Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Speaking lovingly of that with which we work

The inimitable Alexander McCall Smith is as we speak in the South Australian outback mining town of Coober Pedy. At this very moment -- and since he's getting a signal I guess he's come up out of his underground motel -- he's tweeting about the town and the opal miners he's meeting there:


Here in this remote mining town I met a miner who loves her job. Laconic, but amusing, she loves using dynamite. Loves opals too. ... We can all speak lovingly of that with which we work: the grain of wood, the thrill of figures; my miner: rocks and explosives. 

 

10 comments:

Tony said...

I love punctuation. As such, I admire anyone who can build a sentence with a colon, comma, semi-colon, colon, full stop.

Those who say you cannot use two colons in one sentence just aren't trying hard enough.

Liam said...

One of my mates' fathers worked on the Snowy River Project as a dynamiter after he emigrated. Apparently he used to think about solving lots of problems with dynamite: stump you can't clear? A stick should do it. Blocked drain? Shock wave!

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

I have some problems I'm often tempted to solve with dynamite but I think it might be against the law.

TimT said...

I really should read those McCall Smith books I got some years ago as a present.

That quote is lovely but it inadvertently reminds me of some of the weaknesses of twitter - it's impossible to encapsulate such a quote in just one tweet. And if you do it in consecutive tweets, readers will read the last sentence first - and the first last!

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

TimT -- they work well as separate tweets, a fact I've obscured by writing them down together like that.

Ampersand Duck said...

Dammit, Tony said what I wanted to say, but I'll say it anyway: that semicolon rocks.

Ampersand Duck said...

And the sentiment is fabulous too.

Frances said...

Reminds me of a commenter at/on the ABC, recalling how, as a naive and bumptious young man driving from Darwin to Adelaide, he stopped at Coober Pedy to get petrol.
"This place must be the arse end of the world," he said to the attendant, who took it in his stride.
"Just passing through, are you?" he politely responded.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

Heh heh heh.

Ann O'Dyne said...

dynamite? remember 'Gelignite Jack' Murray roaring across SA in Redex car trials? he flung lit sticks as he left each town. The Good Old Days.

and Frances above? everone I know who has been to Coober Pedy thought it was wonderful.

Norm Geras in the UK, one of my regular blogreads on Dr McCall-Smith.