a literal girl

100 Days of Writing - #4

I worked for a few hours in the lower reading room of the Radcliffe Camera. It was crowded and cool. It was strange to think that I was writing fiction and trying to make it funny while all these people were probably working on quite serious things.

Later I sat in the sun on the steps of the Clarendon Building. It was a pretty frivolous day, I guess.

100 Days of Writing - #3

On Sport

Yesterday as I was cycling to the pool a small deer ran across the road, through a gap in the fence, and onto the rugby pitch. I watched it scamper across the empty green space. I suppose to some people that empty green space means a lot. Sometimes when I cycle past there is a match going on, and everything is well-lit and there are people who have come just to watch the contest. It’s funny to infiltrate that space without being a part of the world for which it has meaning. I like to picture Roger Bannister running his four minute mile as I walk down the Iffley Road, past the track that I will always think of as his track. But I suppose since that run there have been many more; I suppose there are probably people all over the world for whom that track is a symbol of some very personal achievement, or lack of achievement. When I - briefly - ran track, I could never quite conjure up the courage to care; but then, I was fourteen. All I really cared about was whether the boy I liked liked me back. But I always think there is something slightly holy, for better or for worse, about sport.

publicdomainbitch:

“Pam” 
 
 MI5 staff member pictured on beach. This ordinary looking snapshot was taken and planted as part  of a complex WWII intelligence plan known as Operation Mincemeat.
 The intention was that this photograph would make other documents secreted with it seem more  authentic. These documents, passed on to German agents after they were found on a body  washed up on the coast of Spain (planted by British intelligence) suggested that the Allies were not  planning an invasion of southern Europe via Sicily. This led to a weakening of German defence of  Sicily which assisted the eventual Allied attack.
UK National Archive

This is brilliant.

publicdomainbitch:

“Pam” 

MI5 staff member pictured on beach. This ordinary looking snapshot was taken and planted as part of a complex WWII intelligence plan known as Operation Mincemeat.

The intention was that this photograph would make other documents secreted with it seem more authentic. These documents, passed on to German agents after they were found on a body washed up on the coast of Spain (planted by British intelligence) suggested that the Allies were not planning an invasion of southern Europe via Sicily. This led to a weakening of German defence of Sicily which assisted the eventual Allied attack.

UK National Archive

This is brilliant.

(Source: publicdomainthing)

Indian Summer. It’s September in Oxford and the weather makes it feel like this is what I should be doing.

Indian Summer. It’s September in Oxford and the weather makes it feel like this is what I should be doing.

(Source: mrharristweed)

100 Days of Writing - #2

The Present

One of those lukewarm September days. Our stoop trapped the heat from the sun and I stood there for some time, surveying our front path. Later I went to a café around the corner to sit outside with a coffee and read. A man sat at an adjacent table, drinking orange juice and smoking a cigarette.

"That’s not very cheery reading," he said. "A book about the Somme.

"Well, no, it isn’t," I said.

It is a photograph of the future, of the future’s view of the past, I read. I remembered how last night, jokingly, I had said that the past was the future, or was it that the future is the past? And we had laughed, remembering the time we went to Devon and drank too much homemade cider out of a jerrycan and played cards all evening.

Later I went for a swim. For the first time in nearly a year I had the sense, as I was doing laps, that I could just keep going, indefinitely, or at least for longer than my mind thought possible.

kuangeleven asked: Your piece about London not only resonated in me, but rang faint bells.I remember hearing a radio programme that included an essay by Agnès Poirier concerning the patchwork of London. It described one of those 'so simple it hurts' moments of clarity beautifully. I'm not sure I agree that any amount of romanticism can make up for the generally tense and unpleasant atmosphere in the smoke, but it's interesting nonetheless :) Google 'on-beauty-and-cowardice' (no links allowed in questions here)

Thanks for the comment, and the recommendation - will definitely look the essay up!

littlefishmusic:

Ben and I found ourselves with a few loose hours last week and so we hired a generator for the afternoon and went busking in Oxford. Why not? The sky was blue and we thought we would make the most of it. Johnny Pugsley who runs our favourite local deli ‘Jacobs & Field’ came down to see us play and took a few pictures. Here is one of the photos he took that we think captures our vibe right now. Searching. Spitting on the sidewalk, grinding our teeth, our hearts are unreliable, but hey, we are trying, just like you all.

Everything about this photo is right.

littlefishmusic:

Ben and I found ourselves with a few loose hours last week and so we hired a generator for the afternoon and went busking in Oxford. Why not? The sky was blue and we thought we would make the most of it. Johnny Pugsley who runs our favourite local deli ‘Jacobs & Field’ came down to see us play and took a few pictures. Here is one of the photos he took that we think captures our vibe right now. Searching. Spitting on the sidewalk, grinding our teeth, our hearts are unreliable, but hey, we are trying, just like you all.

Everything about this photo is right.