taking beta blockers before a presentation at a conference, failed dating with at paediatrician (epic!), views on season 3 of Girls, Game of Thrones and of course the decline and fall of the Swedish state (and the world for that matter)."
    — Messages from Swedish friends are the best.