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Posts Tagged ‘books to read’

One of the benefits of this particular assignment are the books. I started reading a travelogue yesterday: Southern Cross to Pole Star – A. F. Tschiffely. It’s an account of 10,000 miles in the saddle through the Americas from Argentina to Washington in the early 20th century. Its absolutely fascinating and I am hooked. One of the features of the book that attracted me, was the cover – the illustration shows a detail of ‘Blue Putas’ by Marianne North (1830-1890). You may or may not know that hundreds (nearly 1000 in all) of Marianne North’s paintings are exhibited in a special gallery at Kew Gardens – well worth a visit when next in the area….its a visual smorgasbord of floral scenes from around the world; Marianne herself being an intrepid explorer in the 19th century. At a time when it was unheard of for women to travel on their own she visited places like Australia, African countries, the Pacific Idlabds, the Americas and many others. It’s an extraordinary collection of oil paintings and I delight in spending time there whenever I’m at Kew, and the gallery is open.

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I’m going to have to start getting up earlier in the morning if I want to catch the sunrise ๐ŸŒ… Got to the promenade at just before 8am but the sun was already above the horizon albeit behind the clouds.

The weather is amazing once again, its so mild out. And we’re still waiting to say #Peanutisonthewayโฃ๏ธ ๐Ÿ‘ถ๐Ÿป ๐Ÿ’™ This lad is surely taking his own sweet time…. although actually it’s exactly 40 weeks tomorrow, so perhaps will arrive he is ready and not when the NHS say he should arrive.

I went to see the film ‘Wildlife’ last night. Its an incredibly weird film and the jury is out on whether or not I actually enjoyed it… I didn’t. ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ™„

It was such a mild evening I decided to take a short walk along the beach… What a blessing to live so near to the sea.

I could hear the crashing of the waves behind the harbour wall so walked over to see what I could ‘sea’… Which wasn’t much, but I could hear it and that sound is like music to my ears.

Afterwards my daughter (the very pregnant soon to be Mummy), her hubby and I took a slow midnight stroll along the promenade in the hope it might encourage baby to start his journey…

The evening air, albeit only 2 degrees out, was perfectly still with a 3/4 moon and a canopy of โœจ crispy clear and really mild.

This morning, although I was tempted to stay in bed, I made the effort to get out to capture the sunrise. I really want to be sure to have a photo for Peanut’s book…on the day that he is born. I hope that’s soon ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ‘ถ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ’™โฃ๏ธ

Meanwhile I’ve started reading Simon Reeve’s book Step by Step. He’s my favourite travel presenter and I’ve watched all his travel documentaries which are a real eye-opener. By page 33 I’ve concluded he was a naughty little shit ๐Ÿ˜‚ ๐Ÿ˜‚ ๐Ÿ˜‚ย whichย explains the ever present twinkle in his eye and the quirky smile.ย  I also discovered quite weirdly that his Dad’s name was Alan which is my middle name. His Mum’s name is Cindy ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿค” and his brothers’s name is James (my grandson’s name). Totally weird.

Meanwhile I shall get back to the book I’m compiling for said grandson and hold thumbs that soon I can say with absolute certainty that Peanut is on the way ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ‘ถ๐Ÿป๐Ÿ’™โฃ๏ธ

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And so the inevitable has come to pass…. I’ve reached the end of the book. There is a certain sadness when you reach the last page of a story in which you’ve been, on a journey if you will, a journey you wish could continue for longer. But inevitably, no matter how long the book, you would finally reach the end of that too. When I first saw this book I got really excited about reading it because its one of my dreams to walk the length of my beloved River Thames and the River Severn, so to read this book became imperative and made a superb Xmas ๐ŸŽ„ gift from my son-in-law.

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I started reading it immediately and have barely been able to put it down…..I got so much more than I bargained for.

Being a long distance walker myself (albeit not on the scale of Levison’s walks by any means) it struck a chord and I had certain expectations of how the story would progress…it turned out to be completely different to what I expected…a journey through Africa’s turbulent history and meeting her people, as varied as what they are, and I have learnt much that is both intriguing and horrifying. I also remember many of the events that took place in recent history.

walking the nile levison wood, books to read, book recommendations

such an interesting albeit scary book at times. a very good read

There is one sentence in the book that sums it up perfectly for me, a sentence I can so identify with since it is an emotion that has caught me out at the end of my walks, most especially when I finished the Camino de Santiago last year… “There was nowhere left to walk”. I remember feeling absolutely bereft when I realised that, as excited as I was to reachย Santiago, it meant I was at the end of my journey…and there was nowhere left to walk. Of course the context is completely different and I could have walked on to Finisterre and Muxia, but for that particular time, it was the end.

If you enjoy long distance walking, adventure and reading, and even if you just enjoy a damn good story, I can recommend this book. I plan to read it again….albeit at a slower pace than normal ๐Ÿ˜‚ ๐Ÿ˜‚ and no, I have no plans forย #WalkingtheNileย myself ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿ˜‰๐Ÿ˜‚

 

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