Thursday Sept 21st
A very happy evening yesterday, addressing a women's group at a local Methodist Church. Everyone very supportive re. the Holy Father. I had been invited to talk about "being an author". We had a very enjoyable discusion about books and words and writing - even explored the whole idea of the "logos" and the importance of "word" in the Christian tradition - with lots of interesting and creative ideas, memories of childhoood books enjoyed, etc. One lady, who taught for some years in Pakistan, offered a useful insight: many of her pupils were the first generation to be given the opportunity to read and write at all, and in fact were by-passing the whole idea and using TV for communicating instead:"They simply don't have a tradition of books or writing - don't read, don't possess literature, don't own any books. TV images are immediate, and offer soundbites. They get their ideas and information through pictures, flashed on to the TV screen." We also lamented the loss of reading as an enjoyable activity in many families in Britain: a childhood minus joys like "Swallows and Amazons" and "The Treasure Seekers" is a childhood bereft.....
I am spending a lot of time in public libraries using the computers - fortunately I belong to libraries in two neighbouring Boroughs and can use equipment at libraries in either....but, golly, it's frustrating : the computer network is still ensuring that the Bogle family are cut off at home, no email, no Internet WHY WON'T THE ORANGE NETWORK GET ON AND FIX IT???? Jamie spent much of the day on the phone to technicians etc.
The Islamic "Day of Rage" tomorrow sounds a good plan....why don't we all have such a day and direct our rage at whoever we consider to be at fault? My list would include Internet provider as above, plus the people who stole my bike a couple of months ago. Also the weather is TOO HOT: I want Autumn now. I want cold: I want crisp, fresh mornings. I want the pleasure of hot drinks after a cold walk. I want pleasant Autumn clothes and decent shoes instead of squashy sandals. I want buses and trains in which one doesn't feel like a chicken being roasted. I want a faint smell of frost, and golden leaves falling from trees.
Thought re public libraries: does yours stock any books by Pope Benedict/Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger? The library where I was working yesterday had NONE. They are now ordering some. Go to your local library today or tomorrow, and order two Ratzinger books. You simply fill in a card and pay, usually, something like £1 or 75p. His books are published by Ignatius Press and in Britain are available from Family Publications, King St, Jericho, Oxford. Ask for God and the World, and/or Salt of the Earth written jointly with Peter Seewald. Ask for Milestones, his autobiography.
I DON'T CARE if you have already read these books, or have copies at home. The object is to get them on library shelves. Go on, do it now.