I’m preoccupied with the Venerable Bede right now. You shall hear more shortly. You can get the Bede on your Kindle.
Free. Saxon chronicling, straight to your device, and not a groat spent.It’s a brave new literary world these days.
But Felix was charged with hoovering our bedroom this evening (yes, I still call it hoovering), and I went to help, and got preoccupied all over again with what was on my bedroom table.
What we keep close to us as we sleep is a singular tell.
This isn’t everything on my bedside table, but it’s not far off:
When Felix was a very small person his sense of humour was fully formed. Around this time of year, I found this spider grinning maniacally in a local shop at half price. Reader, I bought him, and brought him home, and my son fell in love with him. One night, just as bedtime story session was about to end he said to me, grinning like a Bedlamite, “Look at ‘is face.”
We both looked. It was enough.
A stone-age knife, in other words. Something which cut sunday lunch around three thousand years ago in some round house. It is true that the sides are worked: maybe it was just some boy scout trying to replicate what men once did to stay alive; or maybe it is a three thousand year old utensil. Flints do not betray their age. They are unfathomable. Inscrutable.
Number 3: a monkey sitting on a hard drive.
But of course.
Number 4. Controversial, I know. But I do not know what I would do without my e-reader. At 2pm I was looking at a picture in a book about an inscribed stone at Jarrow Abbey, where Bede lived and wrote. By 3pm, I had his Historia ecclesiastica gents Anglorum ready to read on my Kindle. It makes research outrageously easy, and also completely free.
It broadens my horizons.
In my defence, the two volumes which hold Dickens’ ghost stories sit on my bedside table. They are a wish, a project, a to-do, a moment in the future. Whilst I am currently reading and editing A Christmas Carol for uploading onto audio platforms, I’d love to read these; every last one of them, and put them onto Audible.
Five bedside table objects. What sits near you as you sleep?