Wise old owls

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This short-eared owl, photographed by Nick Dibben (@NicDibNick) lives in Dorset. I was looking out for owls in France last week when I drove around on my motorbike. Didn’t see one but I did pause and watch an eagle with a pale-coloured collar and chest munch through what looked like a mouse on the ground in Burgundy. She looked like she’d just swept down and caught it and was entirely unimpressed by my presence.

Sadly I also wasn’t too impressed with poor old Jack Kerouac and Dharma Bums, which I did get through. While I remain very fond of him and like to indulge in his romantically sentimental take on Buddhism, as a writer he was just so lazy: what he grandly termed spontaneous prose is what an editor like Maxwell Perkins would have criticised as merely a first draft. And the terrible misogyny is just too difficult to stomach any more; Jack’s umbilical cord was never threatened until his dying day.

Ah well. On to Dostoevsky.

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