I WAS GAZING INTO THE CHINESE HERBALIST'S WINDOW and admiring the mysterious Chinese characters that seemed to march across everything - like miniature exploding bundles of firewood - when I came to 人参 and my eyes nearly popped out of my head! 人 is jin; "man" in Japanese (which borrowed half its vocabulary along with the Chinese writing... so 人参 must be ginseng. Google's translator just confirmed this. Wahey!! Seems my studies are actually getting me somewhere. A similar thing happened a few weeks ago outside a small restaurant I saw the hiragana syllables すし and a faint voice at the back of my head whispered "sushi!" I nearly fell over backwards when I realized I had unwittingly managed to read something in Japanese!!
I couldn't stay stood outside that herbalist too long as the sales lady spotted me and her face lit up: "Ah! I see £300 customer. Full of much disease!" she thought. (Well; she might have done.) And she excitedly started beckoning me in. I took a leaflet from the streetside dispenser and hurriedly waved her goodbye.
POOR ITCHY'S RIGHT TO RAMBLE IS UNDER STRICT JUDICIAL REVIEW still and she has gone no further than the mound of toilet tubes at the far end by the teabox since her recapture on Monday evening. The little swine!
WE HAVE HOT WATER BACK! And in renewed effort not to look like a street drinker I fully utilized the facilities yesterday and when I get back home in a sec I'm going to use that tartan washbag to take my clothes down the laundrette. Our nearest one has a spin-dryer so I know they're OK.
I HAD A REALLY INTELLECTUAL BREAKFAST of cheese rolls with black pepper'd Boursin spready-cheese. It was really yummy. Just like being in the midsummer meadows of central France. Except being freezing cold in a leaky garret in leaden-sky'd London ...
WELL NOW OLIVER TWIST'S OVER I'm desperately seeking something else to read. Anna Karenina isn't really cutting the mustard as Dickens whetted my taste for stories of the lower middle class. Tolstoy's characters have titles like Duke and Princess and reside in gleamy horse-clopping fairytale carriage mewsed graceful palaces in St Petersburg with maturely wooded grounds. Not blackened hovels in Bethnal Green! I don't know I did spend £1.50 on Anna Karenina in paperback as well as £10 on a luxury acid-free hardback some years ago which I left at my Dad's house nearly ten years ago ... maybe I should postpone until I get my hardback copy as this paperback's printed in such miniscule type even I find it hard to read so I'd think most people would find it impossible. My other Dickens is Bleak House; but that's so exceedingly longwinded you just end up wanting to throw it out the window. Which is not possible with my wizzy new double-glazing.
AARGH! I really thought I might have something more interesting to say this afternoon but all sense escapes me so I'd better go before I bore you all to rigor mortis. Right then! Tomorrow!!
Audio Track of the Day:
Amazing View of the Day:
Lake Aititlan in South America at:
... and from Spain, some of the most amazing winter wonderland pixx I've ever seen!
An amazingly funky French picture ...
Releasing the inner blinger in me - I have only just - and belatedly - realised that having grandchildren gives me a good excuse to release my inner blinger. So ... we took a trip to Homebase...
7 hours ago