Sunday, 23 May 2010

Springtime Foal, Perfect May, Fossil Hunters, P. G.Wodehouse & Other Very Good Books

The Farmer & I happened to be out this morning when we met our neighbours walking this mare and her foal out to a field. They were so beautiful. The foal is about 3 weeks old and stuck very close to its mum who in turn was very protective of it, constantly ensuring that she was always between it and the two other horses in the field. It was the first time out for the foal and for her to meet others of her species. We all stood for ten to fifteen minutes just watching the social adjustments of the animals. It is fascinating seeing how they control the social group and how the young are treated and cared for.

It was a perfect May morning and promising to be very hot later in the day again. The first of the May blossom has emerged now and the scent of spring as one walks through our woods and copses is intoxicating. Maytime is assaulting the all senses at present with the songs of blackbirds and robins everywhere; there are the incredible shades of green  flooding the hedges and fields dotted over with the gold of butercups and dandelions and the blurring of the outlines of trees against the clear forget-me-not skies. In the woods the scent of bluebells is overpowering and their glorious colour is broken up by the sharp pink of the campion flowers and the pure white of wild garlic and stitchwort.

I tend not to read a great deal of modern fiction (as is proved by my addiction to Persephone Books http://www.persephonebooks.co.uk/), but have just been reading Tracy Chevalier's novel, 'Remarkable Creatures'. It is so good...based on the characters of Mary Anning , the fossil collector from Lyme Regis, and Elizabeth Philpot, it is a fascinating story of women entering a male dominated field of study and at a time when many questions were beginning to be asked about creation and mankind's place in the great scheme of things.
I have also been discovering P. G. Wodehouse who, amazingly, has not come under my radar until now.  Blandings Castle and its inhabitants is just wonderful.
I have been delighted to discover a blog writer who also does not care overmuch for modern literature, Desperate Reader (http://desperatereader.blogspot.com/) and she shares my love of Persephone Books and others of that ilk; books written between the wars and just after, such as 'The Brontes went to Woolworths' by Rachel Ferguson, 'Henrietta's War' by Joyce Denny and anything by Elizabeth Taylor.
I am greatly looking forward to starting 'Lady Audley's Secret' by Mary Elizabeth Braddon when I have finished 'Evelina' by Fanny Burney which is so funny.
I'm afraid I'm one of those dilettante readers with several books of varying types, on the go at once. I always have something cheerful and reasonably lightweight to read in bed and I must admit to a weakness for the occasional bit of  'chick-lit' and sequels to Jane Austen, some of which are very good indeed and some are really bad..

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