Poppies, Paperbacks & Pilates

Bonnie, strutting her stuff.


I have been quiet for a little while because there’s not been much to tell you! Except: POPPIES! Loads of them in one of the fields on our daily walk. It’s amazing how cheerful they make you feel.

Now, as you probably know, bookshops are preparing to re-open in England from Monday 15th June (they’re not re-opening in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland just yet).

How do you feel about that? Will you be making a dash for Waterstones on Monday?

I won’t, for two reasons… I still feel a little uneasy about making all but the most essential visits to shops and secondly, I have about a zillion books in my TBR pile.

I have over-committed myself by joining another book club (this one is JUST while we’re in lockdown) and it meets on Zoom every two weeks, so a lot of frantic reading is being done.

Our first book was ‘The Accidental Tourist’ by Anne Tyler, which is brilliant (but, oh my goodness, the film is terrible!).

Book number 2, which I have to read by next Wednesday, is ‘Slumdog Millionnaire’ (originally published as ‘Q&A’) by Vikas Swarup (who, according to his Twitter feed is an “Occasional Author and full time diplomat”. Wow!).

I loved the film, so I have high hopes for ‘Slumdog Millionnaire’.

In between all of that, my Evesham Festival book club met this week (on Zoom, of course) and our book was ‘The Bean Trees’, Barbara Kingsolver’s first novel, which I had to rush-read in a day or so (luckily it’s short!).

We voted for our next book (someone suggests 2 books and the rest of us vote for our favourite), which is going to be Joanna Cannon’s ‘The Trouble with Goats and Sheep‘ (which I’ve already read twice! But it’s good, so that’s OK).

The novel is set in the heatwave of 1976, which prompted a chorus of ‘I was conceived in that year!’ from some of the younger members of the group, followed by anguished wails (from me) of, “You’re making us feel old!” (Someone also added – not me – “I think I got divorced in 1976!”). As ‘chair’, I had to reassure everyone who still had to cast their vote, that they did NOT, as part of their deliberations, have to reveal in which year they were conceived. Peace was restored.

I did a strange thing the other evening: Pilates in my next-door neighbours’ garden!

We’ve been going to Pilates classes together for a little while but then of course, all classes were cancelled. But now we’ve got that 6-people-not-from-the-same-household-outdoors-socially-distanced rule, the Pilates teacher is organising classes for 5 people.

So, we got a small group together and she came to my neighbours’ big lawn, to take the session. It was, I have to admit a bit chilly! But it was lovely to be able to lie on my mat, looking up at the sky and to finally have a proper stretch.

Oh it’s handy that the latest Spectator competition fits my alliterative post. Here it is, if you want to have a go!

No. 3155: al fresco
You are invited to supply a poem entitled ‘The Picnic’. Please email up to 16 lines to lucy@spectator.co.uk by midday on 24 June.

This entry was posted in Bonnie, Books, Competitions, Novels and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Poppies, Paperbacks & Pilates

  1. juliathorley says:

    I’ve been wondering about doing some yoga outside, but although energeticcaly it’s a lovely thing to do, I don’t like the creepy-crawlies. Like you, my TBR pile is a teetering heap, not helped by the fact that I’ve been rereading stuff. Also like you, I’m in no hurry to get back to the high street. Until parliament feels confident to sit in a full House, I can’t help feeling I’m better off where I am. Did you see the pics online of queues for in Primark? How desperate for pants are some people? (Oh, more Ps.)

    • I hadn’t thought about the creepy crawlies, Julia! Ugh, I’m not too keen either. We were on our mats, though, on the nice green lawn and I didn’t feel anything ‘untoward’ but maybe I was just too relaxed to notice! And yes, I’ve seen the queues on TV for places like Primark. But I did notice that everyone queuing was much younger than me – in their 20s and 30s. I suppose, if one of their weekend occupations is going shopping and they haven’t been able to do that for 3 months – plus they’re probably not as worried as some about getting the virus – then you can see why they might have wanted to go. But rather them than me! (I hate queues for a start!)

      • juliathorley says:

        I’ve just noticed my unorthodox spelling:’energeticcaly’ – more haste, less speed.

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