Tuesday, 24 January 2017

January reading

I'm just finishing off The North Water by Ian McGuire which has been a heaving read set on a rolling whaling vessel in the Arctic, where the hero (surgeon Patrick Sumner) doesn't come off too well and the villain of the piece, Henry Drax, is of such malevolence and raw power with an instinct to survive so powerful that you can't take your eyes off him nor believe he could ever be vanquished. To compensate for all that unrelenting tension and drama I'm also reading the classic Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. This is a gorgeous hardback edition and although I've only read the first 40 pages I know this is a book that will have something to say to me for the rest of my life. Written over 60 years ago it gives gentle advice about how to balance life, family, work, marriage and finding space to be yourself while advocating a paring down, a simplification in order to be at peace.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

bleak mid winter

nineteenth century calendar vignettes:
Oh yes. It's winter. It's freezing one day and strangely mild the next. The boys have sore throats and dizzy heads and are home from school. We (well, me) have cabin fever. I'm waiting for spring and resisting the urge to buy daffodils and tulips...

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

fire and fog

These are the days of fire and fog. The skies burn at sunrise and sunset, with crisp blues in between. Some days there's fog. We climbed Lough Crew enveloped in a grey shroud, frightening each other with ghostly tales of the witch who lives there and pretending to be lost on the lonely hills. But mostly we've stayed at home, curling up in front of the fire enjoying the books and presents that came with Christmas and reminding ourselves that spring isn't so very far away and that the forecasts for snow might be wrong...