I’ve moved into a new space. There’s less light - the last place was like an airy ocean liner, and I think my moods were affected in that way too. Open, blustery, quite bright, unmitigated. Writing. Not much. Nowhere to write really. When I packed up the space, I realised I hadn’t hung the paintings. Bright, higher than usual walls. Empty. And when I left, emptied.

My new space. Still parquet floors. My balcony is wrapped up in palm trees. A refracted light, triangles of shade. Is quite lovely. On the other side of the apartment I have a carpeted room. A carpet. It has been so long. I lay on it the other night. Let my back click out. Flat. I think a quiet room is better for writing. Sounds absorbed.

What I am reading. The Mandarins. Have just finished The Forgotten Waltz, my first Anne Enright read. I had expected more lyricism, that ye old Irish lilt that I do love so. But she is clear, and sharp. It is a fantastic read, but there is a veneer that you just can’t crack through. That’s fine, it’s a first person narrative and is in line with the character. On Kindle, it’s like I am a teenage reader again. Devouring books. And also, without the expectations of what marketing has decided, that is, how the physicality of the book will affect my read. I am sure some PhD lit person is currently bashing out their “the text returns to text through the Kindle” thesis. Blah blah, hope they have fun. I like that academics do what they do, but can’t imagine that they don’t actually deep-down down-down want to be there in the writing, as themselves.

So The Forgotten Waltz = chick lit (“chick lit”), because it is about a lady who has an affair, and gets her man. And the kid. The other chick lit is The Mandarins. My first Simone book. I do not like Satre. I have only ever wondered about her. I do not like the thought of what she had to go through. I balk at the idea of the second sex, I don’t like that she did always come second to him (even at university, he took place one and she was place two in their philosophy degree). I don’t like that she justified her femaleness (her philosophy) through her love for him. Vice Versa: her love for him through her philosophy. The Mandarins. So far, a pale red (faded to pink) dusty colour. Spine: gold lettering. Cover: nothing. Dust jacket: none. The paper is glorious. Thin, but heavy. Slight gloss. Text aligned to edges. Kerning precise. Each letter looks like it has been embedded in the paper, not printed on. Silky, with dents. My copy, thanks Mum, is 1957, Second print. No doubt, my mind will change about her as I read.

And then, I have Bridget Jones waiting. I will read her at the same time. I think I have only read her once. And I was a teenager. I do remember being horrified. Alas, it is time to laugh …;)

Simone Thinking. Look at the edge of her eyes - I reckon she had an amazing laugh.