Yesterday I went ahead and spent the Waterstones voucher (no apostrophe is intended, for the apostrophe has gone) which Daniel got me for Christmas. With it I bought both light and life, which I will explain in a moment. But first the apostrophe.
I’m sure I’ve blogged about this before *, but the saga of the Waterstones apostrophe reminds me of a pub in Northampton which went from sensible to silly and then just plain absurd. I have mixed feelings about apostrophes: when they are used I like them to be used correctly, but they are in general so poorly understood that I think we should abolish them altogether. However, this pub in Northampton started out as a perfectly respectable establishment called the King William IV. It then being the eighties, it reincarnated as a silly fun-pub catering for yuppies and styled itself King Billy’s. But over the ensuing months bits of the name dropped off, leaving the name as King Billy’ (losing the ‘s’ but keeping the apostrophe) and then as King Billy with half an apostrophe, something wordpress is unable to reproduce. So that the failure of punctuation mapped the downfall of this once respectable pub.
Here it is, apparently now closed but due to reopen; if the brewery can be believed (and who could doubt the word of a brewery?)
So with this voucher, as I said, I bought a light. It’s a very useful light as it clips onto the pages of the book you are reading enabling you to read in bed without needing to get up and turn the light off afterwards. And I also elected to buy a book of short stories. I prefer novels but the problem with a good novel is I devour it in a matter of days (I’m already on my second reading of the Rebus I got for Christmas) whereas short stories last me a lot longer. They also have the merit of introducing me to authors I may never have read. There is much to say about this particular volume of short stories, but I’ll save it for another post, except to comment that the introduction laments the lack of outlets for writers of the form – a view with which I concur utterly.
So as I come to the end of this post I notice another year has begun. I wish you all – what do I wish you all? Everything you wish yourselves, unless what you wish is like this (go to minute 32):
*I did – it’s here: