My oldest friend sent me a link to Marie Claire Maison, and a feature they had about "Maisons de créateurs et stylistes." Apparently, the life I should be living is in point of fact being lived by Giorgio Armani, when he is on vacation at the house he has on a little volcanic island ("une petite île volcanique") approximately midway between Sicily and Tunisia. Here is his "terrasse arabe":
According to the article, "À l'heure du thé à la menthe, on s'installe sur la terrasse arabe, cet espace lumineux et généreux, équipé de grands canapés confortables."
Well! I, too, would like to install myself on the Arabian-style terrace at the hour of mint tea, especially when said terrace is a generous and luminous space. And I'd like to know what unfortunate confluence of fortune and my own lack of Europeanness, not to mention my failure to be a designer or a stylist, led to this problematic end. The very least I can do, it seems to me, is organize my back patio with comfortable furniture and designate a late-afternoon hour as "l'heure du thé à la menthe." In fact, consider it done. Done.
In other news, I found a copy of Lucky Jim at the Bingham Creek Library, which, as it turns out, is far superior to the West Jordan branch I had been patronizing. I might start riding my bike, when I get a bike, to this new location. I pointed out to the historian that it was a little bit uphill to the Bingham Creek library, which may be something I don't "do" anymore on a bike. After further contemplation, however, I noted that a hill on the way to the destination usually signifies riding downhill on the way home. It's important to do this kind of cost/benefit analysis. It's the sign of a well-trained critically-thinking mind, and I'm all about that.