• Only 13 Mondays before the end of the year. That’s a scary thought. Apparently the Christmas rush (or the build-up to the Christmas rush) starts on Thursday. I was interested to read about Super Thursday in the book trade, which happens this Thursday the 1st of October. That’s the day the UK publishers release about 800 titles in time for Christmas. No prizes for guessing which book is likely to be one of the major sellers this year. The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown (good review here).
• I’m busy with my Cape Town reading project. The aim is to read or re-read 10 Cape Town novels before the end of October. I’ll post on this in due course. Most of the novels I’m reading seem to be written by women. I wonder if that dynamic is more pronounced here in SA than in Europe – that it’s women who do the bulk of the novel writing and reading?
• I’ve also started re-reading The Road Less Travelled by M. Scott Peck. This was first published in 1978 but is still relevant and topical. Peck talks a lot about suffering as being necessary for personal growth and draws a lot on Buddhism. The opening line if I can remember it correctly is “Life is Suffering”.
• I’m also having to work, which can be annoying. It’s not the patients that I mind so much as the talks that I’m called on to give. This week I need to brief a group of people on “How to tell when someone has a psychological problem”. Ok that wasn’t the exact title but that’s what it boils down to. I’m not sure this is the kind of audience who will appreciate being told that everyone should go for (or could benefit from) therapy. And I also don’t want to do therapy with everyone here. I’m not allowed to give the diagnostic criteria from the DSM-IV so I’ll have to make this a more general “signs and symptoms” talk. Ho hum.
• I’m feeling guilty about the dog. We’ve been staying in the new house for a month now and I still haven’t managed to get an internal fence so that the dog can come and live with us. The parents are being quite patient and long-suffering about looking after her but I can also see by Joschka’s expression when I come to visit that she’s wondering when I’m coming to claim her.
• On Saturday we watched The Life of David Gale (starring Kevin Spacey and Kate Winslet). I thought it was brilliant (if a little far-fetched).
• Don’t mention the cricket. (We lost again – this time to England).
Have a good week.