Is George Galloway completely mad? I think so. The Arab world hardly needs some MP (who?) running around the Middle East whipping up anti-Western sentiment and encouraging martyrs to write their names in the stars. Poor man. And if it is virgins that are promised in the Qu'ran - and not, as Christoph Luxenberg suggests in Die Syro-Aramäische Lesart des Koran: raisins - then just remember that it could be 72 Ann Widdecombes you meet up there. I'll have the raisins thanks. Why must everything be twisted to suit those who wish to gain and hold power? Hanif Kureishi has an interesting piece in the Guardian today.
I've just been listening to Bell X-1, mainly from having seen them on Vexed and Glorious' blog, and I think they're really good. The diary from the States, on their homepage is great. Music in Mouth is the first album. [The title is a nod to a poem called "The Planter's Daughter" by Austin Clarke, one we all learned in school. Beautiful.] And I called in to my local library today and picked up a few of novels (they have a 50p shelf) - Margaret Atwood's The Blind Assassin, Beryl Bainbridge's The Winter Garden, Michael Ondajee's The English Patient, and Iris Murdoch's The Message to the Planet. I'm embarrassed to be reading these only now.
And then today one of my friends just unwillingly revealed that he had written a novel! It's with his agent now. How depressing and exciting is that, in equal measure. What am I doing with my time? He wrote the thing in four months. Four months my friends.
My issue of Speculum arrived today. I feel so grown up when these things arrive for me!