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 email@example.com by midday on 24 June.