An irregular, irreverent, post-modern account of the surreal, the ordinary, and the bizarre happenings on and around the Felia lavender farm in Crete

Friday, December 30, 2005


I awake from a walking dream. I walk out of a waking dream. I dream my way out of a walk. I am back in this bloody bookshop again. Who does it belong to? Where, exactly, is it? I'm in the back room behind the back room - the rear end of the rear end. The lights are on but they serve only to make the room darker than the watery sunshine outside would allow in unencumbered. I stumble forward. Where is the assistant? Where is stately plump Buck? The stag at bay? Landseer where are you when I need you? The q to s shelf. Queneau to Roubaud to Svevo. Wonderful publishing houses are here - Sun and Moon - Quartet - Faber and Faber. Did Quartet ever publish Queneau? Trigram Press and Carcanet. Abacus and BloodAxe even.

Hark! I hear not an herald angel but a contralto voice. Rich and warm with just a tiny quaver in the uppermost register. A mature woman's voice. A buxom, generous, woman I think. With a lust for lust. A voice that belongs, or comes from, beneath a moorish wall where she will only yes. The voice of a dirty angel with a clean face. Lying abed I think while her young daughter plays in the red papered room. How do I know all this? Because, some how I know that this bookshop is Shakespeare and Company in Paris. I smell jam, and joy. I smell faeces and liver.

A rolling, lolling hour strolling among the texts and palimpsests - sheer luxury, unadulterated (unlike her upstairs). Innocent, like her child (until the age of fifteen). Knowing, and knowledgeable (like her little man). Then, out khaki into a snotgreen sky - now where's that wood that my goodly squire Umberto left me in? The post modern picaresque persists. The wormwood moon follows the honeymoon as ever.

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