“She felt that she could so much more depend upon the sincerity of those who sometimes looked or said a careless or a hasty thing, than of those whose presence of mind never varied, whose tongue never slipped.”

Austen, Mansfield Park

Place Names in England

My friend Neil is studying in England right now and has been sending me some great place names:

Stoke Newington, Tooting Bec, Chalk Farm, Heron Quays, Golders Green, Pontoon Dock, Limehouse, Snaresbrook, Harrow & Wealdstone, Tott’ridge and Whetstone, Angel, Chigwell, Crouch End, Neasden, Ickenham, Bromley-by-Bow.

I think it would be really cool to live in “Crouch End.”

Dear Rita: Misheard “Lyrics” in Jane Eyre

I just finished listening to Jane Eyre on audiobook. It was great, and the reader’s English accent was very pleasant. When I finished listening to the book, I immediately thought of looking up literary criticism to find out who Rita is. Throughout the novel, Jane writes, as in a diary, to someone named “Rita” and yet there are no epistolary artifacts – a diary written *to* someone seemed to be an interesting thing to explore. Of course, as I told Ann what I was hoping to research, it dawned on me that “Rita” is “reader!” My train of thought – maybe “Rita” is a pun for “reader” and then, doh…

Processing in Private

I thought this roundtable was helpful in thinking through the recent controversy caused by the TGC article. The real lesson of the whole event is that it’s a bad idea to process thoughts about race in public. It’s a perilous topic to broach and there are no rewards for failure that aren’t overwhelmed by the likely punishments for failure. You’re better off serving your immediate neighbors or making your garden a more beautiful place.

Fauna and Flora

On Tuesday, I saw:

1. A black bear
2. Elk, including a suckling baby Elk
3. Butterflies in droves, hanging out together
4. Wild turkeys
5. Either grouse or pheasants

I also saw:

1. Chestnut oak
2. Sycamore
3. White oak
4. Black-Eyed Susan
5. Bee Balm
6. Milkweed
7. Various Rhododendron
8. Blackberries
9. Muscadine