Monday, 21 August 2017


Just for a couple of minutes the total eclipse was shown on the BBC News this evening and I must say it was quite awe-inspiring.   It did set me wondering what early man must have thought when such phenomena occurred.   Were they afraid, did they think that the end of the world had come - or did they indeed think of their existence in terms of living in a 'world'?   I am sure they didn't.

In fact, we can't begin to imagine how they viewed anything can we?   Up to the invention of writing and with it the possibility of being able to write one's thoughts and feelings down, we can't know much at all about how our ancient ancestors thought.   From relics and artefacts we can deduce a lot about how they lived and ate and fought one another. But thinking - now that is a different matter altogether.

Having thought about it for a bit I suppose it is still true that none of us know what people think, do we?   We only know what they choose to tell us and quite often that is what they think we want to hear rather than what they really think.

Right, that's enough of the 'deep' stuff for today.
Thank you to everyone who took the trouble to give me a wide variety of book titles for my book club.   I have sent for Bernhard Schlink's 'The Reader' for a start, so thank you Rachel for that suggestion - I will let you know how I find it.
What books we like is another thing which varies from one person to another.   I have just had quite a struggle with Zadie Smith's 'Swingtime' - a very good book but not an easy one to read.

I got in quite a mess ordering it from Amazon - accidentally involving 'Prime' and accidentally ordering it twice.   But I persevered and eventually got both things corrected (Prime cancelled and one book order cancelled).   As with all things computer I find that the only way is to keep doing it oneself until it comes right - otherwise life is made up of always asking someone else to do it for me.

Perfect warm Autumn morning has given way to cloudy, cool conditions.   In spite of very bad arthritis today I shall now go down the Lane with Tess for a short walk.   With my Winter fleece on!



Jules said...

Enjoy your walk. The air was warm and sweet here this morning. We were out gathering blackberries before the rain arrived. X

Sue in Suffolk said...

I remember when I started with a computer, i used to ask one of the children what to do and they would push buttons and say "do this, then this and this" by which time I was totally lost!

Wonder when we next have an eclipse of some sort in this country? I shall look it up

donna baker said...

I'd rather have someone else do it for me and if I was Queen...

justjill said...

Too cloudy here for the eclipse. But when I think back over the years I have seen a few. I remember as a child at primary school, so that would have been in the 50s being given smoked glass. But I could be making that up!

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

I got to see the eclipse today. We only had about 80%, but watching it (with the special glasses) was marvelous. My cat stared at the TV while it was on for over half an hour. I wonder what she was thinking.

Frugal in Derbyshire said...

We went o see the eclipse in Cornwall. We sat on Plymouth Hoe with a glass of wine, thinking "this is going to be good" It was much more than that. It was an experience. At totality the temperature dropped and the sounds around us changed from day to night. I cannot imagine how terrifying it must have been to people hundreds of years ago.
I'd love to be in a book club. There are none aound here to my knowledge.

angryparsnip said...

Not my book on book chickens ? wahahahahahahahahaha
I loved the Eclipse and might post about it tomorrow.
So exciting.

cheers, parsnip

Yorkshire Pudding said...

Our ancient ancestors left so many tantalising things behind. They speak to us when we listen.

Mac n' Janet said...

I really tried with Swingtime, but just couldn't finish it. No eclipse here, just rain.

Midlife Roadtripper said...

"We only know what they choose to tell us and quite often that is what they think
we want to hear rather than what they really think."

I should learn that trick. My honesty gets me in too much trouble too often.

I just picked up Swing Time from the used book store. Based on your comments, I'll save it for the winter. Currently reading A Gentleman in Moscow. Thoroughly enjoying it.

Granny Sue said...

I envy your warm weather! The eclipse was nice here; we had about 90% totality so it didn't go completely dark, but it was still phenomenal to watch it.

I liked The Reader; I hope your group enjoys it.

Derek Faulkner said...

I was fascinated by your comments "what people think.....and quite often that is what they think we want to hear rather than what they really think".
That is something I have often questioned in my mind about this blogging lark, people build up a special relationship with another blogger, almost to a stage where that blogger can do no wrong and is also worshipped and yet I find myself asking but have you actually met that person in the flesh. Do you really know that person, are you simply responding to an image that the person has given to you that might not be entirely true?

Alphie Soup said...

I found Zadie Smith hard going too. The Reader is sitting on the shelf waiting for me to start reading.

thelma said...

Going back to Derek Faulkner's observation's "are you simply responding to an image that the person has given to you". I suppose the answer is we can only give what we see of ourselves, now whether that is false or true, who is our judge?

Anonymous said...

I'm reading a book at the moment about meditation.
In the introduction to one of the exercises the author says that we usually react to other peoples' opinion of us or say what we think people want to hear. In either case this warps our own image of ourselves until we are no longer sure "who we are".
This infers that we are all living a lie; that we are even lying to ourselves. It's a sobering thought.
I'm so sorry that you are struggling with arthritis at the moment. It's an awful condition which makes one so tired.
Can you rest more or does that give you too much time to think?
If so I prescribe more coffee mornings and meals out with your friends!

Anonymous said...

I found myself thinking about the ancestors and the eclipse too. We make a lot of assumptions about the way they responded to things, usually investing them with less sophistication and knowledge than we have today. I think we can infer a certain amount about how they thought from what their artefacts reveal about how they lived and what they valued. Thought-provoking post, thank you.

Heather said...

It was quite muggy here yesterday but the temperature goes up and down so often. I hope September will be a more pleasant month with August being so disappointing weatherwise.
I am quite sure early man would have been terrified by a total eclipse, there being no experts on such things available for reassurance.
I am really tired this morning and ploughing through the final jobs to be done before Friday, which is supposed to be completion day for me, though the solicitor will not commit yet! If it all falls through I shall be camping out in my own house till after the bank holiday. Enjoy you walk with Tess and I hope the arthritis will ease up soon.

Rachel Phillips said...

I believe that our ancestors would have taken the eclipse in their stride. Stonehenge, for starters, indicates that they had their own views on sunrise and sunset and were sophisticated in their knowledge and so they would have been about eclipses. I personally don't think they would have had a problem.

Elizabeth said...

Eclipse was partial here- but the birds did tweet strangely and the light was odd.
As regards reading, I have recently been on a Marganita Laski tear - To Bed with Fine Music, The Village and Little Boy Lost.
She has such a quirky, unexpected but exact and humane take on things.
Found "The Reader" interesting but unconvincing.
Currently at my son's house while they are in England. Much chopping at bushes going on!

Peter said...

The Reader is a good choice. Not easy but worth it and should start a lot of discussion.

Librarian said...

Some very interesting thoughts (!) expressed here, Pat, both in your post and in your comment. I have always found the difference between self-perception and how others see us fascinating, and have blogged about it in the past.
Derek is right about how some bloggers come almost to a level of "fame" when they can do no wrong in the eyes of their readers; I have observed the same phenomenon. Probably also a case of those who disagree (or have nothing to say on a post's subject) slowldy drift away and stop commenting, so that no disagreement is ever voiced.
Your blog is different in that people here really do express different opinions and not always agree - it is healthy and refreshing!

By the way I admire your attitude, that you try things until you get them right so that you do not always have to ask someone else. Nothing wrong though in having someone show/explain something to you every now and then :-)

Winter fleece...? I am sleeveless and with no tights on today, 25 Celsius or more!

Librarian said...

Sorry, that should read "Some very interesting thoughts (!) expressed here, Pat, both in your post and in the comments", and "...a case of those who disagree [...] slowly drifting away and stopping to comment". My grammar module seems to be slightly offline today!

Minigranny said...

I remember being given smoked glass at school in the 50's but think it was for a partial eclipse.I'm reading 'The Return of Captain John Emmett' by Elizabeth Speller at the moment which is gripping. Have also enjoyed novels by Irene Nemirovsky which are beautifully written.
Do hope the arthritis improves- I'm similarly afflicted and the damp weather hasn't helped!!

The Weaver of Grass said...

I think that Thelma has answered Derek's question perfectly so there is no need for me to comment on that
Ah Elizabeth - I am old enough to remember Marganita Laski in the flesh - she was so often on disccssion programmes on early television - quite a character.
Minigranny - thanks for the book recommendation. Also my Physio says it is npo myth that arthritis is worse in damp weather - it is affected by air pressure.

Thanks everyone.

Unknown said...

I think back over the years I have seen a few. I remember as a child at primary school, so that would have been in the 50s being given smoked glass. But I could be making that up!