We have been off visiting and the birds have abandoned the garden after just a few days without seed, grain or bread crumbs.
So, there is nothing to look at, but plenty of books to read in this blissfully quiet time of year. So what am I reading? Well as usual, I am reading lots of things at once, which is confusing only when the characters meet in my dreams in an after lunch snooze.
Firstly, I am reading “A Visit to Don Octavio” by Sybille Bedford which is a wonderful piece of period travel writing in which two American women explore Mexico and discover its lush delights and also that, as Don Octavio says, “You will be very uncomfortable and not at all happy”, if they stray from his elegant hacienda.
I am also reading “William the Outlaw”by Richmal Compton and “William the Bandit” as the pitch perfect vignettes of 1930s Britain, with their caustic line drawings which could not have been bettered by PG Woodhouse and are definitely wasted on children.
To keep me sane on the plane, I escaped in wonderful Muriel Sparks’ “The Mandelbaum Gate” and the turmoil and intrigue of the Israel and Palestine border was as heady in 1960s as it is in 2017. I still don’t know what happened to BarbaraVaughan and must read on.
I have just picked up Oliver Rackham’s “The History of the English Countryside” and am already captivated by his photos of the long lost elm trees of England and for interludes I am savouring the perfect poems of Sasha Dugdale in her collection “Joy”. “ How my friend went to look for her roots” is more toothsome than a hazelnut cluster!