This morning I bought Eric Hobsbawm's eagerly anticipated new book 'How to change the world - tales of Marx and Marxism'. Funnily, I also spent the past week in Paris working with his niece on a market research project! But today was strange in that I also got another new book - Irvin Yalom's Lying on the Couch, which I've already started and am enjoying. I love the way Yalom is so open about his profession. The book was a gift - along with many more in a package of goodies - that I was given this morning. Over the past week 7 friends arranged this gift between them as a way of encouraging me in what I'm hoping is the last 6 months of my PhD. The goodies are all stress relievers - bath oils and salts, body souffle, delectable edibles from Paul the French bakery, fine tea from Fortnum & Mason, manuka honey, good coffee - even vitamins for concentration! It was such a lovely and kind gesture.

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