A month or so ago I hadn’t read anything by Maggie O’Farrell. Now I have read three of her novels and I am hungry for more. Today I finished The Vanishing act of Esme Lennox. It’s not as good as Hamnet, which is luminous, but it’s still a damn good read, and one which made me think.
I’m on a bit of a reading jag. Celia lent me me Never Leave the Dog Behind by Helen Mort, which I devoured in three sittings. As well as the Maggie O’Farrell I have started on Dog’s Best Friend by Simon Garfield – you may see a canine theme going on here, and I have dipped into the first few pages of Gilead by Marilynne Robinson. A year ago I was struggling to read fiction. Right now it feels like an escape.
Toady I had to go to Mayfair. It was busy. The sun has finally got its act together and was shining merrily in blue, cloudless skies. On the buses the signs telling you to leave certain seats free have been removed. I was horrified when a young maskless women perched on the edge of the seat next to mine. There were quite a few young and youngish women, dressed to the nines, with fake tanned bodies, no masks, both on the bus and in Regent Street. Where were they off to at ten o’clock on a Saturday morning?
I ducked into the side streets and walked over to Mayfair. At Bond Street there were female shoppers in abundance. For them lockdowns, shielding are evidently very last week. I felt strangely claustrophobic to be among so many people, and nostalgic for the quiet empty streets of last year. Maybe I really am ready to leave London.
My leg was sore but a couple of paracetamol calmed it. I woke up sleeping on my left side which I take as a good sign that healing is advanced. On Tuesday when the stitches come out I need to find out how precious I have to be about the wound. I want to get to das Boot and give it a good clean as soon as I can.
B&J have been shielding for over a year but they are really breaking out now. They have hired a car fro the week, and today were first in the frozen wastes of North London, and then in the sunny south. We joined forces and bottles of white wine in the garden tonight. Hartley and Romeo were there too, though Romeo did not stick around. Earlier I had repaired to a shady spot to read my book and MasterB had consented to come outside with me. He wasn’t too thrilled when first Hartley, then Romeo, found me, but he didn’t flee. He just made it clear his evening would be improved were they to vanish off the planet. No such luck. Romo sat on my lap. Sniffing my dress when we went back inside, MasterB let out a low rumbling growl.
We didn’t win anything in last night’s lottery. I am beginning to suspect a conspiracy.
Anyway, time for bed now. Stay safe, keep well, enjoy your reading.