Reading/not reading

On Friday the WFV had to visit a school near Hay-on-Wye, so I was keen to go with him, not just because it is the town of books, not just because it has Bedecked, but also because we used to live very near when we were in the Springtime of our relationship and it, and the Black Mountains beneath which it nestles,  is one of our favourite places in all the world.

My day started badly.  In an act more out of character than murder, I forgot my handbag.  I fell to pieces – an act not especially out of character.  I was most upset about having no specs, but the WFV calmly marched me to the chemists to buy a cheap pair!  I enjoyed a while in the chandelier shop and in Bedecked, but I felt a bit of a fraud in the literary department. 

I have been really struggling with reading.  I have a degree in Literature, and love a thought-provoking work of virtuosity, but I go through times when I just cannot read.  I do Killer Sudoku at bedtime instead, but that is fairly mind-numbing, whereas I usually find reading enriching, infuriating, informative – anything but anodyne.  I have just come through a phase where no book could engage me, no text hold my attention.  All I can do is wait and hope, and after several blank months,  I am now reading The Glass Bead Game.  I have loved other Herman Hesse novels – particularly Siddhartha and The Prodigy, but I am finding this dull, overtly masculine (no women in Castalia), and fixedly intellectual.  It may well be my jaded mind.  I am certainly not revved up enough to go on the trail of allusion.  Perhaps I should do an Anita Shreve next – and that is not meant to be a jibe, but a recognition of her acute ability to tell a great yarn with literary overtones so that one is fed a meal with pudding!

The WVF quite rightly insisted that we at least go to what used to be, may still be,  the King of Hay’s store and I did find an Anita Shreve I haven’t read, ( All He Ever Wanted, and I also bought Daniel Deronda for when I am back in show harness!)

I took Biddy for a fabulous run beneath Hay Bluff  – way too cold and windy to climb – and got chatting to some lovely people who, when they heard I was handbag-less (I do witter on), offered me lunch money – the kindness of strangers is beyond value.

Today I feel rotten after a terrible sleepless night – and managed to completely muck up the measurements on a new type of bag I was hoping to make.  I wanted to use this

 Which would have made a roomy and tightly shutting carpet-bag shaped affair, (see U Handbag for ideas) but I was way out on my planning, and I know it was because I was working it out in my head, so keen was I to use the fabric I bought locally yesterday!  Lesson learnt.  I was able to recut into a smaller clutch, might add straps, haven’t decided.


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6 Responses to Reading/not reading

  1. Rebecca says:

    Oh my goodness, no handbag! No wonder you fell to pieces. I’m a big fan of Anita Shreve too, and periodically find myself reaching for her when more high brow books are not tickling my fancy. I find Alexander McCall Smith an excellent antidote too.

    I would love to visit Bedecked, it must be a wonderful place and oh the mountain photograph, I do miss mountains.


  2. Angela Cox says:
    This is the shop that sells samples. I am always wailing “anyone seen baggy?” .


  3. Janice says:

    I sometimes have days when I seem to forget everything and spend the time chasing my tail, worrying away. I often think it’s best just to draw a line under those days and start again sometime.


  4. I love the yellow bag and the fabric you used and can understand how frustrating it must have been to forget your handbag. That would have freaked me out too!!
    I’m re-reading all my favourite Emile Zola book on my Kindle. Serious reading but fun too!


  5. Em says:

    Your little bag is lovely. Sorry you didn’t sleep well.


  6. Gill says:

    Oh, I share your frustration at the lack of handbag! I often joke about a woman’s need for the security one provides, but it’s more than that – how do men manage without!? I’m glad that nevertheless, you survived the day and from the sound of it, even enjoyed it in parts.

    I found with the reading thing, that as soon as I began to need glasses, all the spontaneity was lost and I read less and less. Never at bedtime, for remembering my glasses and stuff was a pain. I bought countless pairs from Primark and have them littered around the house, though usually revert to those on my head! Now, I’m gradually rediscovering reading again and cajoling my book group to try a few more adventurous reads – except that I couldn’t manage anything so challenging as the Glass Bead Game, I’m sure. Our current choice is The Illusionist by Jennifer Johnson, one that’s gone down well judging from the conversations I’ve had here and there. I enjoyed it and found it an easyish read with plenty of thought provoking stuff to talk about later too. I’ve subbed to a few bookish blogs (dove grey reader et al) to try to encourage me to branch out, too.

    Sorry, am wittering today..must be because I’m supposed to be working 😉

    Nice bit of sunshine at the bottom of today’s post btw!


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