I was sorry to miss the inaugural Test Reading on Wednesday night but it couldn’t be helped. I was literally trapped in my house. What began on Tuesday morning as the apparently minor inconvenience of a blocked drain quickly morphed into a full sewer line replacement. By Wednesday evening, there was an eight-foot trench where my front steps used to be. No problem, I thought, I’ll exit through the back door and down the driveway that runs along the side of the house. But alas, not content simply to block our front door, the workmen had put the dirt that came out of the eight-foot trench in a towering heap that extended from one side of the driveway to the other. I was game to clamber over it in daylight with all my faculties about me, but I didn’t like my chances of making the return journey in the dark fortified by a few of the cheap beers rumoured to be on offer at the reading venue.
I gather that I missed a very interesting evening. You can read brief reports here and here. Fortunately all is not lost. Recordings of the readings will soon be made available on the series website. It won’t be the same as being there, of course, but it beats missing out on the event entirely.
On the subject of the joys of home ownership, I recently picked up a copy of House: A Memoir by Michael Ruhlman. My interest was piqued by a rave review from Our Girl in Chicago at About Last Night. I enjoy unconventional memoirs and I thought that this one would have particular appeal for me given that I recently took the plunge and bought a house myself. It was undeniably engaging and well written but I couldn’t finish it. I gave up when I started having nightmares about all of the things that went wrong with Ruhlman’s house going wrong with mine. For the same reason, I can no longer bear to watch Holmes on Homes. I’m a house hypochondriac. Perhaps I’ll wait a few years and in the meantime check out Ruhlman’s writing on a different topic.