Archive for June, 2007

reading for Q2, 2007

June 30, 2007
  1. Ghosts by John Banville
  2. The Sound of Butterflies by Rachael King
  3. The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
  4. A Case of Conscience by James Blish
  5. The Other Wind by Ursula Le Guin
  6. The Farthest Shore by Ursula Le Guin
  7. The Tombs of Atuan by Ursula Le Guin
  8. Tales From Earthsea by Ursula Le Guin
  9. A Life for the Stars by James Blish
  10. They Shall Have Stars by James Blish
  11. The Honourable Company: History of the English East India Company by John Keay
  12. Where Three Roads Meet by John Barth
  13. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
  14. The Garden Party by Katherine Mansfield (short story)
  15. Losing Nelson by Barry Unsworth
  16. Cyteen by CJ Cherryh

eurostar

June 12, 2007

Last week I travelled on the Eurostar for the first time. Here are my observations:

  • Ensure that you are not sitting anywhere near chatty people returning from holiday.
  • Avoid the ham and cheese melt – despite a brief but no doubt bright experience in the microwave, it has nothing to offer. Preferably take your own food and drink on board.
  • The speed of the train on the British tracks is just embarrasing – roll on November, and the switch to the new tracks from St Pancras.
  • Overall, going to Brussels and back in a day is very doable, albeit a bit tiring.

Also, as past readers of this blog (bless you) will know, I like to observe coincidences between my life and the universe. These coincidences are often quite… loosely coupled.

But on the way to Brussels I experienced one of the strongest coincidences of my life – heart-stopping.

At THE PRECISE MOMENT that coach 2 (that I was in) of the Eurostar train emerged – rushing – from the channel tunnel, I was reading this sentence in A Case of Conscience by James Blish (in which the main character, Ramon Ruiz-Sanchez is on a fast train from Naples to Rome):

The rapido hurled itself from the mouth of the tunnel as impetuously as it had entered, and the renewed blast of sunlight forced Ruiz to close his eyes once more.

Art doesn’t get much closer to life than that!