Tuesday, August 03, 2010

I was hoping to fit in a lot of writing time this summer with Jamie being on his 6/7 week holidays (teachers eh!). But instead not only do we have a very active and excitable three year old, a fully weaned ten month old but now also a new puppy. So while he's keeping the mutt in a strict routine, my days are filled with endless hoovering, cooking, amusing, feeding!

However I have been reading, and been pleasantly surprised by, Roddy Lumsden's New and Selected book of poems Mischief Night. Having not been particularly excited by poems of his that I've read on-line, I just happened to see it in the local library and picked it up. I've thoroughly enjoyed it, particularly his love poems, of which there are many. Plus last month I purchased Eleanor Ree's brilliant latest collection Eliza and the Bear, I wrote about her previous collection, Andraste's Hair, here.

I've also been re-reading Kate Chopin's short novel The Awakening, which I absolutely love, with its wonderfully exotic (to me!) 19th Century New Orleans setting and Creole culture. The novel is rich with gorgeous description, here's an extract:
"How still it was, with only the voice of the sea whispering through the reed that grew in the salt-water pools! The long line of little gray, weather-beaten houses nestled peacefully among the orange trees. It must always have been God's day on that low, drowsy island, Edna thought. They stopped leaning over a jagged fence made of sea-drift to ask for water. A youth, a mild-faced Acadian, was drawing water from the cistern, which was nothing more than a rusty buoy, with an opening on one side, sunk in the ground. The water which the youth handed to them in a tin pail was not cold to taste, but it was cool to her heated face, and it greatly revived and refreshed her."
I've also got a desire to re-read Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse, all that sea imagery... Keep meaning to pick up a copy of her diaries to read as well.
Being a big Sherlock Holmes fan I've been loving the new series on BBC1, not to everyone's taste - Sherlock in 21st Century London - but I'm loving it, quite Jeremy Brett, I think. And Jeremy Brett is Sherlock Holmes!


Titus said...

Oh Marion, how I identify! I always think I'm going to get so much done, and then it's school holidays, work doesn't stop and Mr T is filling in at another station on a different shift pattern and he's out of the house for all 3 meals six days out of ten. Still, at least the dog is fully house trained.
Lovely extract, thank you.
And so agree with you on the new Sherlock, though Martin Freedman is the star for me! Marvellous take on Dr Watson.
And did you know Jeremy Brett was nearly my Dad? Well, he went out with my mother, anyway. They were at Itali Conti together.

Titus said...

Or even Italia Conti!

Marion McCready said...

your mum dated JB????! but of course I shouldn't be surprised!! :) does she have any good anecdotes about him?

Jim Murdoch said...

I have to say I’ve been quite taken with Sherlock, Marion. They’ve tried to modernise him before with mixed results but, and this is still the weakness here a little: Holmes was a man ahead of his time and yet rooted in it whereas I see this new Holmes as being a bit old-fashioned at the same time as embracing new technology. It works though. And, as you say, so much depends on Watson being a three-dimensional character which, sadly, not all have been. I’m currently reading Conan Doyle’s replacement for Holmes, Brigadier Gerard - a very different proposition. Holmes can often be funny – any character that’s awkward in general society is open to gentle ridicule – but Gerard is deliberately sent up. I have a review to write so I’ll say no more here.

Marion McCready said...

jim, I always dread new re-workings of sherlock so this one has been a really pleasant surprise. I've read all the sherlock holmes stories, tried to read another conan doyle book once (about a boxer, I think?) but didn't get far with it. titus, I'm really happy with watson as well, I hate the bumbling idiot some versions make him out to be.

Roxana said...

being in the middle of moving house, i can't do much of anything this summer, except working to get the new home ready (which is both very stressful and exciting :-)

i too love this excerpt, perfect for the hot days which don't seem to end right now...

Marion McCready said...

wish I could say the same about the weather here!!!!!
new house, how exciting, I'm sure you'll make it very beautiful! :)