Saturday, 25 February 2017

A Quiet Weekend

After the madness that was the past couple of weeks I've tried to take it a little easier this week... and typically have gone down with a virus. Nothing more than an annoying cough and feeling a little under the weather, but irritating nevertheless. And I'm still feeling exhausted after a couple of days of work. Being on my feet all day is really tiring, which I don't seem to notice when I'm busy working but it hits me when I stop. However, we've been back on track with our healthy eating.. same old common sense really, lots of healthy fruit and veg, meals cooked from scratch, not too much bread and pasta... and absolutely no guilt whatsoever when we decided to go out for a pizza and bottle of wine last night!

But I'm quite determined to have a restful weekend not doing very much other than potter about and catch up with some reading. No matter how busy I get I always find time to read a little each day... although I realise I haven't always found time to write about what I've read... not since December in fact!

We've had a couple of bookclub meetings since December and our book for January was "Sightlines" by Kathleen Jamie. This book really divided our bookclub like no other. It is a series of essays about fairly unrelated subjects (Gannets, Northern Lights, cancer cells, whalebones...). Described by some as nature writing, it has received critical acclaim and loads of accolades. In fact some of our book club members were totally bowled over by the beautiful prose (Jamie is a poet) but there were three of us, including yours truly who just didn't get it. I found it boring, rather indulgent and when she described various beautiful remote places the result was to totally put me off ever going there. The fictional Lewis trilogy made me want to visit the Outer Hebrides more than Kathleen Jamie! I though maybe I was being a bit dense and just didn't understand the beauty of the writing so it was a relief to find two others in the group who felt exactly like me!

Our February book was The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry, an entertaining enough read, with likeable characters set in Victorian London and the Essex village of Aldwinter. It's a bit of a gothic tale of a mythical beast woven around an unlikely love story... several love stories actually. I felt it was a little unresolved but then maybe that is how good stories should be. I don't know what anyone else thought as the meeting coincided with our dress rehearsal.

Apart from bookclub reading I've got through two of my Christmas presents.  A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman is as you might imagine about the life of a man called Ove. At first I thought it was going to be really repetitive and tedious but as the kind character of Ove starts to come through and we learn more about his life and what makes him tick, I found myself totally engrossed in this tender tale that made me both laugh out loud and even shed a tear. 
Five Rivers Met on a Wooded Plain a debut novel by Barney Norris is five separate but intertwined stories centered around a road accident that occurs in Salisbury. Each of the five individuals concerned tell their own narrative. It is both clever and entertaining, if somewhat unbelievable at times, but I was disappointed by the last story and felt it rather weak, letting down the rest of the book.

Currently I'm dipping into and enjoying The Walker's Guide to Outdoor Clues and Signs by Tristan Gooley while I do some indoor planning of walks to come. But the book that is keeping me reading until late at night is The Muse by Jessie Burton. I'm about half way through and totally gripped!

And I've just got a few more to keep me going over the coming months! A diverse selection to say the least!

Now if you excuse me I'm feeling a little sleepy...

So I might just have to join this gorgeous little man. How can he be over two months old already!

I hope you have a quiet and restful weekend too!


  1. Ahh. Lovely baby photos. I'm loving the Tristan Gooley book although only managing small chunks at a time. The Muse sounds good, will have to order that from the library van. Hope you are feeling better soon. B x

  2. I'm in awe of how much you read, I've only managed 3 chapters since going back to work after Christmas. I hope you have a lovely weekend, with plenty of baby cuddles 😊

  3. I feel the same as you about Sightlines, just didn't get it.

    I laughed a lot at Little Dribbling - Mr Bryson back to his roots.

  4. There is nothing like a good book to encourage a bit of relaxation. That darling baby would be a good excuse for sitting down for a cuddle. Hoping that your pace of life will be a little gentler for a while. Not too long of course, or you'll be getting bored!

  5. Wishing you a quiet and restful weekend Gina, take a leaf out of that little mans book.

  6. I'm definitely pro-Jamie. Best read slowly, I think. Good to have a divergence of opinions at a book club though, don't you think? It's very unusual for us all to agree at ours, and all the healthier for it.

  7. Glad to hear you are taking things a little easier Gina and finding some time to relax and read. Lots of sleeping baby cuddles are the best.

  8. Such a gorgeous little man.Enjoy your cuddles.

  9. Your booklist always sounds so wonderful. I miss being in a bookgroup, but just don't have the time these days. Isn't it fun though, when you don't like a book and find others who feel the same way -- even if it goes against everything that is being said in reviews. Hope you're feeling more rested after your weekend!

  10. Hope you will be feeling better soon. From your reading list, I have read Ove, and thoroughly enjoyed it! And who is that little gorgeous creature in your arms? ps: I baked that almond and honey tart!

  11. Thank you for the pointer to the walking book. Quite enjoying it. Just need the weather to improve enough to go and put into practice!

  12. Gina, I am disappointed that Sightlines did not resonate with you but I will agree that I found it slightly different to her earlier offering 'Findings'. I'm afraid that's a book I foist on people often and I love it. Your post highlights why books are so wonderful. No two people read the same thing and get the same feelings from it. My 'to be read' pile keeps getting bigger and bigger, bolstered by charity shop finds. I try and read something that makes me think interspersed with a sudden desire to read Lee Child's Jack Reacher books. Don't ask me why. I have no idea, but I am hooked.

  13. Lovely baby = lovely photos-how peaceful he seems. Think you were right to start working for yourself again-bet they ask you to bake for them when the customers find you have left! Didn't like Sightlines either and it was embarassing as the author's Aunt had persuaded our group to buy it. I also like The Muse. We are about to read The Ballroom for April. Ouch for the toe-I once did it on the bedleg going to the loo in the night and it was so sore and just two days before we went on holiday. Good luck with your baking business-your makes always look so delicious.

    1. Thank you for your comment... interesting to find someone else who didn't like Sightlines!And yes, he is a lovely baby but we are biased!

  14. Beautiful baby! Interesting that your book group was so divided over 'Sightlines'. We have similar discussions in our book group and it is always interesting to hear what others think. X


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