>A Gift

>I am mostly reading The Gift by Lewis Hyde at the moment. It’s a fascinating study of gift economy in comparison to market economy (the arts, he argues, need to be understood principally in terms of the first). It’s sometimes tough going because of the detail of the argument, but it’s great to come across a book where you suddenly realise that your view of the economy (i.e. no great faith in the market as the be all and end all) is supported by rational argument. Margaret Atwood recommended it on the Today programme a couple of weeks ago. It’s a great riposte to so many crass arguments about arts funding (“if it was any good it wouldn’t need subsidy”). And it’s only £9 from Amazon.

I am also re-reading Howard Barker’s Arguments for a Theatre which is alternately inspiring and annoying (which is a good thing).

We had the electrician in today. The house is now properly earthed, we have an outside light, a new fuse box (‘consumer unit’) and a socket for the fridge-freezer. We are also over £800 lighter. I know it would be selling out, but I may be forced to offer to write the next Bond movie.

Tomorrow it’s the long iron road to Birmingham. Saturday we take the shed out of its box, find there’s a critical bolt missing and put off building it for another couple of weeks.