Gloomy weather and Russian reading

It seems to be the week for book purchasing here at HBH (although if we’re honest, that’s every week). However, I only bought one book as I also went to see ‘The Lady in the Van’, and had a tomato and avacado toastie and hot chocolate (pictured, as is the law with blogging, show us your hot drink!)


I bought ‘The Master and Margarita’ as it has a fun-looking cover, was mentioned in the comments section of ‘Death and the Penguin‘ and also it has an introduction by Will Self. This means it has to be interesting/weird/difficult/confusing (or all four).

I know very little about Bulgakov, other than he was partial to a monocle, and also that he knew he would die of an inherited kidney condition while still relatively young (he was 48). I occasionally meet people like that through work, those who want to take out funeral payment plans or arrange their own funerals as they know there are clocks on their lives. Not the same urgent six-months-to-live types, who plan holidays and try and tick aspirations from lists, but those who might have five or ten years, which instead of living life to the full brings a kind of lethargy. Some surgeries, too, are long term, in a temporary way. ‘We can give your heart another 8 years or so, but after that, there’ll be nothing we can do.’  People rarely feel sorry for someone who has 8 years to live, and so are not encouraged to go sky diving and skinny dipping, as we all assume we are just as likely to be hit by a bus before their bypass reaches its use-by date.

And on this gloomy trip (The Lady in the Van while funny, is also a lot about death and deterioration, the most profound quote being ‘Going downhill is an uphill job’ but to be honest, I like gloom, I used to be a goth), I took a photo of the street as the weather matched the theme, and happened to catch a man levitating.