It's time for some more Pleasings, especially after the week of relentless rain we have had, and whilst I know you may not have similar if you live in the Sahara or the Nullarbor Plain please substitute your own undesirable weather conditions...
And I'll make rain my first Pleasing because I have to turn this around, so I have decided it is finally time to embrace rain and stop looking on it as the enemy. Plus who would have thought I would take to dog-walking in the rain with such fondness. The kennel dogs have always been man's work so I tend not to get involved, but Little Nell is different, I am very much hands on so have purchased a voluminous mac (brown to match the dog and the mud)
Nell and I tramp across soggy stubble fields and down muddy lanes with gusto. She comes back looking the size of drowned guinea pig and I don't look much better but underneath it all I am dry. The Kayaker has taken some lovely pictures of Nell while he has been home, this is one of my favourites...
On the same subject i.e. dog walking, now I know why God made Jeggings. I had been wondering for quite a while. I wear both skinny jeans and leggings (not at the same time) with tunic dresses or jumpers, neither of which is suited to dog walking in the rain. On the other hand (or leg) M&S Jeggings, with their broad elasticated waistband, and a snip at £19 a pair, are a big Pleasing. Completely comfortable, lighter than denim and quick drying, warm but not hot, reasonably claw-proof, and they quickly slip into the wellies without any of this trying to tuck in a pair of trouser legs and then looking like I am wearing a doublet.
My next Pleasing is that we bade a fond farewell to the Kayaker as he set off for his two years discovering Australia this week. We had a family Christmas dinner last Sunday as he'll miss ours and it's a Pleasing in that we are thrilled and delighted that he is doing what he loves doing best... landing in a new city and quickly finding his feet...
...but saying the big goodbyes never comes easy. He has worked hard to save for this trip, and his two months home here with us this summer have been the best, we have had a really special time which all made the farewells a bit tearful, but happy tears. By the time you read this he will have landed in Melbourne via Dubai and Brunei and he has lots of plans afoot for discovering Australia.
Bookhound and I both had post-departure things planned to lift the spirits. Bookhound did the airport run and then called in for an overnight stay with his fisherfriends whilst, by the time you read this I will be on my way back from a knitting and natter day and a sleepover chez the Knit Angel. The challenge is for her to teach me to crochet, it's time I mastered that so I will report back.
Ambushed unexpectedly by the emotions of that farewell (he's twenty-nine for goodness' sake and has been going on working trips for years, I should be used to it by now) I put out a request on Twitter for some comfort reading. I had done myself no favours with that read of JKR in the run up and found myself a bit stranded by the tide of negativity I felt for The Casual Vacancy. Some wonderful suggestions came in including E.F. Benson's Mapp and Lucia, (have never read any and feel it's time I did) Flowers for Mrs Harris by Paul Gallico, Look Homeward, Angel by Thomas Wolfe, anything by Barbara Pym, or Wodehouse
This lovely poem was suggested by Daisy Godwin...which made me cry even more, but in a nice way.
A sunny day with leaves just turning,
The touch-lines new-ruled – since I watched you play
Your first game of football, then, like a satellite
Wrenched from its orbit, go drifting away
Behind a scatter of boys. I can see
You walking away from me towards the school
With the pathos of a half-fledged thing set free
Into a wilderness, the gait of one
Who finds no path where the path should be.
That hesitant figure, eddying away
Like a winged seed loosened from its parent stem,
Has something I never quite grasp to convey
About nature’s give-and-take – the small, the scorching
Ordeals which fire one’s irresolute clay.
I have had worse partings, but none that so
Gnaws at my mind still. Perhaps it is roughly
Saying what God alone could perfectly show –
How selfhood begins with a walking away,
And love is proved in the letting go.
I did rescue myself from drowning in reading melancholia with Philip Hensher's new book. The Missing Ink, The Lost Art of Handwriting and Why it Still Matters. Trust me you will ALL want this book, and I will be sharing much more about it very soon, but get it on your Christmas list quick before someone buys you Volume Two of Wayne Rooney's life or something.
So over to you... any more comfort read suggestions??
What works for you??
And your Pleasings too of course...