This has been one one of the strangest Easters ever, where I had little awareness of the actual time of the year. Who says it is the beginning of spring and gardening? Not here, not this year:
1. It has been snowing on and off the whole weekend and the wind was mean and nasty
2. I have been chained to my work laptop for most of the weekend, so only observed it all from inside.
3. I had such great plans for writing and reading – unrealised
4. I have not seen my granddaughter this Easter weekend – sad sad sad. I’ll make up for it by booking myself on a plane to Germany shortly.
5. I have written/compiled more words than ever in one weekend: some 100 pages of a report appraising options for the future of a further education institution – how surreal can you get?
6. I have not had a single chocolate egg, or a real egg for that matter.
7. … need I go on?
Well, I managed to pop into a bookshop as a kind of retail therapy on Friday and bought Charlotte Mendelson’s When we were bad, according to some reviews the only one on the Booker prize long list that makes you laugh. I shall take it with me to read next week and let you know. I’m also conscious that somewhere amongst all the challenges I signed up to read books by non-English writers and so I bought Javier Cercas Soldiers of Salamis another Spanish civil War novel with excellent reviews and I bought Pascal Mercier’s Night Train to Lisbon, a politically based novel. Not sure when I will read these but I feel quite happy that they sit there on my ever increasing pile of books to read.
I reread the first story in Simone de Beauvoir’s The woman destroyed although I am not sure why and have lost track of whether or not this will count towards one of my reading achievements! I know why, it’s because I am also working on this short biography, which is about a woman and her position in a closed and religious community in The Netherlands after the second world war. Another book I read on my train journeys last week, with carriages so full that the only thing you could do was hold a book in front of you and ignore the rest of humankind, as well as late at night and on Sunday morning is Maggie O’Farrell’s after you’d gone, a really lovely book, which grips you and I could not put it down, felt completley taken up and taken in by her characters. O’Farrell surely knows how to evoke people, so that you think they actually are there with you. Her writing is beautifully clear and very well crafted. Definitely worth a read, especially whilst on the move and when you want to completely turn off from the real world for a short while!