Today the humid air turns Oxford into Southern Illinois. I cycled to the store for cold air. There’ll be a thunderstorm. Tomorrow, maybe, as the Yorkshire man at the first aid course I attended yesterday in Kidlington suggested. But we won’t be here, I hope. A friend invited us to his house last week and we have taken him up on it, setting off for Burgundy by way of Dover and Calais. The past week has severely tested our spontaneity: I won’t be sure today is not a day trip until the authorities let us – and our various identity documents - into the country. Should we prove lucky, there’re orchards and vineyards and a week of sun in store for our pale selves.
The choice, as ever, is what books to bring. The winners are:
Emily Dickinson complete poems & letters
Simone Beauvoir’s autobiography, vol. 4
Journal of the Goncourts
Complete Stories of Mavis Gallant
Mapp & Lucia
Notably, no Shakespeare. Nothing with footnotes was the rule.
See you in a week, then. Or tomorrow, if we’re turned away. Cross fingers for us.