Archive for October, 2009


Travels with my Aunt

I’m outing myself as a Graham Green fan here. The consisting search for something more important, sincere, exciting in life that you find in all his main characters, combined with an underlying sense of loss and loneliness have always touched me.

Travels with my Aunt is one of the more light-hearted novels. It begins with the early-retired bank manager Henry Pulling meeting his rather glamorous aunt Augusta at his mother’s funeral. In the course of this first meeting he learns that his deceased mother had only adopted him, and the urn with her ashes is hilariously misused by Augustas much younger lover Wordsworth, who tries to hide marihuana in it.

As it turns out this first meeting marks a new beginning for Pulling, who has lead an absolutely regulated, boring life only highlighted by his love for dahlias, and who now, after the urn being confiscated by the police, joins his aunt on several  voyages, listening to her colourful stories of her life and lovers and being led by her towards a somewhat less regulated existence.

All in all this is an absolutely warm-hearted satire (if something like this exists), letting the reader smile at human eccentricities while enjoying the wonderfully grotesque reminiscences that are woven into the plot.


What now?

I’ve just noticed that I haven’t posted anything for ages, one reason being that I had my mind on different things. Too many of our friends and relatives had tough luck lately. I’ve learned about some nasty illnesses that I never heard the name of before, and I still wish I hadn’t.

Usually working in the garden helps me to relax and drive away dark thoughts. However, this year has been so dry that most of my work consisted of keeping the plants alive by watering. There was even hardly any weeding to do because¬† the weeds didn’t germinate. Or if they did, you needed a pickaxe to get them out.¬† Fortunately it rained a little last weekend but before that all the flowers and shrubs as well as the lawn looked rather grey than green. There isn’t a sadder sight than tomato plants that have lost all their leaves or huge sunflowers that let theirs hang down. So all in all it was as if the garden reflected my troubles.

So at the moment I’m not quite sure whether to keep this blog up or not. I’ve given myself until Christmas to find back into a rhythm of more regular postings, trying to find some more agreeable things to write about.