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WALKING, WATCHING, WINDING DOWN
Walking with a large dog tugging at the end of your arm is quite different from the easy-sway, arm-swinging stride you normally produce. We are dog-sitting Max, the border collie that lives next door, for 2.5 days while his family is on a mini-vacation. We know that having a dog around the house makes the dog-longing worse, but none of us can resist any chance that comes up, far and few between as they are.

Max apparently walks much the same round that I usually do, as he was ahead of me the whole time and never missed a beat turning before I made any motion in the next direction; that or he's just very very good at reading body signals. He's black and white and extremely curly. His ears flop up and down in point-counterpoint as he trots along. He tends to the edge, brushing against and under the side-growth and consequently finished the walk covered in tiny green sticky burrs. The first half of the walk he spent with his nose down, as if he were reading the news, a trail of dog messages looped over and over by the many, many dogs that inhabit the village.

There were no slugs out, for a wonder, as it's been dry the past couple of days. Tonight the air was still and warm and the sky was full of periwinkle clouds. The pear trees lining the allé are full of fruit, still mini-size, but growing so fast you can almost see the plumping out from day to day. Twice long vees of geese flew low overhead, honking. The migratory routes seem to be flipped here; inevitably the geese and swans are flying in the wrong direction: south in the summer, north in the fall. These were apparently headed to Helsingborg.

I thought of something else that I do now, since I moved to Europe 12.5 years ago, that I never did before. I eat with a knife and fork in each hand and I don't FLIP them every two minutes so that I can cut something. If you're American, you probably don't even know what I'm talking about, but there's a handy Wikipedia article (of course there is!) that explains the whole thing. Fork etiquette! Hee! I don't ALWAYS eat European-style, however. Sometimes it's just too much work, plus if you tend to talk with your hands, it really cramps your style during an animated dinner conversation.

I had my hair done today. It was sun-bleached and very long. This is what it looked like, except since this photo was taken 3 weeks ago, it was even longer:



Karin took the picture while we were having lunch in Valkenburg in the Netherlands, before we hiked up to the castle ruins. I look sunburned but it's just the red sun umbrellas.

Tomorrow morning I have a doctor's appointment, the mammogram that I was referred for back in June. It's my first one, so I'm a little nervous, since I don't know from first hand experience what to expect, only what I've heard. To say that I'm not looking forward to it would be putting in mildly.

Life after vacation feels rather mundane, though I am secretly glad to be nearly back to normal routine. This is the last week of full vacation for Anders and the kids will go back to fritids next week. Hard to believe that summer is slowly pulling the curtains but the geese never lie.

These days: Reading—Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead; Listening—Malena Ernman's La Voix Du Nord; Watching—hmmm, nothing really; Playing—Sword of Fargoal; Working on—weight loss; Enjoying—summer storms, super salads, birthday anticipation.

Don't Blame it on the Boogie, Blame it on the Belated Birthday Wishes to Chuck and alcesalces!
 thoughtful
mood: thoughtful
music: Yohanna—Beautiful Silence


Comments

Not at all. :) I have never read most of your dislike-list, strangely enough, though I confess to having everything Rand has written. I had a love affair with her as a young adult, which has pretty much worn off. I like her writing style, even when I don't agree with everything in her philosophy. And she certainly makes one THINK, if nothing else.

Most of Atlas Shrugged is skimmable, anyway.

I don't know if I can come up with that many, but definitely Ann Rice (especially The Witching Hour and everything since), Stephen King (especially Pet Semetary and everything since) and actually, the Harry Potter books after #3. (I know I'll get flamed for that one, but honestly: EDIT, WOMAN!).

I also hated Mutant Message Down Under by Marlo Morgan, and American Pastoral by Philip Roth (talk about over-rated), and Bridget Jones' Diary.

And highest on my hate list: Faulkner and Hemingway. BLEAH. (flame away, readers!)

Hahaha! I love your stab-list, even though I don't share everything on it. I don't hate Hemingway or Faulkner, but neither are they favorites, by far. I haven't read the Morgan book or that particular Roth, but I do agree with you about Ann Rice, completely. Stephen King writes so unevenly, and I agree that he has a horrid period for a long time after Pet Semetary, but I do believe that he's produced some better titles since he changed publishing company and certain personal life style habits in writing, in recent years. When it comes to Harry Potter..I rather abstain, because people get so angry with me when I say that I don't think Rowlings is a particularly good writer and that she plagiarized both Gaiman and Diana Wynne Jones when it comes to certain big picture ideas. I don't hate Rowlings however, but like Guillou, I think she's vastly overstated. But again, people do tend to get annoyed at me for saying it, and I end up being accused of being a snob.

Snobbery in reading is a GOOD thing. Life is too damn short for bad books, and I totally agree with you about Wynne Jones & Gaiman.

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