Reading progress update: I've read 225 out of 406 pages.

Things in Jars - Jess Kidd

The story has been dragging for a bit. I hope it picks up again soon.


However, some of the descriptions are so marvellous that I don't really mind:

"London will turn Atlantis. If the rain keeps falling and the river keeps rising. In some parts the omnibus horses swish pastern-deep in water. The conductors wear galoshes and measure the floods with great officiousness using long sticks (two-foot-deep near Victoria Station, three inches at Walthamstow). In Covent Garden cabbages are yesterday’s news and sea kale is all the rage. For asparagus there’s samphire, for turnips there’s kelp.

   Before the rain came, the fish had all but vacated the Thames and those that remained were slime-coated, dull of gill and gritty of flesh. Now nets teem and lines hop with the delicious: crayfish and crabs, salmon and trout. Fresh, clear-eyed and succulent!

   Some people, of a morbid, catastrophising sort of disposition, say the floods, which will only worsen, are divine punishment for the orgies of sin that Londoners enjoy. Which is true: there’s plenty of sin to be had in London. The river will keep rising, they say, London will be washed away.

   Mediums report an increase of communications from the drowned. They rise up squelching and inundate séances, imparting wet footprints and the faint smell of sump-water. Incidents of piracy increase tenfold. The London underworld swaps knives for cutlasses and fighting dogs for parrots. Even those with a full complement of eyes take to wearing patches."