Books, life the universe

Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Family murders

I'm not talking about my family, though there are a fair number of skeletons in the cupboard when you start looking for them. I'm talking about the latest case of an apparently estranged father killing his wife/partner and child. While I'm reluctant to generalise it does seem to be a mainly male crime. No one knows exactly what happened or what the family circumstances were but my first thought was - there's got to be a better way of sorting out family problems than this.

People are quick to blame women for using their children as pawns but is this really the whole cause of the problem? I'd be the first to say that women can be nasty, vindictive and deceitful - but so can men. It would be fairer to say 'People can be evil - whatever their sex'. Many blame the family courts for always awarding custody to the mother - is this really true? If the positions were reversed would we see a spate of women killing their partners and children?

If you look at the situation prior to the era of easy divorce when the mother was unlikely to get custody because she was not in a position to support herself and the children financially - were there many cases of mothers killing their children and partners? If there had been then I'm sure someone would have made use of the statistics by now

Monday, 28 December 2009

Murder Must Advertise

Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy L Sayers is an excellent dissection of an ad agency in the 1930s. I read it first in my 20s when I was reading my way through the Golden Age authors of the 1930s. Re-reading it again I was interested to find the criticisms of advertising even more relevant today than they were when the book was first published. The comment that the rich don't pay attention to advertising because they buy what they want when they want; but the poor pay attention to adverts and stay poor because they feel they have to buy all the things advertised to improve their lives is definitely applicable to the 21st century.

The mystery and the murder - which has happened before Wimsey comes on the scene - are complex involving illegal drugs and the fashionable set who use them - and very much relevant today. I enjoyed this book because it brings in Peter's brother in law - Charles Parker, theology reading Scotland Yard detective. The insight into advertising is fascinating especially the way the exact right words for adverts are decided upon. What is right for one company will be rejected by another. Well worth reading even today.

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Reading old favourites

Dorothy L Sayers' Gaudy Night is one of those books which I find I can read and re-read time and time again - and get something new out of it on every occasion. This time I read it for its commentary on personal integrity and the consequences of crime on the perpetrator and on those connected with them. I also noticed how the clues are built up, layer upon layer as well as the red herrings. It is an object lesson in how to plot a crime novel and it actually doesn't matter that there is no murder.

I then started reading Murder Must Advertise which I haven't read for about 30 years and I am finding it every bit as good as I remembered it to be. Peter Wimsey takes a job in an advertising agency for reasons which are not at first revealed. The advertising background is authentic as Sayers herself worked at an advertising agency for a time. The book has some trenchant comments to make about the ethics of advertising which are still valid today.

Friday, 25 December 2009

What's in a piece of paper?

This is what I call art

It's truly amazing what this artist can do with a sheet of A4 paper, a scalpel and glue.

Some of the bigger sculptures - if that's the right word - are brilliant too.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year . . .

. . . to all my readers. Please translate these wishes into any other version you can think of - e.g. solstice blessings etc.

I have made some delicious pork and apple puff pastry sausage rolls this morning and they've turned out very well. Messy to make because the apple makes the meat very sticky - lots of flour needed . The cooking apple just takes away the greasiness. Lovely!

Cottage pie this afternoon for tea tonight and then steak in red wine for tomorrow with jacket potatoes and veg. Might seem boring but we decided not to go out because after it rained last night it froze so we've got a couple of inches of ice over everything. So that's why we don't have the festive joint of meat for Christmas day. We shall venture out before New Year and do a sort of Christmas dinner for New Year instead. We do have Christmas Pudding and mince pies and chocolates and plenty to drink so we shall enjoy it.

I hope everyone will enjoy their Christmas however they intend to celebrate it.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Will this snow ever go?

Right it was beautiful when it first fell but that was last week, now it's overstayed its welcome. We've lost very little of ours apart from off the roof and other places where the sun's been on it. Then each night there's been a bit more to replace what was lost during the day. Still I can't change the weather and it still does look pretty when the sun's out as it is now. I am glad I'm not having to traipse out and get the bus every morning but I would like to go out and everywhere is so icy round here that I haven't done so as I don't want to risk breaking my arm again.

Perhaps I'm getting old as I'm concerned about things like that - but having done it once I've no wish to do it again - it was painful. In fact I'd rather go through my hysterectomy again than break anything - it hurt a lot less than my arm did.

Talking of getting old - I'm finding I'm far more claustrophobic than I was even 10 years ago and I'm wondering whether it's something which gets worse with age - anyone had the same experience? Enclosed spaces never used to worry me at all but now they really make me panicky to the extent I'd almost rather walk up several flights of stairs than get in a lift. Very odd.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Georgette Heyer

I've started reading Pistols for Two - the only book of short stories Georgette Heyer published. I intended to only read the first story but found myself still reading a couple of hours later. I had forgotten how good her writing was - the witty dialogue the believable characters, the historical background. Sort of a 20th century Jane Austen. This is really relaxing reading and just the sort of thing to curl up with on a winter's day with a mug of hot chocolate or a glass of wine. I'm really looking forward to renewing my acquaintance with the rest of her books.

Monday, 21 December 2009

Still snowy here and a sad anniversary

We haven't been out since last week because of the snow and because we didn't actually need to. Some idiot hit one of the lampposts just down the road on Saturday because he was going too fast to get round the corner and the road is a sheet of ice and hard packed snow. Fortunately no one was hurt and the council came and removed the lamppost which was leaning at a drunken angle that same evening.

I was talking to my neighbour earlier today and he said the main roads are all right it's just the residential roads like this one which aren't. We may go out tomorrow as there as one or two things I want to get from Sainsbury's but if the weather is too bad we won't be going. We have enough to eat for at least 2 weeks. I do try not to get too much food at Christmas though it always seems to me like a good excuse to not really worry too much about what you're eating just for one day.

I shall be making pork and apple sausage rolls on Thursday. I had intended to make a Christmas cake this year but didn't so that is definitely on the agenda for next Christmas. Home made is usually nicer than bought. I have a recipe we usually use from a book by a lady called Elizabeth Ayrton. The recipe's title is Mrs Raffald's Bride Cake but it is just as good as a Christmas cake. It isn't too heavy and dark and from memory includes lots of peel and you whip the egg whites to make it nice and light. I think the recipe dates from the 18th century. Now Christmas food I can get excited about - just not Christmas itself.

The sad anniversary is the death of my mother in 1994 - 35 years ago. I can still remember how I felt even now. It was the shock of her dying at 45 which makes it stick in my mind more than my father's death at 80 in November 2000. His death seemed as though it happened at the right time and he'd had a good life - she had so much of her life left to live.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Gaudy Night

I am listening to a BBC dramatisation on CD of Dorothy L Sayers' Gaudy Night - which is very good though not as good as reading the book. So I started reading the book yet again last night. I was struck when I was listening to the CD about how much information the story contains about the choices women were able to make about their lives. The mystery hinges on whether women should support their husbands or expose them if they do anything wrong. The theme is repeated again and again in various small events. There is also a lot of discussion about women looking for fulfilment in a career and what happens to their intellectual interests when they marry and take on their husband's interests and give up their own.

The book was published in 1935 and yet if you set aside the somewhat different standards of morals and acceptable behaviour the same issues are current today. One of the dons rails against employing a woman with children as she needs time off to nurse a sick child and can't put her work first and again this is a recurring theme. There is much discussion about falsification of scientific results and historical research and whether such things are acceptable if the person concerned does it because they need the money they will earn to support wives and children.

This book has always been a favourite of mine which I re-read on a regular basis but the subtext - if you like - only struck me in the last few days having read several books on a feminism related theme. I didn't think women's rights were such an issue in the 1930s as they faded into the background after universal suffrage was brought in and only resurfaced in the 1950s and 1960s with Betty Frieden, Gloria Steinem etc all. Having said that though Dorothy L Sayers did apparently publish a book entitled Are Women Human? of which I have yet to track down a copy.

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Christine Poulson again

Having read Stage Fright and really enjoyed it I dug around in my 'to be read' pile and located Dead Letters which was the first in the Cassandra James series. This is a case of 'Did she fall or was she pushed?' when Cassandra finds her head of department dead in her own swimming pool. What follows is a convoluted trail of relationships and lies and involves a postgraduate student who died a few months before the story opens.

Like Christine Poulson's other two Cassandra James stories this is well written and enthralling and I certainly didn't work out what was going on and who was responsible. I'd only managed to narrow it down to two possibles before all was revealed. A very good story and this writer deserves to be better known in my opinion.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Georgette Heyer

I first remember reading Georgette Heyer when I was 11. I think my mother put a copy of The Talisman Ring in my Christmas stocking that year. Even though that particular book is not my all time favourite, I went on to read all her historical novels though I have never read any of the detective stories.
It must be about 15 years since I last read a Georgette Heyer and I have been prompted to look at her books by this book - Georgette Heyer's Regency World by Jennifer Kloester. It does only deal with the Regency novels - which excludes some of my favourites - These Old Shades, Devil's Cub, Powder and Patch and The Convenient Marriage - but it is still interesting. It is social history and gives more background information about the fashionable world in which Heyer set her Regency novels.
I'm going to start reading the detective stories this time and perhaps work my way through the rest of her work - including the 'modern' novels she herself suppressed and which are available now if you look for them hard enough. I've just been reading extracts on and it made me remember how good they are. Yes they are escapist literature - but they are very quality escapism which no one else has really matched since. Elisabeth Aston comes close in her Jane Austen sequels but apart from her I haven't read anyone who matches up to Heyer's brand of humour and humanity.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

The Female Eunuch

I finished reading Germaine Greer's The Female Eunuch last night and found I had forgotten how revolutionary the final chapter was. It advocates encouraging new ways of organising society such as co-operative buying of staple household items and not being brainwashed by brand appeal. She warns about the adverse effect of consumerism and suggests that if women really want to change their lives they should not be so influenced by the idea of having the latest appliance - just because it is the latest. She suggests farming out domestic tasks you hate doing to people who like doing them and sharing things like washing machines between households. In this way families will not be 'forced' to spend money they haven't got on things they probably don't need - though she does say a washing machine is necessary!

She points out that while the nuclear family with traditional roles suits a minority of women it forces many to spend most of their time undertaking repetitive and boring tasks. To share these out on a barter system would ease the burden for many people. She sees nothing wrong with paying someone to look after your children if they can do it better than you can. She argues that it is only with domestic tasks this is seen as unacceptable. If you needed legal advice you'd pay a solicitor so why not pay someone who enjoys spending all their time with kids to look after yours so that you can spend some time doing the things you do find satisfying and rewarding? Simple - but still revolutionary even 40 years later. I can see why this book caused such a stir at the time it was first published. I know it made me stop and think about things I'd always thought unchangeable.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Stage Fright

Stage Fright by Christine Poulson is an excellent crime novel. Cassandra James an academic specialising in 19th century English Literature at Cambridge University is on maternity leave following the birth of her daughter Grace. She has rewritten the script for a theatrical production of Mrs Henry Wood's East Lynne. A few days before the first night Melissa, the leading lady, disappears, leaving her own baby daughter Agnes alone in the house she shares with her husband who is cast as the villain in the play.

Concerned for her friend, Melissa, Cassandra is also unnerved by the strange phone calls she keeps receiving and the absence of her partner Steven on a business trip to the USA. The air of menace and brooding is well done and emphasised by the setting of most of the action in the fens near Ely. I found myself completely immersed in the book last night and totally unaware of my surroundings while I was reading - which for me is one of the tests of a good book.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Day trip to Norwich

I had to go to Norwich today for my 3 monthly dental appointment - which is a bit of a nuisance though it was a pleasant day out. I was surprised by how few people were out and about and I was wondering whether everyone has done their Christmas shopping and are sitting at home feeling smug! Even Norwich city centre didn't seem as busy as I remember it being this close to Christmas.

I also noticed 2 Tesco Express stores - one at the bottom of Westlegate opposite Marks and Spencers and one half way down Prince of Wales Road. The one on Prince of Wales Road would have been extremely useful when I was working in Norwich as it is only a few minutes walk from the office. I always used to have to make a special trip to an out of town store to do my shopping when I lived in Norfolk. I can see why the one on POW Road is there because there are a lot of newish houses and flats in that area - in fact instead of being a bit seedy it's looking really quite smart and almost continental though I do wonder whether it's still the red light district.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Depressing weather

It is just dull and miserable today and I really dislike this weather. It's about the only time when I would consider living abroad. But then even Mediterranean countries have dull wet and cold weather at times so I suppose you'd feel cheated if you lived somewhere that was generally hot and then got a day like today. At least we expect this sort of weather in the UK.

I have all my cards and presents wrapped up and ready to go now and most of the food shopping ordered - some of which is arriving today. I shall be paying a visit to Marks & Spencer next week because I've decided I'm going to get ready prepared food that I just need to stick in the oven for once. Then I can sit around and put my feet up. We limited what chocolates we had last year and I've done the same this year otherwise we end up still eating them at the end of January. We didn't feel deprived last year and felt we had the right amount.

I've just read an article suggesting we make too much fuss at Christmas and expect everything to be perfect - which we do - then there's the inevitable let down when we feel cheated. It is only one day after all and it's just so commercialised. I'm not even going to Midnight Mass this year as it isn't in our village. It's a pity because our village church is always full so why they've just decided to do one this year in this group of parishes I can't imagine. I suspect part of the problem is that we only have a sort of caretaker vicar because one of the parishes objected to our lovely lady incumbent a couple of years ago. It was hardly a majority verdict since the other two parishes - including ours - were happy with what they'd got. Why can't people accept female vicars are here to stay?

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Naomi Wolf

I am gradually reading my way through the classic authors and books of the so called second wave of feminism to see how relevant their thoughts are today. Fire with Fire by Naomi Wolf was published in 1994 and yet she paints a picture of a very similar world to today. She is scathing about 'victim' feminism - and I agree with her. You cannot fight or change anything if you are starting from a position of weakness and simply expecting things to change because people feel sorry for you.
She argues that if you want things to change then you need to go about it an adult fashion and use reasoned argument and don't forget your sense of humour. Her view of feminism is quite similar to my own - it's about choices in life and what suits you may not suit someone else. She points out that stereotypes straight jacket everyone - not just women. It is not helpful to see men as anti women since the majority aren't - they're just struggling along trying to make the best of their lives like the rest of us.
Great reading and full of common sense - but then I would say that since I agree with a lot of it!
I occasionally read a website called the F Word.( which can be interesting but is frequently over the top. I came across a post a couple of weeks ago in which a woman had been taking part in a Reclaim the Night March and had been pushed by a man. She said she had been sexually assaulted because the man had pushed her on her breasts and at the same time grabbed them. Right - so if you're pushing someone away from you how can you be grabbing them at the same time? To me this is not a sexual assault in any shape or form. If she'd been a man he'd have pushed her in the same anatomical area - so what? Unpleasant, unnecessary but not a sexual assault.

Saturday, 12 December 2009

Tiger Woods

Am I the only one totally bored with this story? Yes he's been to bed with lots of women. That is surely nothing to do with anyone apart from him, his wife and the women concerned. It has no impact on the way he plays golf. Yes if advertisers recruited him because they thought he had a squeaky clean image they will drop him but apart from that does it really matter? He's a golfer for goodness sake not a clergyman. I am not condoning his behaviour but I don't see the public need to know - or care - about it.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Re-reading a classic

I am currently re-reading Germaine Greer's The Female Eunuch. I first read it soon after it was published and was very impressed. I've read about 70 pages so far and many of the things she rails against are even worse now. The cult of the body beautiful for example and the emphasis on not having any body hair. Now this has extended to men which wasn't the case back in the 1970s. The book stands up well to re-reading and her writing style is always interesting.

For myself I am against hair removal and I always feel that it makes adults look like children. Adults have body hair and children don't. I know it's now pushed as being a hygiene issue but I've always believed that you just need to wash regularly and that natural smells are just that - natural smells. However I do think we need underarm deodorants - but that's as far as I go I'm afraid. As someone I once worked with commented on a colleague - 'She's got deodorants for places that I didn't even know I had.'

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Pink Stinks

I really can't see the point of this campaign or the recent support it's received from a Government Minister. If girls like pink - what's the problem? I read all the books with all the conventional stereotypes when I was a child and my favourite colour was blue. It never occurred to me that I had to stay at home and bring up children or that women shouldn't have careers. But that says more about my parents' teaching than anything else. I helped my Mum when she was making cakes and was cooking Sunday lunch for the whole family at 14. I hated housework - but so did my Mum. But we used to discuss anything and everything at home so I was never in any doubt that I could have opinions and express them.

Once I could read on my own no one tried to censor my reading so I read the Jennings School stories, William books, the Chalet School and the Abbey School series as well as many non fiction books. By 10 or 11 I was reading Georgette Heyer and Dennis Wheatley - yes his black magic books. Did I grow up to do a pink and fluffy job only suitable for girls? No I didn't. So I read a mixture of books and preferred dressing in trousers though I did like pretty dresses - as long as they weren't frilly. There wasn't much pink around - or maybe my Mum didn't like pink. I think the pinkstinks campaign may have a point when it talks about the over emphasis on appearance and celebrity but otherwise why focus on a colour? (

I'm starting to wonder whether stereotypes are more pervasive now than they used to be. I hate the emphasis on appearance which pervades everything. I also dislike political correctness - though some things are called political correctness when they're really just common decency and politeness. As for the fuss about Thomas the Tank Engine - words fail me! I love those train books they are brilliant stories and very moral. Thomas gets punished if he does something wrong or stupid - what could be wrong with that? No there aren't many female characters - maybe more now that there used to be. I remember Annie and Claribel the coaches but as far as I can remember they used to keep Thomas in order not the other way round.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Pre Budget statement

I haven't read all of it though I was half listening to it while Alistair Darling was speaking. I just looked at a short piece on the Telegraph's website which says capping public sector pay rises at 1% has angered the unions - and the TUC who are for once sticking up for low paid public sector workers. I should think I can count on the fingers of one hand the times in the last 30 years when the TUC has actually publicly supported the public sector. That is pretty remarkable. Roll on the election.

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Alarm clocks

I was reading something yesterday about alarm clocks which wake you up by means of a light which gradually gets brighter - imitating dawn. The article I read - can't find it now so I can't add a link to it - seemed to be saying they are a new invention. The sophisticated versions which are sold today with the means to play music or tune in to a radio station are new, but ones like mine have been around about 15 years I think.

I've certainly had mine about 10 years. It isn't very pretty but it is absolutely brilliant. The back up on mine is a conventional alarm which will wake you up if the light doesn't but 99 times out of 100 the light wakes me up before the alarm. I don't wake up startled with my heart pounding like I did with a conventional alarm clock and when it eventually goes wrong I shall buy a new one. I shall probably have to replace it soon because it takes 60watt screw in candle bulbs. You can also use it in reverse to go to sleep.

What amazed me was the comments - from people who plainly hadn't tried it - were that it was just a gimmick and couldn't possibly work and only the gullible will buy them. 10 years use suggests otherwise. I used to hate the fact I had to rely on the alarm on my phone or a phone call from hotel reception when I was working away from home. I do still use the alarm - even though I am retired - I find keeping to some sort of a routine means I sleep much better. Though I do get up later - about 8.00am - than I used to.

Monday, 7 December 2009

One Dimensional Woman

One Dimensional Woman by Nina Power is a small book - just over 100 pages but it makes some very interesting points about women today. Why do the few so-called feminist books aimed at younger women concentrate on personal improvement rather than changing society? Why has the consumer society had such a huge effect on women to the extent they must have the latest designer handbag, plastic surgery their own flat and a man - probably in that order? Why do women objectify their own bodies even though women have spent decades complaining about men doing just that?

What I also found interesting were her comments on pornography. She points out that original silent pornographic films always contained an element of humour and it looked as though the participants were enjoying themselves. She is not anti pornography but suggests we have lost something along with the humour. She also suggests that 21st century feminism has rather lost the plot. Very well worth reading.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Sexual Paradox

I am currently reading a book called Sexual Paradox by Susan Pinker. It is excellent and very well written. She is, among other things, a child psychologist. She decided to contact some of her former patients to see how they were getting on with their lives as adults. She also contacted women who had been very bright at school, done well at University, had high powered jobs and then in their 30s and 40s changed careers because they wanted more than just a high powered job with a big salary.

She found the men - who had dyslexia or Asperger's syndrome - had mainly done very well for themselves in purely worldly terms; finding ways round their disability or going into spheres which made the most of their particular qualities. There was a chef who was dyslexic but had no problems reading his colleague's scrawled orders; the man who was totally hopeless in social situations but brilliant in his chosen field - computers. Apparently dyslexia, Autism and Asperger's are all mainly male problems and it is thought due to too much testosterone while the baby is in the womb. So a result of nature not nurture.

What I found most interesting is that w0men who have Asperger's - about 10% of the total sufferers - are far better in social situations than the males affected. This reflects the fact that girls develop social awareness much earlier than boys.

I have always accepted that men and women - in general - don't have the same qualities. But I don't believe that is a reason for denying either sex access to particular jobs. People mix up equality with the idea the sexes are the same. Many of those who believe the sexes are different think that excuses favouring one sex over the other which I don't believe should happen - any more than positive discrimination should happen. We may never have a situation where there are 50/50 men and women in the House of Commons or 50/50 men and women on the boards of the top companies but as long as there is no discrimination that is an acceptable situation in my view.

Saturday, 5 December 2009


I've just started reading Mary Jo Putney's Fallen Angel. It is a Regency novel and very reminiscent of books by Georgette Heyer. It reminds me particularly of books such as Bath Tangle, The Talisman Ring and Black Sheep. The dialogue is sparkling and the sparring between the hero and heroine is well done and witty. Clare - a school mistress in a small Welsh village - hears the rakish Lord Aberdare - half gypsy as all the best heroes are - has returned to his estates after a 4 year absence. Clare approaches him requesting financial help for the villagers and the means to make the local mine safer for its workers. Lord Aberdare strikes a bargain with her. She must live with him - ostensibly as his mistress - for three months. After that he will provide what is needed. The book was originally published in the USA and is the first in a series.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Civil Service Compensation Scheme

I would not normally write about the Civil Service - on the principle that you don't bite the hand that feeds you - but the proposal to change the scheme under which Civil Servants are made redundant has made me extremely annoyed. The current scheme allows for several ways of getting rid of surplus Civil Servants, both voluntarily and on compulsory terms.

I left on voluntary terms which meant my pension and lump sum was paid immediately though my pension wasn't increased as it would have been under compulsory terms. If I hadn't retired when I did then I would have had to continue working probably beyond 60 and could have been forced to move house as I wouldn't have been able to afford to go voluntarily under the new scheme as I would have had no income until I could take my pension at 60.

I know they have to make things affordable but the whole point of the CSCS is that it's a convenient way of reducing staff if need be without paying them on compulsory terms. Under the new set up they won't get as many people volunteering and they will have to make them redundant - potentially increasing the number on the unemployment register. I suspect this is all being done because the public think the scheme is much more generous than it is and think people are walking away with millions - which they aren't. Civil Servants have never been paid the going rate for the job because of the final salary pension scheme and the CSCS and of course the job security.

Unfortunately what the media don't tell you is the pension scheme has changed from final salary to career average for anyone joining since 2007 and they have to pay a lot more for it. The changes are going to happen - apparently - next year. The union for the majority of Civil Servants is PCS and they are trying for a Judicial Review of the whole thing. This is a good example of the Government listening to the vocal minority who think anyone who gets something they don't should be penalised. Instead of campaigning for better pensions for everyone this minority are only happy if everyone is suffering. If this change goes ahead it will be the thin end of the wedge for everyone working in the public sector.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

First frost of the year and books

I was quite surprised when I looked out this morning to white grass. That's the first frost of this winter - so now I can believe winter has started. I am glad I don't have to go out at 6.45am to get the bus to work.

I am currently reading Tessa Hainsworth's Up with the Larks about how she swapped a high powered job with the Body Shop for life as a seaside post woman in Cornwall. It paints a picture of rural Cornwall which anyone who lives a in a village will recognise. I really enjoy reading books about people moving to the country - or abroad - and changing their lives completely. I don't want to do it myself but i still like reading about it. I've always liked reading books like that and as a child used to devour things like Thor Heyerdhal's Kon Tikki and Aku Aku. Armchair adventure I suppose.