In my very small and rapidly shrinking world there isn’t a lot going on at the moment. In Scotland we have a lockdown again and we’re supposed to stay at home, unless we need to go out for food. At this time of the year that’s not too awful, especially as we have really cold weather at the moment and our walk for The Guardian every morning (as essential as food) is a treacherous one with any paths we use swathed in layers of ice. It’s safer to walk on the crunchy icy grass when possible. Otherwise we are seeing nobody and giving any oncoming fellow walkers a wide berth.
Normally by this time I’ve read a couple of books, but I’ve been reading The Children’s Book by A.S. Byatt since before the new year and I still have thirty or so pages to go, that’ll be my bedtime reading tonight. This is the first book by A.S. Byatt that I’ve read and I must say that I love it, but it is over 600 pages long and the print is quite small. I have already flipped to the back of the book to see if there was a bibliography because I am so impressed by the amount of historical detail in it, but according to the author she was greatly helped by knowledgeable members of her family, friends and acquaintances and she read too many books to mention them all, but she does mention a few. This one was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2009, the year it was won by Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall. How unfortunate for Byatt as surely in any other year The Children’s Book would have won it.
Anyway, more on that subject tomorrow. As it looks like we’ll be stuck at home possibly for months depending on what happens next to the stats, I think I’ll be catching up with my Goodreads challenge, apparently I’m one behind at the moment!
On a completely dfferent topic – I just have to tell you that today I spotted a red squirrel running around in the woodland this morning, that’s the second one we’ve seen within about ten days – and we hadn’t seen any for about three years before that. There are of course loads of grey squirrels which are nothng like as elegant and charming as the red ones. Of course, I didn’t manage to get a photo of it.
You can see some images of red squirrels here.