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?