After a disturbed and disturbing night’s sleep today has been an annoying sort of affair – due almost entirely to my own bad temper by the end. It should have been a nice day off after a generally good week but starting with over sleeping, and swiftly realising I’d let the washing up get out of control again it’s all been a bit of an uphill struggle since.
‘The Diaries of Sofia Tolstoy’ are proving to be very much part of the struggle – following me around in the manner of undone homework. I believe the due date for publication is in about 10 days – but there they were glaring at me from the shelf in Waterstone’s (not even the big one with the helpful staff and the nice books, but the little one were the favourites include vampire Darcy novels). I have tried with these I really have but so far nothing doing. I started at the beginning and found young Sofia tough going so thought that’s ok – diaries – I’ll just dip in and out, find something compelling and work back than forward.
I found Sofia talking about how youthful she continues to look into her forties – not feeling sympathetic since I’ve found a new collection of grey hairs. However I will persevere – I’m sure there’s more to Sofia than an endless litany of complaints about not being able to sit at the piano for hours on end – I just need to find a way in. I’ll be taking her to work with me all week – her Russian sensibilities should chime well with the general atmosphere in the canteen. I’m also looking forward to the film based on her life, as well as reading what others make of her – I see this is being widely read at the moment.
I had meant to write about Simon King’s Shetland Diaries after Thursdays programme but have decided to hold off until the book comes out and until I’ve seen the rest of the series. The first episode was both nostalgic and thought provoking for me and I’m interested to see how it develops – it’s also making me very impatient for my summer pilgrimage north and has sent me straight to George Mackay Brown’s short stories again (Orkney rather than Shetland, but close enough at the moment) I may even tackle one of his novels Sofia permitting. Themed reading isn’t always my thing but I’m inclined to look out for Scottish island books at the moment – it’ll make a change from my accidental run of catholic lady writers.
Finally the disturbing night’s sleep – something that took me right back to ‘The Woman in Black’ – my flat plays some odd tricks with sound sometimes and last night I was woken up by what sounded like hysterical sobbing right next to me, by the time I’d a) woken up properly b) had stopped being absolutely terrified c) realised the noise was in the corridor and someone had knocked at my door whoever was so upset had gone upstairs. She didn’t return but when I woke up again today it was with a horrible feeling of guilt – someone was clearly alone and needed help, I hope she found it from somebody more awake and able than myself.