Friday, 28 December 2012

The habit of reading is the only enjoyment in which there is no alloy; it lasts when all other pleasures fade - Anthony Trollope

I’m painting.  Nothing arty, you understand.  Just my flat.  Well, not my whole flat.  Actually just a couple of walls in my bedroom.  For the moment.  On the advice of my physio. I need to find some simple, repetitive movements for my still-troublesome shoulder. 

The painting is therapeutic.  Or so I'm telling myself through the pain.

Still I’m loving being on holiday.  I have projects.  Including the painting.  Like knitting. Visiting. Baking.  And lots of eating.  I love being on holiday.  Can I do this for a living?
Probably not.  Still, I have a pile of books that have just arrived to compensate and I’m launching forth into them.  Another project.
As previously mentioned, winter is a romantic time for me.  The most romantic time of the year, in fact.  Although this winter is a tad too mild and wet, if the truth be told.  Still, it’s winter.  And that’s romantic.
So I need to read romance.  And I recently discovered the Penguin series, Great Loves.   “Love is strange, love is beautiful, love is dangerous, love is never what you expect it to be.”  So says Penguin Books.
There are 20 books in the series.  I bought a few and am reading them in no particular order.  I started with Stendhal’s Cures for Love.
Stendhal takes us through stages of love.  From first contact to jealousy to conflict.  With lots of comparisons and even more contrasts between men and women in love.  He's interesting and insightful in his musings.  For musings they are. 
One stood out: “the difficulty of forgetting a woman with whom you have been happy is that the imagination tirelessly continues to embellish moments of the past.” I think that applies to us all.  Regarding more than just former love and former lovers. We are sentimental beings.  Romanticising the past to make up for the present.  Or is that just me?
John Updike was much less fun.  He doesn’t muse.  At all.  His take is The women who got away.  Which I thought might be a sweet reminiscence of former love and former lovers.  But it's all reminiscing on former affairs.  All by married men.  All fathers.  Penguin says of this book:  “love is a game”.  Apparently these are the players.  It didn't do it for me.  Affairs are just not my idea of romance.  Call me strange.
So that's two down and 18 to go. Great Loves are going to see me through the rest of my holidays. Between painting sessions.  And baking.  And knitting.  And before romance gives way to reality and we’re back in work.
But we’re not there yet.  Let the romance live on…


  1. Hi!

    I found your blog through book blogs and really enjoyed your description.
    I followed your blog via email, and I'm hoping you could visit my blog and eventually follow.
    You can find me at


    1. Hey there, Andreia! Thanks for visiting. Really liked your blog too. Consider yourself followed. :0)

  2. Hi, new follower.
    I love this: "I'm not reviewing. I'm just sharing."
    I don't think my "reviews" are like others, so when I read that I thought that was very clever.
    Rivie @ Bookshelf