'Historical events illustrate more clearly than anything the injunction against eating of the Tree of Knowledge. The only activity that bears any fruit is subconscious activity, and no one who takes part in any historical drama can ever understand its significance. If he so much as tries to understand it, his efforts are fruitless.'
Well a fine show this is going to be. It was always going to happen and if ever there was a month I was going to fall off my own troika it was this one. Careful reading and planning for Port Eliot Festival now at fever pitch, and then that thing called work which meant being away from home for two days and a bunch load of preparation to do for that.
But it will be alright I thought, have Kindle will travel, I'll read War and Peace on the train to Bristol, forgetting that I had a presentation to write and give the next day and a new camera to play with.
Not very good...
Never mind I thought, I'll curl up in my hotel room and read War and Peace in the evening, forgetting that I had a dinner with colleagues to attend and 3.1mb of Munro report on child protection and safeguarding to read in order to firm up the presentation on Tuesday.
No worries, I never sleep well in hotels, I'll be awake early I'll read War and Peace at 6.30am forgetting that 3.1mb of Munro Report = 174 pages and no way would I finish it after a late dinner or an early start.
But that's fine, I'll read War and Peace on the train home, forgetting that having been awake since dawn and concentrating hard all day I would also have been on a trip to Ikea and out for dinner with the Kayaker (who now lives and works in Bristol) before catching the train home, and I would just want to stare out of the window and process the work meetings, do a post-mortem on the presentation and guard my shopping whilst wondering how I was going to get it off the train. I sent Bookhound a text which put the fear of god up him.
But surely all would be well, it's still only Tuesday evening, there's all of Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to go, that's loads of time. And usually it would have been, but the new woodburner went in on Wednesday which involved dustsheets and cutting a hole in the roof of my Bookroom for the chimney and getting the roof back on before the torrential rain..
which meant I was too excited to sit and read so I nipped in to see the Tinker and had another play with the camera from his window..
Then I worked all day on Thursday and we took off to the beach for the evening because the sunshine was glorious and we felt like going for a paddle.
In fact it was freezing by the time we arrived so we shelved the paddle idea and wandered around the churchyard overlooking the sea at Rame Head instead, and felt sorry for all the people who had drowned....we have real fun when we go out.
This inscription reads
"Thomas Spriddle, Seaman on board of HMS Euridice who was drowned by her foundering March 24th 1878. Aged 20 years."
which meant I had to come home and look up HMS Eurydice.
and below that this inscription
'Richard Spriddle, Brother of the above, Seaman on board of HMS Wasp who was drowned by her foundering off Tory Island September 22nd 1884. Aged 25 years.'
Which meant I had to find out about HMS Wasp too.
Then On Friday Something Funny Happened (did anyone else read that book to their children? The week is chaos and then on Friday suddenly all is peace and tranquillity) it was cold enough to light the new woodburner and 'burn' it in...and I just sat and stared at the flames as the room warmed up to sub-tropical, and thought bring on next winter (just not yet) and, when we heard about the 18% hike in gas prices on the news that same day, verily we were a bit smug. But just look at the beauty of that Little Thurlow, small wonder I fell asleep with War and Peace on my lap.
And that was the week gone, vanished before my eyes. In fact I finished this month's instalment yesterday evening so I am up to speed, and I could have come along and pretended that I'd had time to think about it and here are my thoughts, but in fact I haven't had time to process it at all yet. So I'm being very honest and not doing the pretending thing, or the breaking a leg to do this this for the sake of having something to show for it thing because I want to enjoy this too, it must never feel like a chore and it doesn't.
This has been an awesome read and I think we are reaching really crucial moments in the book which I don't want to trivialise nor miss the nuances, I knew I was right to be worried about Andrei's intestines. So this month it's over to you. I'm praying hoping, in fact I feel sure those still on board can steer the horses in comments over the weekend, and I'll join in and cut and paste into a blog post so that we have them on the record.
And if you have a finer litany of excuses for falling off a troika please do share them, and we can keep each other company.