Can we please have some focus over here?


A young father was pleading with his small daughters to attend to the books he had chosen. He said many times: Can we please have some focus over here…you both need to look at these and focus. But one sister was sucking her braid and then painting her sister’s back with it. They both refused to look at the books. The older sister said that she wanted a bell.

The street is busy; a lull in the weather has allowed everyone out again. People say cheerfully: glad to see you didn’t get washed away.

A young man recited a line: I went into the woods because I wished to live deliberately… I said that maybe this is Thoreau. He said he had been trying to fine that line for a long time and he was delighted. Then he recited me this: If I knew where poems came from, I’d go there. He said it was from something called Staying Alive. He said he did not know how anyone could live without poetry.

Two young men in beanies and tracksuits outside the door were talking: don’t worry, all you have to do is turn your car upside down and tip all the water out.

Another man outside said: would a bookshop do well in this weather? And his friend said: I don’t know but this rain is a right prick and makes me hungry.

A young boy said that he hoped I would remember that his name Kody is spelled with a K because last time I didn’t remember. He explained to me how the Boy Versus Beast books all fit together. He supervised the list as I wrote down the titles he needed and respectfully corrected my spelling

Ricki is back for more ancient history. She is 73. She loves the ancients and gardening. She admires Seneca and Marcus Aurelus most of all but she is also still having trouble with her windscreen wipers. She said: those young mechanics think they can charge me $150 to fix my wipers but I’m not having it. I think: well I’ve read Marcus Aurelus and I’ve got a shovel over you young fellas. When she left she told me that now she will dabble in some Latin.

A lady told me that at a quiz night she attended she had to argue fiercely over a question regarding Julie Andrews and one of those famous songs. She herself can recite those songs in her dreams but the judge got it wrong and she had to battle to correct the fool. She also went to see the film The Fault in Our Stars with her teenage daughter and she cried all the way through and her daughter was not impressed.

Margaret is over doing her turn in the art gallery over the road but she came to see me. She said she had to run over because they wouldn’t even give her 10 minutes (damn them!)

I have been lent a book called Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress.

I am asked for The Green and Gold Cook Book and Cloudstreet and Divergent.

But now I am reading Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress. And I think I might get a bell.



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