Good Christmas presents:
(1) New Girl gave me the framed picture. When I finally get round to rearranging my lounge room it's going to nestle nicely amongst my English crime collection. Bliss. Not that I'm reading any of that just now. It's a winter pursuit, I feel. On the lounge with a crocheted rug and a cup of tea. Except I don't drink tea. And I don't crochet. But a girl can dream of the ideal life.
(2) Next to that is the four-volume collected letters and diaries of Harold Nicolson. This was from The Antiquer and an exceptionally thoughtful present it was. We'd seen this bundle in a second hand book shop and The Antiquer was nudging me to buy it, but it was more than I could afford at the time (and it meant I'd have to give up getting Rationale of the Dirty Joke by G Legman). Lo and behold it turned up in my Christmas stocking. I've been browsing through it ever since. Great stuff.
Also read (but far from also ran):
100 Australian Poems You Need to Know: Slightly overblown title, I think, but chockers with great poems I've never read before. My two favourites so far are side-by-side. Excerpts:
'The Quality of Sprawl' by Les Murray:
Sprawl leans on things. It is loose-limed in its mind.'Bring Me the Sweat of Gabriela Sabatini' by Clive James
Reprimanded and dismissed
it listens with a grin and one boot up on the rail
of possibility. It may have to leave the Earth.
Bring me the sweat of Gabriela SabatiniRadio hb:
In a green Lycergus cup with a sprig of mint
But add no sugar -
The bitterness is what I want.
2-4-6-8 Motorway - Tom Robinson
Driver's Seat - Sniff 'n' the Tears
Open All Night - Bruce Springsteen
Radar Love - Golden Earring
The Ballad of John Bonham's Coke Roadie - TISM