Algy’s tree had at last got a beautiful new coat of spring green, so despite the fact that it was dripping wet in the persistent Scotch mist, he couldn’t resist spending the afternoon on its cushion of soft new needles. He hoped that if he spread his wings out far enough, he could keep the water off his book. In the distance, another of the recently arrived summer visitors was calling to him …
Listen to the sounds Algy heard as he was reading in his tree.
I enjoyed the cuckoo call almost as much as I want to climb into that plumphy beautiful larch…
I’m taking a break from my labours; I’ve been getting ready for book club in my home tomorrow evening. The wine has been purchased, food is yet to be prepared and the cleaning is looming on the horizon. It was just as well it was my turn, it gave me the necessary impetus to take down the Christmas tree. Yes, shameful as it is to admit, it only came down tonight. It wasn’t a tree anymore really, just a skeleton of it’s former Nordic glory.
We’ll be discussing ‘The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry,” as I’ve said in previous posts, a book I greatly enjoyed. I know from speaking to some of our group that Mr. Fry was not loved by all, or rather, was slow to grow on some of them. It’s funny how affecting any criticism of a beloved book can be. Book club has taught me to thicken my skin and take all comments in good spirit. I’ve also learned that wine and my opinion don’t always blend to produce tact. Our November meeting had me state (about the “Juliet Stories”) that not only did I “hate the book, but it actually repelled me.” Fortunately, Rachael who had chosen the book was not offended.
On the subject of books, I’m reading a luminous novel, “The Cat’s Table,” by Michael Odaatje just now. His characters would seem to step off the pages and climb into your head, words spare and yet evocative, descriptive and like the best seduction - taking you on a journey that you desperately want to finish and yet, as soon as you do, you wish you hadn’t.
Do you remember the Edinburgh book sculptor?, when she began leaving intricate book sculptures in literary spots around Edinburgh. Over a year later, we still know virtually nothing about the artist, except that she is a “she” and that she loves books. After hiding ten sculptures around Scotland’s capitol city, the artist disappeared again, protecting her anonymous status.The artist struck again last week during “Book Week Scotland,” when the whole country celebrated its strong literary heritage. The Book Sculptor also expanded her scope beyond Edinburgh by secretly depositing sculptures in literary hotspots around the country.Last Monday, a piece inspired by Alasdair Gray’s Lanark was discovered in the Glasgow School of Art. Read more about these intriguing sculptures below.
This story captivates me, more so because of the sculptor’s anonymity. It’s possible she’s remaining in the shadows of some dark library in order to stoke up curiosity and interest, to later reveal herself. No matter. Her work is exquisite and her panache is undeniable. The message on the tags within her pieces - “…for the Love of Books. X Every ending marks a new beginning.”
For those of you who are able to curl up with a book, what do you say to this circular bookcase chair? Is it too clever for its own good? I can’t imagine that it’s terribly comfortable, your legs dangling down against those slats, back church bench straight and absolutely nowhere to put a cup of tea - now what were they thinking!
(For photo credit, click here.)
Tonight I’m thinking about books and how much I like living with them, not just to read but to have around. There is a price to be paid for this though as I’m always running out of places to put them. Fortunately there’s Billy, who has resided in far too many homes for his own good and held the stories of many in his strong body. ’Billy,’ is of course, a popular Ikea bookcase and I have one in my sitting room just waiting to be assembled.
I’m no lover of Billy but it’s practicality I seek at this point. Having searched ‘unusual bookcases’ online, I see there are many less pedestrian options. I love inventiveness that steps out of the box, and here’s two to consider - can one go too far?
Reading seat, Tokavaig, Isle of Skye (for photo credit, click here.)
I normally don’t like these affairs, a wee seat in a window, hard as a church bench and too short for comfort. This one looks fit for purpose though, one could certainly stretch out on this and lose themselves in a book. There’s just one problem - the view. It’s a bit distracting isn’t it!
There is a time of day, a moment like a sigh where obligation and necessity do not intrude. For me, that moment is the half hour before the house wakes. The rest of the day is crowded, if not with plans and duties, than with people. This beautiful sigh, it’s just for me though. I walk through the house while my mind drifts where it will and I’m moving through a Holsoe landscape, soft light exuding warmth and peace in every ordinary object. The steam rises languorously from the mug of tea as I glide through the house switching on small lights. The cats and dogs will lift their heads soon but now they’re still content to slumber. I curl up and read, look out the window and wait for the sunrise or write a letter to a friend. This golden time is a gift and it feeds me through the rest of the day.
(Artwork credited to Carl Vilhelm Holsoe)
As always, Mr. Fry puts it so well.
(Image source: here)
A book is like a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one’s own self.
Many thanks to all of my followers, both old and new. I appreciate that you read my posts when you do, like them if they appeal, and offer your tuppence worth when the moon moves you.
On the subject of followers, I do not much like that word to describe people that subscribe to a blog. It sounds like devotees of a guru or a cult. Now that’s a thought, if I had a cult, what would I promote? Well, it would have to espouse freedom because that’s a big one for me, but also compassion. Maybe my ‘followers’ could also do some good, try to make the world a better place… Yes, and we could call ourselves…..hippies! For those who’ve been there, done that, burned the bra and smoked the illicit substances and wore the tie dyed t-shirt, don’t worry, I have not taken leave of my senses. I’m having a whimsical moment and the gratitude has gone to my head. Thank you once again!
(Not an afterthought but an important thought, these photos came from the grooviest of blogs called “Awesome People Reading.” Go on, click here to see the famous enjoying their literary pursuits.)