What I Haven’t Done This Summer, or “Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart”

Herodotus Tom HollandChrist, what a summer.

I planned to read Herodotus.

If I were Mary Beard, the celebrity classicist, who, by the way, has a new book out, Laughter in Ancient Rome, I’d have finished Herodotus, written a book about him, edited articles and blogged for the TLS, reviewed for the New York Review of Books and LRB, lectured, starred in a BBC series  and possibly given a poetry reading.

Okay, I made up the poetry reading.

It makes me tired to think about it.

Occasionally around here we drink a glass of iced tea in the back yard or ride our bicycles.

I’ve been reading novels nonstop.

This month, I’ve devoted myself to 21st-century novels, though I’ve cheated with a ’30s E. H. Young because I needed more complex prose.

It has been one hell of a summer, though we’ve taken care of some of the problems.

Here  are the Top Five Misfortunes of the Summer.

1.  Garage was smashed when neighbor’s tree was knocked down in a storm (70 MPH winds.)  The demolition crew finally took the pieces away.  Ten years ago a tree fell on our house in a storm. What did we do to deserve this?

2.  Our favorite cat died.  We miss her.  I loved hanging out with her.

3.  I threw my back out biking, and cured myself with yoga stretches.  (Boring, but good for you.)

4.  I gained the same 10 pounds I’ve gained and lost for years.  Walk 10 miles, bicycle 100 miles a week, it really doesn’t matter, because my metabolism is zero.

5.  My mother’s best friend died on the 11th, almost exactly a year after my mother died.

I know you, too, have gone through your share of problems.

So why don’t you listen to this song by Elton John, performed by Elton and Kiki Dee, while I go read Herodotus?

4 thoughts on “What I Haven’t Done This Summer, or “Don’t Go Breakin’ My Heart”

  1. We toured England via Brit Rail in 1987, and we actually saw Kiki Dee in person. She sang ‘Don’t Go Breaking My Heart’ by herself (no Elton). By that time the song was a golden oldie already, and Kiki Dee’s 15 minutes of fame were over. There was a small crowd there, but it was fun to see someone famous singing their song. .


  2. Oh, that would have been great to see her! I looked her up at Wikipedia, because I wasn’t really familiar with her until I watched this video. So many musicians I’ve never seen…. What a good voice she has, and I like her pink overalls.


  3. You’ve certainly had your fill over the summer – don’t beat yourself up about not reading the heavy stuff! I always head into the summer with a bunch of resolutions about clearing out the junk from the house etc etc but the time slips away and it’s autumn before you know it. I *have* done plenty of stuff – just not necessarily what I planned…… 🙂


  4. It certainly is hard work to weed and neaten your shelves, and you’ve done it.:) I love your philosophy: the plan isn’t necessarily what gets done!


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