The house seemed so different at night. Everything was in its correct place, of course, but somehow the furniture seemed more angular and the pictures on the wall more one-dimensional. She remembered somebody saying that at night we are all strangers, even to ourselves, and this struck her as being true.
You can go through life and make new friends every year - every month practically - but there was never any substitute for those friendships of childhood that survive into adult years. Those are the ones in which we are bound to one another with hoops of steel.
Go to any small village anywhere in the world, and see what they remember. Everything. It's all there -- passed on like a precious piece of information, some secret imparted from one who knew to one who yearns to know. Taken good care of.
Dieting was cruel; it was an abuse of human rights. Yes, that's what it was, and she should not allow herself to be manipulated in this way. She stopped herself. Thinking like that was nothing more than coming up with excuses for breaking the diet. Mma Ramotswe was made of sterner stuff than that, and so she persisted.
That, incidentally, gives me the greatest possible pleasure—the knowledge that we are all linked by our friendship with a group of fictional people. What a pleasant club of which to be a member! [from the preface; on writing for people around the world]
So the small things came into their own: small acts of helping others, if one could; small ways of making one's own life better: acts of love, acts of tea, acts of laughter. Clever people might laugh at such simplicity, but, she asked herself, what was their own solution?
The value of money is subjective, depending on age. At the age of one, one multiplies the actual sum by 145,000, making one pound seem like 145,000 pounds to a one-year-old. At seven – Bertie’s age – the multiplier is 24, so that five pounds seems like 120 pounds. At the age of twenty four, five pounds is five pounds; at forty five it is divided by 5, so that it seems like one pound and one pound seems like twenty pence. (All figures courtesy of Scottish Government Advice Leaflet: Handling your Money.)
For a short while she considered the idea of orchestral courtesy. Certainly one should avoid giving political offence: German orchestras, of course, used to be careful about playing Wagner abroad, at least in some countries, choosing instead German composers who were somewhat more ... apologetic.
Protestations of happiness could sound almost boasting to those whose happiness is incomplete. One did not boast of perfect skin to one affected by dermatitis; for the same reason, perhaps, one should take care in proclaiming one's happiness.
Moral beauty existed as clearly as any other form of beauty and perhaps that was where we could find the God who was so vividly, and sometimes bizarrely, described in our noisy religious explanations. It was an intriguing thought, as it meant that a concert could be a spiritual experience, a secular painting a religious icon, a beguiling face a passing angel.
Men are very sensitive, Mma Makutsi. You would not always think it to look at them, but they are. They do not like you to point out that they are wrong, even when they are. That is the way things are, Mma--it just is.
Surely it is better, thought Domenica, that forty-five should buy the book and actually read it, than should many thousands, indeed millions, buy it and put it on their shelves, like...Professor Hawking's Brief History of Time. That was a book that had been bought by millions, but had been demonstrated to have been read by only a minute proportion of those who had acquired it. For do we not all have a copy of that on our shelves, and who amongst us can claim to have read beyond the first page, in spite of the pellucid prose of its author and his evident desire to share with us his knowledge of...of whatever it is that the book is about?