I've heard that having renovations done is hell and now I can vouch for that first-hand. And not a tool has even been switched on yet. In fact, the builders haven't even been chosen. And that's the problem.
I got halfway through The God Delusion last month but haven't been moved to pick it up again (and now co-parent is reading it - and being equally amused/irritated by Richard Dawkins.) Although I saw a few holes in it (his obsession with rationality and evidence would preclude something like psychoanalysis, I suspect), I have to admit that Dawkins has raised my consciousness as an atheist - though I'm not sure I wanted that raised consciousness.
One of my whinges about the contemporary world is that I happily spent the past 30 or so years hardly giving a thought to religion but now I'm almost forced by certain political realities to dwell on it. Although I've called myself an atheist since I was 18 (and been one since I was 16), I'm a little bemused by things like this - both the drawing and the 'creed' in response.
Neil Aspinall, the real “fifth Beatle” has died at 66 - of lung cancer. Aspinall rarely spoke publicly about the four Beatles, but he did tell this story of how he met George Harrison:
My first encounter with George,” Aspinall remembered, “was behind the school air-raid shelters. This great mass of shaggy hair loomed up and an out-of-breath voice requested a quick drag of my Woodbine. It was one of the first cigarettes either of us had smoked. We spluttered our way through it bravely but gleefully.
George also died of lung cancer, at 58.
A friend of mine’s brother recently died of lung cancer, aged 60. Another friend of a friend is dying of the same disease.
I can’t help but think that as I move up in my fifties, these stories will get closer and closer. I have friends who have smoked for 30 or more years now. When we were younger, we could postpone the idea of the threat of lung cancer. I suspect it’s going to get increasingly more difficult to do that.
I didn't know that it would be performed in many languages besides English, so when the first actors began to talk in Hindi or Bengali, I felt slightly apprehensive - and I thought I noticed the same note of tension run through the audience. (I'd rung for tickets at the last minute after a friend sent an email about it - but she hadn't mentioned the languages and I hadn't read about it.) The tension might also have arisen from the not-so-good acoustics combined with the strong Indian accents of those actors speaking in English. So even the English parts were at times hard to understand.
But who cares? I studied Midsummer Dream at school and found it tedious - rather forced humour. Yet this production, with its colour and vigour, went way beyond that. Listening to someone declaim in Tamil was remarkably similar to listening to them declaim in English. It almost didn't matter that you couldn't understand individual words. It was beautiful anyway.
There's good news and there's bad news on the root canal front - but the good only makes sense if I fill you in on what happened after the first treatment: which is that my tooth continued to react strongly to cold (one of the main symptoms which had brought me to the endodontist's chair in the first place).