October has been another month of marking time. Is this what life is to be now – limited social interaction and staying mostly local? At least the lack of travel and associated consumption means less environmental pollution.
I am enjoying the photographs various friends are posting online as they return to travelling abroad. I feel a hint of regret and nostalgia but am happy they are finding ways to navigate the myriad and ever changing rules now in place around the world. I am also grateful that I live amidst beautiful countryside. I can appreciate this from my doorstep.
There have been highlights. Younger son finally secured a job and is now a ‘key worker’. It is part time but he picks up occasional extra shifts to add to his contracted hours. Daughter should have graduated this month but only the former students would have been allowed in the venue so opted not to attend. In the event she was working nights again so a good call. We celebrated as a family a few days later with dinner at a local restaurant. Our young people have missed out on so many milestones that would have been observed more lavishly in former times.
Husband’s calf injury is healing and he has managed a few short and easy runs recently with no ill effects. I continue to run several times a week. At one of my weekly Parkruns I cracked the 28 minute barrier, setting a new personal best for the course. I also set a PB over the half marathon distance, although this run required several days recovery. I am in awe of anyone who can run a marathon or longer.
My cycling has become less enjoyable as the weather turns autumnal, although I did purchase a pair of windproof gloves that have helped keep me more comfortable. Most rides eventually lead to the town gym where I strength train – these workouts are showing gradual improvements. Setting and then ticking off personal goals helps with motivation but are, I realise, unimportant in the scheme of things. We take what we can.
My teddy bear post this month saw Edward out and about locally – those interested may read Autumn.
It has been a mostly decent reading month. I posted reviews for 8 books in October. Robyn added her thoughts on a further 2 books. The non fiction titles I read inspired me to write a personal post, On Mattering.
As is customary in these roundups, click on the title below to read the review and on the cover to learn more about the book.
Case Study by Graeme Macrae Burnet, published by Saraband
A Narrow Door by Joanne Harris, published by Orion
The Bureau of Past Management by Iris Hanika (translated by Abigail Wender), published by V&Q Books
Winter Flowers by Angélique Villeneuve (translated by Adriana Hunter), published by Peirene Press
Occupation by Julián Fuks (translated by Daniel Hahn), published by Charco Press
Dead Relatives by Lucie McKnight Hardy, published by Dead Ink Books
Northern Irish Writing After The Troubles by Caroline Magennis, published by Bloomsbury Academic
Aurochs and Auks by John Burnside, published by Little Toller
The Last Graduate by Naomi Novik, published by Del Rey
My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell, published by 4th Estate
Sourcing the books
Robyn purchased her usual pile of pretty hardbacks. Now all she needs is some time between long work shifts to read them.
I was delighted to receive a fine stack of books and am looking forward to picking up many of these.
As ever I wish to thank all the publishers who send me their books to review – the arrival of a book parcel remains a cheering event in my day.
My thanks also to those who share my words across their social media platforms. Your continuing support is always appreciated.
And to everyone reading this, I wish you and yours good health and as much mental stability as can be mustered in these challenging times. May we strive, at all times, to be kind xx
You’re absolutely right Jackie. We do feel as if we’re marking time. Beautiful as our own country can be, I do miss the thrill of discovering far flung places, but international travel is not for me for a long time. I hope you continue to glean small pleasures along the way.
Thanks, Linda. And I hope you are continuing to enjoy your motorhome despite the deteriorating weather x