Sunday, October 03, 2004

The IMF, Observer, and Blake Morrison

Today is the second day of the IMF-World Bank fall meeting. The police set up concrete barriers and metal fences in a several block area around the IMF and World Bank and the building in which I work was fenced off from the outside world. Which meant that we could not get our weekend deliveries - which was a huge problem because we had several large orders for newspapers for delegates attending the meetings. This problem was sort of solved by me waiting at the barriers and running in an out with a hand truck to bring in the newspapers. At six in the morning. Yesterday in the rain, today without rain. And unloading quickly before the police intervened and made the deliverymen move their vehicles.

Yesterday I brought a paperback copy of Donald Westlake's The Hook to read while waiting. But I couldn't read in the rain. Today I brought, in honor of his 100th birthday the day before, Graham Greene's The Honorary Consul but didn't get to read any of it because I was too nervous about missing a delivery because of the police.

We just started to get editions of the Guardian printed via satellite on the same day as they are published in the UK. Before we got a paper that was one day old. So yesterday I got to read the Saturday Guardian Review section on paper in real time. I was all set to read the Observer's Review section this morning (and I purposely didn't read it online last night) but we didn't get any Observers at all. I guess they'll show up Monday. I was so disappointed.

But then when I read the Observer online at home this afternoon, in my chair outside the bathroom (where I can use my wonderful neighbor's wi-fi connection), I was rewarded by getting to read the piece by Blake Morrison about his book And When Did You Last See Your Father? as I was sitting six inches from my copy of the book. Such a meaningless coincidence, I know. But I get such enjoyment from things like that.,6903,1318259,00.html

It was only after I read the entire piece that I found out that it is from the new issue of Granta. Had I known, I probably would not have read it because doing so spoils part of the thrill of getting a new copy of Granta. ( (Extra thrill - unpacking new issues of Granta when they arrive.) But since this is the jubilee issue (#87, 25 th Anniv), I guess its okay. And on Friday I read a piece by Ian Jack in the Guardian (,,1317191,00.html) about the history of Granta that is an edited piece of something that appears in the new issue. I figured that would be okay (its only cheating a little bit) because I will be able to read the full thing when I get the new issue.

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