... staggering to the Finish Line of the Intermission here, house resembling a hostel, dishwasher and washing machine begging for mercy.
The Kayaker home from Australia in shorts and flip-flops to our chilly and very stormy west-country spring.
Offspringette waved off at Heathrow on the exciting 'Next Stage of Her Life' journey to New Zealand, and we had to hire a car for the airport run because it was obvious we were never going to get cases, rucksacks and a bike in a bag into the boot of a Fiat Panda.
So three weeks of happy family chaos draws to a close, to be followed by a whistlestop solo visit to the Fowey LitFest this week, and a welcome overnight stay at the nearby PineHillNotes 'refuge' (thank you PHN) to regather myself. I will slowly get back into the swing of things on here, so much to write about, quite a few books read, plenty of places visited and I haven't forgotten that we are scheduled for A Suitable Boy discussion on Saturday May 17th. There will be a post up then (even if I haven't quite finished Parts 15 &16) so that comments can continue...if anyone HAS finished this month's reading and would like to help out with a few thoughts for a blog post please don't be shy... you would all be helping me out ...any contributions welcome, send to dovegreyreader at gmail dot com.
But how interesting it has been to see where the reading trail has led whilst my concentration has been somewhere else. Perhaps the book that came as the biggest surprise was Howards End by E.M. Forster. I have lost count of the number of times I have started Howards End and given up before the umbrella business is even resolved, but this time I persevered and I got it, and I absolutely couldn't put the book down. Except I had to... we might have filled and emptied the dishwasher a hundred times, who cn tell, but isn't it always a wonderful feeling to know that you have a good book on the go, sitting there waiting for your return.
Zadie Smith, in her essay collection Changing My Mind, and the piece on E.M.Forster, quotes a letter Edward Morgan wrote to John Galsworthy...
'All I write, is to me, sentimental. A book which doesn't leave people either happier or better than it found them, which doesn't add some permanent treasure to the world, isn't worth doing...'
There seems to have been plenty of criticism of E.M.Forster's thinking but I understand it and approve wholeheartedly. There are times when head and heart might be all over the place and quiet solace is required, that need for a book to leave you feeling happy. Howards End has left my reading feeling enriched and revitalised to the point where I went in search of more of E.M. Forster's novels on my shelves. Nada...couldn't find them anywhere, almost a rerun of Susan Hill's Howards End is on the Landing. No worries I had read this on Kindle and so I downloaded a few more, Where Angels Fear to Tread and my current read A Room With a View, plus I bought the DVD of Howards End because I am now very keen to watch it.
There must be plenty more E.M.Forster fans out there...
Standing in the Oxfam Bookshop last week, and talking to one half of the Happy Campers (who will be on Team Dovegrey at Port Eliot Festival as usual this summer) I bemoaned my lack of EMF novels before pointing out to her what I had just noticed on the shelf behind me.
You guessed it, all mine.