A Month in the Country by J L Carr

Can this Booker-shortlisted novella really live up to expectations?  When Fiction Fan and I decided to publish our thoughts about this little book on the same day, no one seemed to have a bad word to say about it and what’s more, everyone seemed to respond to it with real affection.  Winner of the Guardian Fiction Prize in 1980, presented as the genuine much-loved English classic, the risk of disappointment seemed alarmingly high.  I need not have worried.  Reading A Month in the Country was a joy.

Continue reading “A Month in the Country by J L Carr”

Six Degrees of Separation: from How to do Nothing to …

There are warning signs: I have too much else going on which suggests I may disappear for a while.  But my six degrees chain was put together a while back so perhaps I’ll let it leapfrog to the front of the queue.  Six Degrees of Separation is organised by Kate and the background can be found here.

Continue reading “Six Degrees of Separation: from How to do Nothing to …”

Reading Rambles: Rabbits, Bears and other talking animals

… it still has its gold lettering on the spine, just about visible

I was so careful.  I gave myself a list of 8 titles without committing to any.  But my fate was sealed in a single sentence:

“Even I ought to be able to write one Jazz Age post in June…”

Sadly, Jazz Age June has come and gone and we’re past the midpoint of the next month.  But Jazz Age July has a certain ring to it and if Laurie and Fanda will permit it, I have a post or more to contribute on the basis that late is better than never.

Continue reading “Reading Rambles: Rabbits, Bears and other talking animals”

WWW Wednesday: 15/7/20

It’s July and we must be roughly mid-way through the time allotted to the 20/15/10 Books of Summer.  Those weeks seemed endless at the beginning, where have they gone already?  Not that I haven’t been reading; I’m enjoying an unexpectedly rich period of reading at the moment.  There will be no problem in reading my 10 books.  As usual, the challenge lies in writing about them, particularly as most of them seem to demand a post to themselves.  But picking up this weekly meme again is a way of ticking off a couple of books at least, and keeping tabs on my reading in general.

WWW Wednesday is currently hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.  Each week there are three questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

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Six Degrees of Separation: from What I Loved to …

Six Degrees has come around already.  It only seems a week or so ago that I was making the chain for June but that’s because I was late in June.  Remarkably, I am on time for July!

Six Degrees of Separation is organised by Kate and the background can be found here.

Continue reading “Six Degrees of Separation: from What I Loved to …”

The View from Here: walking in the writer’s footsteps (part 3)

“I did not escape an office to be pinpricked by bumpkins”

See part one and part two

At the bottom of the hill sits our nearest neighbour: a run of whitewashed cottages which at first sight appears to be three small farm workers’ homes but is now one large and one smaller dwelling, the latter a more recent addition.  These days they form the frontage of a discreet holiday business.  Six pleasant wooden chalets lie beyond, out of sight of us or passers-by.  The owners are warm and friendly but keep to themselves; the guests are quiet.  We couldn’t ask for better neighbours.

From the neighbours we learned that the original building was once a public house and that it was also briefly the home of the writer, Mary Wesley.  I read a fair few of her books in the eighties and nineties, which I then passed along to a charity shop.  I rather wish I’d kept them now.  She is probably best known for her second novel: The Camomile Lawn (1984) which became, as I remember it, a slightly racy tv series.

Continue reading “The View from Here: walking in the writer’s footsteps (part 3)”

Six Degrees of Separation: from Normal People to …

For the last couple of months I have created a chain for Kate’s Six Degrees of Separation but not managed to post it.  There is a risk of another month passing in the same manner.  So without further ado, here is my chain for June.  The background to Six Degrees can be found here.

I was careful to avoid reading anyone else’s chain before mine was complete and as usual, I marvelled at the variety and the creativity of the contributors.  Mine had no intentional themes, though it does circle around quite neatly which is always satisfying. Continue reading “Six Degrees of Separation: from Normal People to …”

The View from Here: walking in the writer’s footsteps (part 1)

this has been a spring like no other but not because the sun has been shining

What follows is a compilation of fragments written or thought about as we wend our way through early spring.  Too short and disjointed as individual posts, the final compilation proved too unwieldy.  In the spirit of compromise – one post in three parts. 

The photos are from an evening walk mid-May when everywhere glowed pink as the light faded.  Pink – the colour of compassion and understanding.  


It came as no surprise to learn that in the UK, May 2020 has been the sunniest and driest for over a century.  May is one of my most favourite months.  I began, mid-month, waxing lyrical to myself on the glories of the wildflowers and the Cornish spring – for surely this has been the earliest spring and the most marvellous year for the flowers?  Then I noticed drafts of posts from past years, some published, some not, but all centred around the wonderful month of May and how this year or that year has brought forth one of the finest Mays I’ve seen.   It gave me pause for thought.  Is there really a need for yet another paean to this most beautiful moment in our calendar? Continue reading “The View from Here: walking in the writer’s footsteps (part 1)”