Listening to: Cut Your Hair – Pavement (hey, I voted for this in the 1994 Hottest 100 – ah, memories…)


Good reasons to go jogging in the dark: last night I saw an owl. I don’t know if my excitement over this is silly – are owls habitual suburban dwellers? – but holy cow. I went right past it and then had to stop and turn around and stare at it. It was sitting on a fence at my eyeline, and it was brown and compact and very still, except for its swivelling head and eyes, and it was amazing. No tawny frogmouth (which have their place and everything, but are not pretty) – a proper owl (i.e. very Harry Potter). I was giddy. I hope it’s out there again tonight, eating all the big scary cockroaches that are out roaming our pavements in abundance for the summer (they’re the size of mice [oh, how I wish they were mice], and they freak me out).

Because my parents are going off to Taman Negara in a couple of days, and we’ll have various aunts and uncles staying with us from tomorrow, we opened our Christmas presents tonight. I got a whole stack of Virago Modern Classics from Alice’s Bookshop, a biscuit press, some chocolate and Rough Guide’s Off the Beaten Track CD! Everyone else seemed happy with their stuff, too – L and T got a bunch of boardgames, and Mum and Dad got the stuff they requested (wind chimes for Mum, Waterson:Carthy’s new CD for Dad [who would’ve thought my dad’d ever own a Christmas album? But it is really good]). (I also scored Tom Waits’s Orphans today, thanks to my dad – it’s a long, complicated story involving lost CDs in hire cars – and it’s really good [especially Road to Peace, on the first disc].)

As for my new haircut…well. I nearly cried when I first saw it – since when does “I want to keep a bit of the length” translate to “Please give me a pronounced mullet”? – but I pinned up the back when I got home, and blunted the weird jagged fringe, and I’m learning to live with it. Hopefully it will grow out in a more dignified manner than before, at least.

I finished Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell today, and I’d been ploughing through it for so long that I really miss it now. I feel quite sad to be leaving it behind. I’ve started on the second of Anthony Marshall’s books, and I have all those Viragos, but still…I’ve had it on the go for weeks, and I’d become quite attached. Have you read it?