Because you can't have depths without surfaces.
Linda Grant, thinking about clothes, books and other matters.

Friday, 9 January 2009


An Israeli friend, Etgar Keret, author and film director, has this to say in the LA Times and it expresses my own feelings exactly. I have nothing further to add

Is there anything in the proportionality principle that can rationally justify killing of any kind?

The motives of vengeance, which drive us to kill those who have killed people we love, are completely irrational, even if we try to wrap them in rational packaging. We exact vengeance because we hate and are hurting, not because we excel in mathematics and logic. Early in the aerial bombing of Gaza, five young girls from the same family were killed, and many more children have died on both sides of the border in recent years. The attempt to introduce their bodies into an equation that would make their deaths justifiable or comprehensible might be necessary to influence current events, but it is still enraging.

The only equation I can wholeheartedly accept is one whereby zero bodies appear on either side of the equation. And until that time comes, I'll choose outcry and protest that appeal solely to the heart. I shall reserve my appeals to the mind for better times.

How to tie a sarong

In 1963 Richard Burton, Ava Gardner, Deborah Kerr and John Houston came to Mismaloya to make Night of the Iguana. Then, Mismaloya was a little cove on the Bay of Banderas half an hour's drive from Puerto Vallarta. Today millionaires' mansions climb up the hill and there are various shacks on the public beach where they'll grill you a red snapper but the pueblo of Mismaloya is still a dirt road.

We were in one of those millionaire's mansions, near the top of the hill with vast shimmering views of the bay, lumbering v formations of pelicans, schools of whales spouting, humming birds, butterflies, frigate birds gliding in the thermals. Life consisted of getting up to the sound of the er servants making us breakfast, wandering down to the beach in the company of mainly Mexican families and observing the numerous ways in which it is possible to tie a sarong, for example, making a halter neck dress out of it. We drank the tequila production of Mexico dry. We spent New Year's Eve in the pool, watching the fireworks like a jewelled chain exploding along the line of the bay and then went down to the hot tub for tequila shots.

Now, blearily I confront the bitter cold of this London Arctic winter. Normal service resumes. Sullenly.