Simple pleasures

IMG_6247 IMG_9699 IMG_9722 IMG_9724When it feels like the world has gone a bit mad and is littered with bemusing and perplexing situations (the EU debate* and the US presidency, to name but two), I find myself retreating, listening to music instead of news on the radio, avoiding social media, and spending more and more time with what’s real, reliable, comforting and inspiring. I’m generally a realist, pragmatic and level-headed, but I find myself overwhelmed at times and, in this overloaded, in-your-face, bonkers-even-scary-at-times world, it’s reassuring to know that the tide comes in and out, the stars will twinkle, the seasons roll on and spring will do its thing.

In the greenhouse, the sweet peas I sowed a couple of weeks ago are sending up their shoots, which is a relief because last week the outsides of the cardboard tubes were covered in a white fur and I thought I’d killed the lot. There are also tiny shoots of cosmos and calendula appearing. Last year I completely failed to raise any cosmos so I’m hoping that was a dud batch of seed and this years will be fine. In the garden, I can see tulip flower buds coming and a drift of Allium sphaerocephalon I planted last year is looking like it will flower this year. Yay. Yet more alliums to swoon over; expect lots of photos.

Talking of photos, I’m attending one of my sister-in-law’s photography courses tomorrow. I rarely do anything other than point and shoot on the general or macro setting, so I’m looking forward to learning how to get the most out of our old DSLR. Reading instruction manuals is not something I do (I know, stupid) but reading books is and I’ve been trying to do much more of it lately. I’m currently reading H is for Hawk. Oh. My. Goodness. Have you read it? Such an eloquent and beautiful description of grief and wildness. Next in my pile is the much-hyped The Girl on the Train which I need to read quickly as it’s my mum’s library book and due back soon. When Breath Becomes Air is a recommendation from my dad. It’s about a young neurosurgeon who was diagnosed with inoperable cancer and went from being doctor to patient. One of the quotes on the cover says: ‘…split my head open with its beauty.’ Crikey. I’ll report back. Finally, I’m dipping in and out of the gorgeous The Shark and The Albatross, a wonderful book written by my friend, wildlife cameraman John Aitchison. He has one of the most mellifluous voices ever and I can hear his voice as I’m reading it.

Are you escaping into any good books at the moment? Wishing you a lovely weekend.

*there is one issue regarding the EU that I haven’t seen covered in the national press which CT sums up brilliantly here.