Friday, October 17, 2014


Yesterday I gave John the photos of him and his dogs. He said they were "pukka!" which in English slang -- apparently derived from Hindi -- means terrific or great. (Jamie Oliver uses that word all the time on his cooking shows. I always wondered what he was saying -- I thought it was "pucker!" but got clarification after I looked it up. Thank goodness for Google.)

Anyway, John especially liked the pic with Sugar in the foreground.

I'm glad to hear from one of you that "The Moonstone" is a good read. Maybe that's £3 well spent!

Speaking of reading, I'm about three quarters of the way through Frankenstein. Turns out it's a very sad book! It's not a bloody horror tale -- more like a cautionary story about science run amok, and the monster's own desire to be appreciated and loved. I haven't seen the Frankenstein movies in ages and ages -- like, decades -- so I don't really remember them, but they must have been hard to conceive in the beginning. Mary Shelley never gives a very precise description of the method of the monster's creation, or of his appearance. She refers to his pale yellow eyes, looming stature, black lips and overall ugliness, but the rest we have to imagine for ourselves. Also, the monster in the book moves with great speed and agility, not the stiff-armed gait depicted in popular culture. And the poor guy is deeply lonely. You really feel sorry for him.

(Photo: Land Rovers in Northwood, northwest London.)


  1. oh, the artistic license taken in film...I actually also felt sorry for the stiff-gaited film version of Frankenstein. Glad John liked the photos. Love your buffet, too.

  2. I read it many many years ago. yes, a very different story.

  3. I dreamed of old Pearl last night, our dog who looked like Sugar. I think your picture triggered that. And Pearl had peed all over the floor and then in my dream I said, "Wait! That can't be Pearl! She's dead!" It was another dog, not ours.
    Still, the pee was there for me to clean up. In my dream. To be clear.
    Thanks, Steve!
    Seriously- I'm glad that John liked his photos.

  4. I have a good friend in the disability world that writes brilliantly about Frankenstein. She's also a poet and academic, so her insight is awesome. I'll try to find a few things and send them on to you --

  5. An American in London, reading Frankenstein! It's a blog I've gotta read :).

    Okay, I LOVE Mary Shelley! The book is about being being an "other," isn't it? That is the part that caught me off guard. I expected horror like the movies we've seen. But I agree, nobody quite depicts the horror is one of isolation, not fitting, incredible intelligence and knowing your god or parent or maker has rejected you.

    Ah, the monster is created in a lab; the good doctor goes out gathering all different kinds of body parts from graves. Horrifying as it is to readers of our times, can you imagine the horror of Shelley's readers!?

    P.S. I majored in English Lit ;). Grad school now. You are one in of my favorite places on earth, reading a great book, and taking photos. Looking forward to reading more.

  6. I've always felt sorry for the "monster" too - isolated through no fault of his own...

    Glad John liked the pics!

  7. I just might have to read Frankenstein after this discussion. Sounds fascinating.

    Wilke also wrote "The Woman in White" which was really good as well. ( At least I think that was the name of the book. ) ;)

  8. E: The movie also conveys some of his sadness and alienation, if I remember correctly. (Been a long time since I've seen it, as I said!)

    Ms. Moon: Ha! I'm so sorry I made you clean up pee in your dreams. :)

    Elizabeth: I would love to see them!

    She Writes: Thanks for stopping by! I guess I knew there was an element of alienation in the story, but I am impressed at how heavily it outweighs any element of horror. (Although as you said, the body parts thing would have been pretty horrific for the time.)

    Utah: I thought of you when I took this photo!