Friday 15 February 2019
Dropped my middle child, Prom-dress daughter, off at 2:30 am this morning for a school trip. Not wearing her prom dress, I hasten to add, rather sporting a new Top Shop jumper and very excited. I found the ungodly hour a little harder to cope with and the 6 am work alarm, chirping into action after only a few hours of snatched sleep, particularly tough. Somehow I made my way through a busy and productive day but I am now fading fast and relishing the thought of curling up in bed with ‘The Lover‘ …this month’s Book Club read!
Inspired by last Summer’s holiday in Sligo, and a trip to the Yeats Visitor Centre, I joined a Book Club a few months ago. If you don’t know it, the Sligo Yeats Visitor Centre is a pretty inauspicious building and I’d probably have seen off the display of artifacts and extracts in under 10 minutes, had it not been for the tour guide. Brimming with enthusiasm, knowledge and a whole ton of Irish charm, this man brought the world of Yeats, in an era of political unrest and a thirst for national self-determination, to life. Suddenly I was reading every word in the place with fresh eyes and a brain stretched completely out of its comfort zone and I was converted. Converted away from the ‘easy read’ drivel clogging up my Kindle and back to a world I’d once loved of challenging, beautifully crafted literature, steeped in the culture of its time that stirs your emotions and sometimes makes your head hurt with questions and conflicts. I did think seriously about signing up for some OU literature course, but looked at the calendar, had a reality check and have put that one on hold for a few years. Small steps then, I’d start reading better books and discussing them with better minds than mine. I’d join a Book Club.
After a fair bit of searching I found one. We meet each month in a local pub. It’s actually the pub of my teenage years and I do often giggle inwardly, wondering what my teenage self would make of our room of middle-agers, nursing our drinks, and talking books! That is …when we do talk books! A little like Yeats himself, who, I learned last Summer, found time not only to discuss matters literary but also to talk politics and pursue affairs of the heart, we can often wander from the plot of the book. Current affairs, personal memories, stirred by a setting or a story-line, and even Piers Morgan have all been topics of debate but that’s the joy of a good book; you never know quite where the journey will take you! And the books have been good. I’ve read more and read better in the last 4 months than I have in the last 4 years. Much as I would recommend running as the physical exercise of choice for any parent, but particularly us doughty single parents, I’d go for reading for the mind. For me it’s affordable, it fits into any spare moment and it’s a total brain stretch, sparking curiosity, overtaking my thoughts and just transporting me away from the every-day grind for a few precious moments each day.
But enough blogging for tonight, ‘The Lover‘ is calling this weary woman to bed …