A very quiet start to the year

New Year was extremely quiet – very much like Christmas.  I’m still recovering from (minor) knee surgery and ‘cycling’ on my static bike every most days.  At the moment, I’m listening to The Leopard described on BBC iPlayer as  “Giuseppe Di Lampedusa’s gorgeous masterpiece of European political fiction, translated by Archibald Colquhoun, abridged by Sara Davies and read by Alex Jennings.”  Apologies if BBC iPlayer isn’t available where you live.  I’m not quite sure what’s going on but I’m really enjoying cycling away and listening to tales of prayers before sex, illicit affairs, immoral behaviour, warring factions, dangerous duels, floral shirt wearing older men, rebellions occurring somewhere in the mountains and a soundscape of opera music, church bells and the daily rosary.

image from BBC iPlayer

I haven’t been watching very much on telly – although I did become hooked on Luther for the first time.  The scene with the man creeping down the bus was easily my most frightening experience since I watched Don’t Look Now and The Shining many years agoGenerally, though, these five most recent episodes of Luther were too violent and downbeat for me.  Perhaps I’ll give earlier episodes a go.

I’m coming to the end of Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor and trying to read slowly to delay finishing it.  Can anyone recommend another Elizabeth Taylor book?

There are a few poetry books coming out (or already out) this year that I’m looking forward to.  These include new pamphlets from HappenStance Press (on order), Vertigo and Ghost by Fiona Benson, new books by Rebecca Goss (Carcanet Press) and Niall Campbell (Bloodaxe), debuts by Lisa Kelly (Carcenet), Tom Sastry (Nine Arches Press) and Mary Jean Chan (Faber).  There are many more but these are the ones I have my eye on at the moment.  How about you?

I’m writing this on Friday evening, and expecting my family back from their Australian holiday early tomorrow morning.  Now that I’ve finally grown used to a very quiet house, I am, of course, feeling nostalgic and a little sad about my quiet Christmas and New Year which are about to be mightily shattered.  It’s been an interestingly different time for me.  I’ve made no resolutions, I’ve set no goals.  I do have vague ideas about what I’d like to achieve this year but I’m not setting my heart on anything.

A cold snap has reminded me to break the ice and fill up the bird baths that I keep dotted around our garden, front and back.  I use old roasting tins and bashed up flower pots.  I’ve been rewarded many times by beautiful, variously-coloured and sized feathered visitors and I like to think that it’s what you do each day, and keep on remembering to do, that counts – more than what you say you’re going to do at the start of the year.  Have a great week.

3 thoughts on “A very quiet start to the year

  1. jaynestanton says:

    Josephine, I’m glad that good things have resulted from your solitary festive season. It seems you’ve had to miss out on travels with your family; I very much doubt I’d have been as stoic.
    Although I’ve no poetry purchases in mind, I’m sure to return from the T S Eliot award readings with a collection or two!

    Liked by 1 person

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