I’ve had a lovely day, playing hookey from work – I’m self employed so I gave myself the day off, which was not sensible as I need to keep the money flowing, but I couldn’t miss this opportunity – as the planets aligned to grant me a day of peace. You see I have a very annoying neighbour who watches television for around twenty hours each day, and at top volume just in case anyone in the vicinity can’t quite make out what she’s watching. I agree that compared to some annoying neighbours, one friend has neighbours who are tone deaf yet persist in loud howlalongs around the piano every evening and don’t get me started about my friends under siege in their South London Estate…, its not really that bad, but its been going on for four years now night and day with only a few days off. Polite requests to turn the sound down are greeted with either “I’m ill you know” or “How dare you, we’ve lived here for five hundred years” or my personal favourite “We’ve got rights you know” all accompanied by a wobbly lip and followed by the slamming of the front door and the turning of the volume up to maximum. After four years of ‘This Morning’, ‘Loose Women’, ‘Richard and Judy’ and the output of UKTV Style blaring into my home, I have realised that the only escape route is to move and take on a bigger mortgage(unless I win a large prize on the lottery that is)and that means returning to the world of employment, as bigger bills need a more regular income. In the meantime, you will understand, that on the very rare occasions that she actually leaves the building, rather than work I indulge myself by loafing around with a good book enjoying the silence.
And this was a good book. I love Alexander McCall Smith’s books because they are deceptively simple and not at all overwritten, Ian McEwan take note. This is the fourth book in ‘The Sunday Philosophy Club’ series which is, for some reason beyond me, not as popular as his other books. The series is centred around Isabel Dalhousie, Edinburgh resident and editor of the ‘Review of Applied Ethics’ as she struggles with the ethical and moral dilemmas that life throws at her. I know that McCall Smith is a prolific writer, but I can assure you that he’s no Barbara Cartland, his writing is deceptively gentle but, as he is lawyer and philosopher, his writing is far from superficial.