So, this is the point in the month when I would normally look back over the previous four weeks, reflect on what I had read in that time and then project forward to consider what I was intending to go on and read in the coming days. However, in order to do that I would have to have read something recently and feel that there was any likelihood of my reading anything in the immediate future. At the moment I am not sanguine about either proposition.
I started the month with the best of intentions and indeed could truthfully say that I made progress, but two weeks ago everything ground to a crunching halt. I have had it in mind for some time that I would sooner or later have to downsize. I love the house I’m living in now, but it is really too large for one person and where it is sited would be very impractical if I was unable to drive. So, for the past couple of years I’ve had my eye on some apartments in a local market town where I already have an established community of friends. Two weeks ago one came up for sale. You can imagine the chaos that has since ensued. I have to sell my home in order to buy the apartment, so I have to have a buyer before anyone else has an offer accepted. It has been as if a whirlwind has hit. Three estate agents came round. One uttered a brazen laugh at the end of every sentence; I would have killed her before the end of the week. Another made the fatal error of sitting on The Bears; she was lucky to walk out alive. So that just left the third one. On such things do vital decisions turn!
Then on Thursday ‘Ben’ came round to take the photos. As you can imagine, The Bears clammered to be included. Photos of three of the rooms will now prominently feature assorted groups of Bears waving wildly in a possibly (probably!) vain attempt to entice people to come and meet them. Just as long as nobody thinks that they are part of the furniture and fittings. Last time I moved I had to extracate Josiah Bear from the pocket of one three year old viewer who was about to take him home with her.
On Friday morning I received a copy of ‘Ben’s’ deathless prose designed to tempt all and sundry not only to come and view the property but also to put in stupendously over the odds offers for it. On Friday afternoon, pointing out that I do have a Ph.D. in English Language Studies, I went into the office and rewrote it for him. ‘Adjacent’ is now his word of the day.
Inevitably this has meant that not only have I done very little reading but I have also been neglecting other people’s blogs. I apologise. I hope that things will be a little less hectic now at least until (if) I get a buyer and will try and catch up with you all over the next few days. The last time I did this I was working full time and also sole carer for my eighty-three year old mother. However did I manage it? (The truth is that I very nearly didn’t and it was only a very supportive head of department who saved my sanity.)
What it does mean is that I am not going to set myself any reading goals for February. I have a couple of pre-written reviews which will go up during the next week, but after that you may find that I am only around sporadically until, one way or the other, matters are resolved. The only book I will definitely be reading, and it is a re-read, is Donna Tartt’s The Secret History, which is this month’s book club read. With luck, normal service will be resumed as soon as possible, in the meantime I am adopting the war time slogan and doing my best to keep calm and carry on.