Saturday, December 27, 2008

Birds, books and a Number One slot

Phew. That's over for another year then. Hope all your Christmases were as good as they could possibly be. Lord H and I have had a lovely couple of days, highlights of which included:

1. Visiting the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust at Arundel and having an exceptionally cold walk on Boxing Day. We had to have soup and hot chocolate with cream on to warm up. Well, it's a tough life but hey somebody's got to roll with the punches.

2. Coming back from church on Christmas morning and seeing a small boy walking up the road with a stick. Lord H then commented that some people's ideas of Christmas presents for the family seemed distinctly dodgy this year. However, my feeling was that a stick could only help to strengthen the imagination - after all, with imagination it could be a spear or a sword or a poker to poke people with. Maybe even a javelin. Lord H responded that actually he'd been thinking along the rather less violent lines of a wand to grant people's wishes with - an exchange of ideas which surely shows the difference between us ... Ah well.

3. Spending time with Lord H and not having to see anyone else.

4. Getting some lovely presents, hurrah (and for more on one of them, see below)!

5. On the minus side, my left arm and hand are really playing up at the moment - it's all very achy and stiff, and produces the odd shooting pain if I accidentally twist it the wrong way. Think I might go and see the doctor again next week - I'm hoping my right arm trouble hasn't changed sides and moved over to my left but I'll have to see. Besides of which, I haven't been to the surgery for a couple of weeks or so, and I must therefore be due a visit soon. Hey ho. This is what we pay our taxes for, after all ...

Anyway, today, Lord H and I have travelled up to Marlow to see the glorious and wonderful red kites in the Chilterns as we haven't seen them since last year. They're still as breath-taking as ever. Honestly, watching them in flight and soooo very close too makes our year. Fabulous. On the way there, we also managed to stop off and catch sight of a ruddy shelduck (that's a technical bird name, I hasten to add ...), so that was great too.

Ooh and my lovely nearly sister-in-law very kindly bought me Tania Hershman's short story collection, The White Road and Other Stories (thank you, Sue!) and I've just finished reading that and have therefore posted the following review on Amazon:

"This collection of short stories takes as its theme the edgy and sometimes difficult relationship between humanity and science. There is a great deal of energy about the stories, as well as a strong and distinctive voice. Not all main characters are sympathetic but, then again, they're not meant to be - and each one does have a gripping issue to raise or an arresting tale to tell. My favourites amongst the collection tended to be the longer stories where both character and situation were allowed to live and breathe a little - during some of the shorter/one page tales, I personally felt that interesting scenarios were being unnecessarily curtailed and I would have liked to have known more. It would certainly be fascinating to see some of those very short pieces given a longer life - this author knows how to create character and story, and it's therefore a shame not to use that talent to the full. That said, it's a very worthwhile collection - special mention has to go to the title story, The White Road (a tale of loss, grief and decisive action - and my personal favourite in the book), Heavy Bones (flash fiction about the start of a marriage that really works and shows not all stories have to be sad), On A Roll (where sacrifice brings about hope and the possibility of a new life), and Express (where the mysteries of language uncover a forgotten history). Definitely a thought-provoking read."

So, buy early and buy often, and well done, Tania!

Meanwhile, here's today's meditation poem:

Meditation 32

Only one thing is needed.

Put aside
the hooks and frames,

crossbars, posts and bases
of your life.

Take up only
the sacred, silent garments

of the heart.

It's also been hugely pleasing to see that the eBook of Thorn in the Flesh actually hit the Number One Spot in the US Amazon Gay and Lesbian Fiction reads very briefly on Christmas Day (yes, I was looking, sadly ...) - so I basked happily in an hour of glory before sinking down to my normal unnumbered level. Thank you hugely to those out there who bought it, and I hope you enjoy the read.

Today's nice things:

1. Birds, especially the red kites
2. Books
3. Poetry
4. Laughing with Lord H
5. Thorn having a brief Number One Amazon slot. Well, gosh!...

Anne Brooke
Anne's website - never trust her with a javelin ...


Jilly said...

Sounds as though you had a good Christmas, Anne. Happy New Year as well

Anne Brooke said...

Thanks, Jilly - and a happy new year to you also!