Sunday, December 20, 2009

yes, it's early

...but we will probably be without internet the rest of today - no wi-fi in the Oxford flat, no libraries open on Sundays, no real wish to schlep around town on a hugely busy shopping day looking for an Internet cafe. So... here is Simba, adopted by my parents from Battersea Cats' Home earlier this year, and parodically entering the cute cat category by looking like a Japanese Maneki Neko, one paw raised in a welcoming or supplicating manner. He's perched on a shelf above a radiator - or what we've come to learn, from our various heating engineers and maintenance people, is termed a Raddiator in New Jersey, between a cyclamen, and an African head of unknown (to me) origin - that looks to be caught somewhere between the remnants of Empire and a mid-century avant-garde-ish enthusiasm for "the exotic" - a question for a future dinner table conversation, but it's not practical to head downstairs and ask about its provenance at this rather early hour of the morning.

Sunlight. A little snow on the ground. Large house in background, Alenhoe, where Leslie Stephen and family, including Virginia - later V Woolf - were photographed in 1892. I cherish a fantasy of the adolescent Woolf strolling around what was the orchard of the big house - where my parents' own house has stood since 1961 - and somehow leaving a trace of presence.

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