Wednesday, 7 August 2013

I don't need a Kindle I have a Leopard Print Bikini

There comes a time in some women's lives when we reach the leopard print age. I will never forget one of the secretaries in my ex's old office (she used him as a screen saver, sweet bird of youth) who wore swanky leopard print jumpsuits to work, jangly earrings, lots of eyeliner and big hair. She walked as if working were beneath her, and it was a chore for her to answer the phone (difficult with those talons too). Her face used to light up with an eyelid-batting smile when my then husband's face popped around the door. It firmed up again when I was ushered in with a sweaty kid on my hip.

Leopard print. How late-forties. How I-wanna-be-jungle-while-I-still-think-I-can.

And now readers this unfortunate writer has to confess she bought a bitty leopard print bikini last week. It was grabbed and thrown in the basket. Cheap and the only one in her size, while shopaholic daughter pored through shreds of this and palm trees on that.

Whoosh. Catherine joins the leopard print club. Oh dear.

So now I've been packing my bag for the annual camping trip, holding it up in the air, wondering what was I thinking? Have I joined the ranks of Kris Jenner and Sharon Osborne? Move over Joan Collins?

How daft. I can already see myself laughing - at myself - while backstroking over the waves.

But reader wait. For this is not a post about leopard print bikinis. It is a serious post about not-having-a-Kindle-but-a-big-suitcase. And driving such a long long way that when I get there I want to pull out my stash of paperbacks on the lazy susan and decide which one I want to read first. Can you believe I was contemplating bringing a computer? A manuscript? Naaaah. Here's my pile:


Iris Murdoch The Sea, The Sea - my prezzie from a best mate
Simon Van Booy (short stories) Love Begins in Winter - read it was a prizewinner, ordered it
Margaret Laurence (short stories) This Side Jordan - Ghana in the 50s. Will this be an expat romp or some insightful writing?
Esi Edugyan Half Blood Blues - Haven't read the hype because I wanted to go there myself
Roelof Bakker, editor (short stories) Still - with 'still' photographs too
Nikki Gemmell With My Body - lashing of sex I expect
Hazel Rowley Tete à Tete - The Lives and Loves of Simone de Beauvoir & Jean-Paul Sartre. Because I can't let go of this couple and HR was a wondrous biographer

So when you see this skinny chick in a leopard print bikini, fretting for her towel and hat, don't feel sorry for her and think she's lost the plot - because she has a feast of plots back in the tent.


What about you? I love snooping on other people's reading lists.

20 comments:

  1. I'm so pleased that you have shared your reading list Catherine and that it is full of books - real books. An actual book that is next in line for me is 'The Buddha in the Attic' - Julie Otsuka. I'm currently reading (on my kindle) a book by Dominic Knight (an Aussie) called 'Man vs Baby'. Enjoy your holiday in your leopard print bikini.

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    1. Thanks Cathy and I hope you are enjoying the summer too. l'll look up both of the books on your list - I'm always keen to read Australian authors. Have you read Gilgamesh by Joan London?

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  2. There's always time for a leopard-print bikini - although I am a one-piece suit girl myself (possibly for tummy-related issues). But a bikini means you can fit more books in, right?
    I too am obsessed with de Beauvoir and Sartre, so would love to hear what you think of that book. And I really enjoyed Half Blood Blues. Enjoy your real reads!

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    1. I'm really looking forward to the Beauvoir and Satre, they were such icons for me. And Half Blood Blues has been winking at me from my shelf for a while now. Will no doubt be lapping them up while in the leopard print bikini under my big orange umbrella - and lashings of factor 50!

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  3. Enjoy your reading & your cherries!
    'The Master and Margarita' by Mikhail Bulgakov,written in 1938...finally published complete in 1973! Fantastic stuff!
    A biography of Joni Mitchell by Brian Hinton...'Both Sides Now'.I just love her music!
    'The Enchanted April' by Aussie,Elizabeth von Arnim from 1922 (intro by Sally Vickers!)...set in Cinque Terre...wonderful & life-enhancing if a trifle sweet!
    And 'Plays' by Chekhov...& poetry...'Parallax' by Sinead Morrisey.
    I have always worn black speedoes on the beach;leopard-print doesn't do anything for my complexion!

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    1. Nothing like a man in black speedos, Unknown. I reserve my navy ex-convent -girl speedos for lap in the pool in winter. What comfort - that upholstered cloth and extensive coverage.

      Interesting list and oh! perhaps it's time to reread some Chekov. Have never read Bulgakov and saw Salley Vickers (just found out there was an 'e') p
      speak in Penzance - most enchanting.

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  4. Rock on, hottie.

    Right now I'm reading (for the second time) Say You're Sorry by Michael Robotham. Just finished The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, and before that, Promise Not To Tell. Next up...mmm...Maybe Wild by Cheryl Strayed, which everyone else has read. I roll pretty far behind the curve.

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    1. Oh me too. I'm just dumb. If everyone else is reading it I'll steer away - then read it years on and enjoy on my own! I think it's all about discovery for me, and though I yearn for big newspapers to review my stuff, most of my book tips come from bloggers or mates. Viva word-of-mouth !

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  5. Cat!! You can rock that leopard print bikini. And you're fine. You're still a youngster. It's when you buy yourself a winter coat in animal print that we'll start to worry about you.

    My stack includes: The Cuckoo's Calling, Blue Plate Special, Blood & Beauty, Indiscretion, and ... are you sitting down? .... The Thorn Birds, which I've never read.

    Have a great trip! Wear that bikini with pride.

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    1. Oh but Teri I confess I tried on a leopard print coat last year and still regret not buying it. I know - awful! And can you believe it was my teen daughter who told me not to go there (probably with good reason).

      And The Thorn Birds! How cheekily unsavoury. I read it at high school (read: reread the juicy bits a gazillion times). It certainly has all the elements.

      Will look up your titles and hope you're having a great summer.

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  6. Purr-fect for your figure!
    Have a great holiday.
    Am heading off to the family cottage in Canada on Sunday. Bringing: Cod,A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World (Kurlansky) It's on my Kindle and I have started reading it); Animal Dreams (Kingsolver - actual book) The Romantics- Barbara Gowdie (actual book) and have just bought Tiny Beautiful Things (Cheryl Strayed) on my Kindle.

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    1. Oh Downith I hope the weather is anything but British and you get some good reading done (and everything else!) Thanks for these titles. I think The Poisonwood Bible was one of the last books to make me truly weep. Haven't read Animal Dreams or your other titles. We should all write up a book report at the end of the hols and compare notes!

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  7. Great post, Catherine! Ha - no comparison between a leopard-print bikini and a jumpsuit. : ) Gosh, I'm with you. What's the point of a Kindle on the beach. Nothing depresses me more. Have my stack of old-fashioned paper books, too. Enjoy!!

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    1. I should add that with the stash of books I packed a lazy susan and zebra print cushions, a couple of sarongs and beach hippie jewellery. How could you read on a Kindle with all that??

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  8. Kindle! Bah! I spit on your back-breaking electronic capacity; your non-reflecting manuscript tinted screen light; your humongous energy-company destroying forever-battery-charge; your complementary classics; your curious almost scentless body...
    I hate my electronic book carrier.
    But my hubby loves it.

    Oh! but I covet that leopard skin bikini. (Covet the bikini body - but that's a whole other thang)...

    I'm newly sated from hours poring over Elle and She magazines. Leopard is IN. Leopard is IT. Bog all to do with middle-age and still jungling in the jungle. LOL.

    I closed my eyes and imagined your camping and swimming and bathing and reading... If it's even half as good as I imagined then you'll be in a state of bliss... Enjoy, you gorgeous woman.
    x

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    1. Oh taa Yvonne hope your vision included leg-weakening Pastis in the local town square, or bottles of Corsican beer consumed after my wrenching daily swim. There are camping downers of course - wailing babes in the night, an orgy of ugly meaningless tattoos, the volume of Italians carrying out every activity you can think of - but the sea! the sea!

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  9. Hey Catherine. How long are you going for? That is a lot of books to read. I am currently reading Every day in Tuscany. Enjoy your little leopard print bikini. I am sure others will. Have a lovely holiday

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    1. Thanks Lyn. Under two weeks and I'm on book 4. The Sartre-de Beauvoir was heartbreaking, written by Australian Hazel Rowley (who also wrote a brilliant bio of Christina Stead). Lots of long morning swims which I will miss like crazy when I go back to the ranch.

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  10. Nice information and it is more useful I sugest office space in Bangalore is more costly

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  11. YOu made me laugh a lot! Yes, I have leopard print sundress, given by a girlfriend. She bought two identical ones. Now I know her inner message :D

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