An odd rumble-jumble of personal pictures here, of things around us, places we’ve seen, the small and big things which make us happy. For those days when we don’t have the budget for chateaux, treehouses and writing sheds.
And if you’re wondering why Thursday has become the new Friday for the Friday Fun posts: that’s because today is Ascension and a holiday here in France. The umpteenth one for this month. I can remember a time when days off school made me happy… Tell me what makes you happy, both big things and small!
Brigid Schulte: Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play When No One Has The Time
Although this book does feel culturally specific (US working culture and time-poverty mindset is perhaps the most extreme example in the world), there was much here I could relate to: the confetti of minuscule leisure time slots, the mind pollution of endless to-do-lists that do not allow us to get into the flow, the ideal worker vs. the ideal mother, competitive parenting, gender division of labour. The author backs up her thesis with both research findings and personal anecdotes. This book deserves a review of its own, especially given that it is the ‘theme’ (if there is one) of my blog: not finding time to write.
2 foreign books:
Fuminori Nakamura: The Thief
Another book that deserves its own review. I found it moving, nuanced, slightly disturbing and surprisingly lyrical, given the subject matter.
Daniel Bardet: Le Boche (first 5 volumes of BD – graphic novel)
Fascinating insight into war-time France, from the perspective of an Alsatian man, hounded everywhere because he is neither German nor French enough.
I was looking for a change of pace this month and I got it with this novel: charmingly old-fashioned, with most of the action taking place ‘off-stage’ and being disclosed to Hilary Tamar and his/her team of barristers via letters. It’s a nice set puzzle, and there is plenty of witty dialogue and banter to liven things up, but I can see how this book might be accused of elitism, it does feel like an extended Oxbridge joke.
I started this latest Mo Hayder on Saturday, not really expecting it to make it into this month’s reading. But I had to finish it overnight, it was so compelling (after a rather slow start, admittedly). A family being held hostage in their holiday home, a psychopathic killer who may or may not have been released from prison and Jack Caffery trying to figure out what a tiny message on a lost dog could possibly mean. Hayder’s trademark creepiness and nearly unbearable suspense, very chilling, completely mesmerising. Not for the faint of heart!
We’ve a wonderful prompt over at dVerse Poets today, namely the richly colourful pictures of Sunita Khedekar. Her lush dream landscapes, tinged with an Indian mythological sensibility, are the best way to celebrate the coming of Spring. And it is coming, isn’t it? You can find more of Sunita’s work here and you can read some of the other poems inspired by her paintings here.
Happy List and Happy Trees
What makes me happy?
Let me list away!
Things you cannot pay
things you seek words for and poof!
they vanish when you find them.
View of mountains after weeks of cloud cover
that first gasp of air on a cold morning
puffing away at dandelion clocks
naming clouds lying back on freshly mown grass
to hell with the grass stains
bless my tail with my sons’ giggles
setting the world aright with old friends, whom you can still trust to think and feel like you