I realise I haven't been posting much here over the last few weeks, nor have I been reading as many books (though I've bought more recently than any time on the last few years), and there are emails I've been meaning to send for a week that I haven't done anything about. Having a cold hasn't helped - I will say again that I'm rubbish about colds, and although this one hasn't been as vile as it might I resent it's turning up as spring finally begins, also it's been enough to make work hideous.
The final demise of Margaret Thatcher has had it's effect to - I've resisted posting about it because really others have said it all better and there's more than enough on the subject out there already. What I will say is that the Thatcher years bookended my childhood so I'm a sucker to be stirred up by all the media furore over her death. It's years since I've read the papers quite as avidly (eating into the book time). Thank heavens I'm on holiday soon (one week to go and I'm crossing the days off) which will hopefully mean time to catch up with myself for bit and time to read some of the, by now frankly overwhelming, pile of books I've been collecting.
Meanwhile today has been a lovely foretaste of what time off should be like despite most of my plans falling through - up to and including going out for milk; I went out for milk and came back with books, no milk. I'm particularly pleased to have found copies of Meike Ziervogel's 'Magda' in both my local Waterstones; they almost never have a book I'm actually looking for though plenty that I'm not but find I want once I've seen them (including today's example of L. M. Montgomery's 'The Blue Castle'). The highlight though was breakfast with the sun streaming through the window and a pile of cookbooks deciding what to cook for this evening. It feels like an age since I cooked anything new (or looked for a recipe which wasn't basically cake), inspiration came from 'Jekka's Herb Cookbook' for pork belly roasted with a garlic and myrtle crust (Jekka's version was for bay, but I have a myrtle on my windowsill and it makes a good swap).
I had forgotten how exciting this book is and spent some time bookmarking pages (lavender and sweet wine jelly is sounding like a must) before taking it as a cue to go and have a more general sort out. Incidentally part of the charm of this book are the illustrations by Hannah McVicar - they can be ordered here and I'm sorely tempted which rather makes the point that it's not just books I accumulate. There is a lot of stuff in my flat and it's past time for some redecorating (I was burgled 6 years ago, there are still burgler fingerprints on one wall and they're still there because the effort of moving bookcases to paint properly has been to off putting, but this year it's happening), To make it happen there will need to be a damn good clear out (youngest sister has agreed to accept some 'presents' for her new flat) I don't know quite how this will go; I'm much better at getting things than getting rid of them but I'm optimistic.