Saturday, 17 April 2010


You start to wonder if it will ever end. Actually I started to wonder that before Christmas and it still goes on.

In years gone by my mum used to say that we needed a good cold snap to kill off all the bugs. Well we had that this year and it didn’t seem to work.

The clocks changed, the days warmed, the sun shone but still the bugs marched on. You get over one thing only to be floored by something else and if you’re not floored by it, you’re worrying about those that are.

I was going to write about the debate – you know the one, it’s been picked over more than the bones of a turkey at Christmas, but I think it has all been said.

Then I thought I’d write about writing, but in all honesty what hasn’t been said about it? There are some terrific blogs out there that do it a lot better than I could.

My Writer’s Forum dropped through the letterbox this week and I thought I’d review that, but I haven’t had time to open it yet.

Just read the Motorcycle Diaries by Ernesto Guevara. I have his other diaries to read, but have put them aside for later. Every once in a while a book comes along that gets me deep inside. Wild Swans was one, The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists another and the Motorcycle Diaries will join them.

And now I am reading The Coffin Dancer by Jeffrey Deaver. Gripping isn’t the word – I am half asleep now because I couldn’t put it down last night.

I was talking with a friend this week about books we’ve read. She said another friend remembers every book she’s ever read – and she’s in her eighties.

It occurred to me that the books I remember well and will never forget are the very ones that line my shelves at home. I remember them and I keep them to read again. Isn’t that the mark of a good book? You want to read it again even though you know how it will end?

There are many books I’ve read and enjoyed, but the enjoyment has been wondering what would happen and I see no point in reading them again. Those I keep and enjoy again and again are the ones with characters that are so real, I want to stay acquainted with them.

Characters like Atticus Finch, Maggie Moran, Dolores Claiborne, Paul Edgecomb – I could go on and on. But most of them are ordinary people, real people.

And haven't the daffs been lovely this year?


  1. Some people keep a list of every book they've read. I always keep meaning to start one out of interest, but it's yet another thing I haven't got round to yet. It would be interesting to know how many we get through in a lifetime wouldn't it.

    Like you I tend to have spells of reading my old favourites with characters who are like friends. I'm about due for Great Expectations again.

  2. I started to keep a list about 4 or 5 years ago, Joanne - it helps me remember the names of writers I've enjoyed - and those I haven't.

  3. Teresa,

    Reading this post has been like having a friendly chat over the virtual garden fence. Another big plus for blogging!

  4. I have an extremely old copy of 'Tale of Two Cities' which I have to read every few years.
    It's like an old pal.
    I ritually set aside the time to read it through, each time with a box of tissues handy.

  5. I have a lousy memory for the books I've read, but a great one for poetry and songs. The only book I re-read regularly is The Snow Leopard by Peter Mathieson.

  6. Thank you Martin, what a lovely thing to say.

    It's lovely to love a book like that Sue isn't it and to revisit it just as you would a friend.

    That book sounds interesting, Hydra (looked it up on Amazon). Another for my wish list methinks, thank you.

  7. It's such a good idea to keep a list - I've lost count of the number of books I've bought more than one copy of. I started keeping a list this year, but by the end of February I'd let it slip. Must try harder.


  8. That list is an interesting idea. Thanks so much for my nomination Teresa :)

  9. I think the daffs are doing so well this year because of the long cold snap - they had more time undergroud to store up their energy. They're cleaner this year, and fuller, even if they are late. Maybe they should naturally be this late every time.

  10. I've been known to do that too, Suzanne. One of the reasons I started keeping my list!

    You're welcome Lacey :-)

    YEs, Diane that makes sense, and also when they come up in early March they get flattened by the March winds.

  11. Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed Harry's Cardigan. I thought it was the loveliest story I'd read for a long time.

  12. Bernadette, thank you so much - that means such a lot. I knew "Harry" a long time ago - he was a lovely man.