Hello! Thank you for calling in, expecially as I have been so sporadic in posting. I am happy that you are here. Here we are on the last day of April, a month which, until the last few days, has been full of sunshine but very cold, with frosty mornings and even snow. The other thing which has been abundant is blossom. April has been white, pink, frothy and beautiful, although we haven't smiled all the way through as we lost both of our cats: Lyla was almost fifteen and rather frail, having suffered a dreadful poisoning when she was eighteen months old, and she went out one day and hasn't come home, while her daughter, Pippin, died peacefully in a basket in the kitchen one evening after a short illness. For the first time in thirty-two years there are neither cats nor children in the house and the atmosphere feels unnaturally still. There is a new grave in the garden.
Before we bid farewell to April I thought that I really should show you the books I read in...March.
I am still trying to make my way through the unread books which are already in the house but almost as soon as I had finished A Suitable Boy at the end of February my mother sent me The Children Act by Ian McEwan with her highest recommendation so I set to straight away. The book is about a judge in the Family Division of the High Court who has to make a judgement in a case involving a teenager who requires a blood transfusion to save his life but is refusing it for religious reasons. At the same time, the judge's marriage is in crisis. I haven't seen the film but I can imagine that Emma Thompson was perfectly cast as Fiona, the judge. I thought this book was brilliant and, at only 213 pages, I read it quickly. I, too, give it my highest recommendation.
The next book I read was The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, and I'm aware that I'm arriving late to this party. I was browsing a second-hand book stall a few years ago when the other browser, a stranger, picked this book out, showed it to me and asked if I had read it. I was a little taken aback by his direct manner and answered that I had not. "You should do," he said. My face must have given my thoughts away as I hesitated because he then said, "Really, I mean it. You should buy this book." So I did, and it has sat on my To Be Read shelf waiting for its turn. This book is even shorter than The Children Act at only 161 pages and if you are unfamiliar with it, it's an allegory about finding your destiny, I have even seen it described as "a self-help book", but that doesn't mean that it's to be dismissed. I enjoyed it, it's given me food for thought and I am glad that I read it. "Finding your destiny" is the kind of phrase which would usually put me off, and if I had known that this book was about that I might have put off reading it for even longer, but if I rephrase that as "working out what you really want to achieve" it feels more pragmatic. The next time a stranger accosts me at a bookstall I shall be more trusting.
The third book I read last month was Life of Pi by Yann Martel. This was another second-hand purchase which I bought because it had won the Man Booker Prize and I thought I ought to read it, but that was a long time ago and I just didn't really fancy it. This is also another film I haven't seen (there are a lot of them!) and all I knew about it was that it's about a boy who is cast adrift on the sea in a boat with a tiger. My conceptions about this novel were all wrong and in fact, I loved it. I expected it to be a rather philosophical text but it isn't, it's simply a wonderful book and I am not going to spoil it for you by telling you why. If I ever see it on a second-hand bookstall, I shall be pressing strangers to buy it.
I shall save my April reading for another post. Tomorrow is May Day. When I was a child in the 1970s I skipped around a maypole on the school playground wearing bluebells in my hair but I shan't be doing that tomorrow. However, I may get up early and wash my face with the dew - unless it's frosty!
See you soon. Stay safe and take care.
Love, Mrs Tiggywinkle x
I was sorry to hear about your dear cats, how you must miss them. It's been that sort of year. Thanks for the book recommendations, I've read and enjoyed The Life of Pi but not the other two. Go on, spoil yourself, get the bluebells out once more.xReplyDelete
Thank you dear Karen. I don't think I have emphasised enough how good The Children Act is! xDelete
So sorry to read about you losing your two lovely cats in the same month. You will miss them both very much, we still miss our two and I understand what you mean about a house suddenly with no cats around. I remember May days at junior school in the 1950s also later when we had to dress as flowers for the Rose Queen ceremony - I was a Marguerite:)ReplyDelete
I'd never heard of a Rose Queen ceremony and I bet you made an adorable Marguerite! I was Geranium once in a variety show but I was 16 and far too old! xDelete
Hope you are enjoying May Day and you have sunshine. I totally empathise about losing your cats. We are on borrowed time with our old by Wizard. It’s going to be very hard when he goes so I know how hard it is for you.ReplyDelete
Memories of dancing round the Maypole when I taught a year two class. We resurrected a very old maypole and clad it out with new ribbons. What fun we had :) B x
We borrowed a maypole for a community event in a school about twenty years ago and everyone loved it - even the headmaster skipped around with a ribbon. xDelete
So sorry to hear about your cats - we had to have ours put to sleep just before Easter. She was 20 and just suddenly started going downhill. I still have all the children at home but it is strange not having a little furry girl too xReplyDelete
I find it hardest when I return home and walk in the door, there's no little voice to ask me where I've been. xDelete
Sorry to hear you've lost your pusskins'. I know how tough that feels. Thank you for your book recommendations I have added them to my library list, always good to have your thoughts provoked.ReplyDelete
Thank you Jean. I agree, and it's good to read something outside my comfort zone. xDelete
I'm so sorry to hear the news of Lyla and Pippin. You must be missing them terribly. XxReplyDelete
We've just been away for half term and it was much easier without having to make feline arrangements, but I'd rather put up with the difficulties and still have them here. xDelete
Aww that so sad. I 'm so sorry to hear it!ReplyDelete
Thank you Patrick. xDelete
I was sorry to read about your cats. These furry family members so leave their mark. Sad moments dear blog friend...I feel for you! Hugs Amanda xReplyDelete
Thank you Amanda, your hugs are just what I need! xDelete
Aw so sad about your cats. I read the alchemist a long time ago (20 years) after a big relationship break up and I think it helped me find my feet - does that sound corny! Have a better week. Jo xReplyDelete
I think there's often a great deal of truth in things that sound corny. xDelete
I'm sorry you've lost your cats. Your first book is a new one to me, the second I never finished as I thought it a bunch of twat (which is rare for me), and I loved the Life of Pi. Books for all tastes and times!ReplyDelete
Oh Lorrie, you have made me laugh, thank you! xDelete
I'm so sorry about your kitty's. :( I love your banner photo!ReplyDelete
Thank you, you are very kind. xDelete