In preparation somewhat for the next few weeks, I made the conscious decision to not do anything today, and you know what? It was really hard. Aside from the usual routine of picking up after the children, repeatedly filling the washing machine, feeding animals, and stopping arguments before they start, I have been quietly reading webpages, and achieving very little.
I considered getting the new Moleskine notebook from my bag - the one I bought at the start of the year for a “Bullet Journal” - and didn’t. I will admit the whole “Bullet Journal” idea has kind of passed me by. I realised while looking at other people’s photographed pages that they actually had nothing to do all day - so spent hours illustrating their pages with wonderful representations of appointments to meet friends for coffee, go to Yoga sessions, go for walks, and other such aspirational activities. My bullet journal would end up looking like a circuit board every week - a circuit board designed by committee, with a love for spaghetti and tangled balls of wool.
At lunchtime my in-laws appeared for a visit to the local pub for lunch. I know we can’t really afford it, but kept my mouth shut. They brought birthday presents for me, which I have to admit were pretty awesome (hey - they were mostly from my Amazon wish list, so of course they were going to be awesome, right?).
I don’t think I listed the books I ordered with the gift card my parents sent through, did I.* The Lonely City, by Olivia Laing* The Old Man and the Sea, by Ernest Hemingway* Tender is the Night, by F. Scott Fitzgerald* Miss Peregrinne’s Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs
I’m most looking forward to reading “The Lonely City” - I saw it in our local bookshop some time ago as a hardback, but couldn’t warrant spending the money on it at the time. The classics continue something of a tradition with me over the last decade - if given the choice I will almost always choose to read a classic book rather than anything new - if for no other reason than curiousity - to see why they are regarded as classics. I started out down the classics road by reading various controversial or banned books - again, lead by curiosity. I learned that Lolita was relatively tame by today’s standards, and that Anna Karenina was as good as everybody said.I own a copy of War and Peace, and still haven’t got around to reading it. I remember reading the account of a blogger that had been reading War and Peace years ago - she had been sitting in a cafe with a dog-eared copy of it, and an old man wandered up to her table before leaving, nodded at the book and quietly said “you’ve taken it on then?”. I like that idea - that some books are kind of like mountains - that they challenge us. I also love that I have read a number of the books other people talk about, but haven’t actually read.