15 January 2009


I am now* going to revert to the same method I used years ago to fill a journal my husband had given me in hopes that I might actually be inspired to write something original. Having bored even myself after a few dull and egocentric entries, I decided I was far more interested in recording other people's ideas. Hence my first commonplace book was born, which has now run to three volumes, plus a beautiful leatherbound, wood-spined version that my daughter tracked down and had inscribed "CJW Commonplace." I'm very choosy about what I put in that--and conscious that my calligraphy skills aren't on a par with this treasured gift.

In cyberspace, however, no one can see my scribbles. Here is the first entry I nervously inked in Kate's 2003 Christmas present on 3 Feb 2006:

There are places, there are things that, once you've heard of them, move into your future and wait there for you to arrive. It may take years, but sooner or later the meeting will happen.
Russell Hoban
Guardian 22.11.03

And the second, not dated as my recording techniques at times leave something to be desired:

I'm not a reader who returns to novels: I feel the pressure of all the unread books out there too keenly.
Kate Pullinger

The third was dedicated to both our children, to whom Thoreau might have been writing personally in Walden. They have certainly embraced this philosophy enthusiastically.

I say, beware of all enterprises that require new clothes....

I'll continue to fillet my commonplace books for choice blog morsels. And then--AT LAST--I'll be able to find those elusive quotations when I want them. Thank you, Google!!

*actually, my previous blog is also a compendium of quotations.
The only difference is that they weren't excavated from my existing collection of bon mots.

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