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Posts Tagged ‘books to read’

Look what I bought for myself this afternoon. โ˜บโ˜บ I felt I deserved a treat (besides the sunrise and sunsets) after all the stress this week. I’d been planning on buying it 2nd hand online, but suddenly felt impatient. Just a day ago I read the write up in The Guardian (February 2019) via @pilgrimtrust  and felt so inspired by their journey; the bravery of facing down the odds and taking the challenge head on. It helped lift me out of my slump, and reminded me that I have much to be grateful for – even though I’m still very grumpy about the dishonesty of that carer (and that she’s just going to get away with her manipulative behaviour) ๐Ÿ˜ก๐Ÿ˜ก๐Ÿ˜ก that’s how grumpy I am ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ Anyway, whatever, I had a lovely long walk to Broadstairs and back and now I’m reclining on my bed and just about to dive in…. p.s. if you Google ‘the salt path’ the article is a few entries down.

The Salt Path

I’ll let you know what I think when I’ve finished it…although I’m pretty certain I’m going to love it. ๐Ÿ“˜

14.11.2020 Saturday 21:38

I’ve just finished reading The Salt Path. What an extraordinary story. Of pain, of loss and hunger and an enduring love that triumphed over the worst kind of adversity.

Its left me wanting to fetch my backpack and just go….

Fantastic read, definitely recommended.

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Weirdly I’m so enjoying this book.

A fascinating look at the machinations of government, political campaigns and what goes on behind closed doors, our famous Number 10 in this instance, and how incredibly quickly it can all go very wrong…

What’s quite exciting about this book too, is that I can remember most of these events; the campaigning, Blair handing over to Brown, Brown subsequently throwing in the towel, seeing Samantha heavily pregnant in the glare of her husband’s narrow victory. The palaver and calamitous headlines when Cameron formed a coalition government with Clegg – christ, you’d be forgiven for thinking a great big black hole had opened up on planet earth!!! ๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช๐Ÿคช

I also remember the smug expressions in the Rose Garden ๐Ÿค”๐Ÿค”

I’m about a quarter of the way through and I’m enthralled. I’m not a fan of DC or his party, but I ‘almost’ feel sorry for him ๐Ÿคซ๐Ÿคซ๐Ÿคซ

I was never into politics in South Africa. We had 1 party and that was the Nationalist Party. You reached voting age and voted for the Nationalist Party. Actually there were other parties of course but for decades the NP dominated. And then in 1994 things changed and the ANC came into power. And so that party has since dominated..again for decades, and even though there are other parties, its really a 1 party country.

But in the UK, its a different story. I’m constantly fascinated by the political scene and how it all works, even though I’m avoiding anything related to politics atm. This book is easy to read, not a pedantic tome but it cuts to the chase.

I remember with the last election, I was eligible to vote and so I took a keen interest and read everything I could lay my hands on. I read all the different editorials and some of the rags, depending on the political leanings of the current client.

I’ve always had a leaning towards conservatism, with a massive dash of liberal, but I liked the policies of the Labour and Green parties. Right then? Or left? Go figure!! One day I decided to do one of those stupid polls on Facebook to determine which party I should vote for. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฑ wtaf???

It came up as UKIP!!!! Excuse me while I die laughing ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿคฃ๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿ™‰๐Ÿ™Šโ˜ ๐Ÿ’€ UKIP???? I loathe that party, I loathe what they stand for and I PARTICULARLY loathe and despise the leader of that particular party at the time. (I’ve seen him in action in person, and he’s vile, a loathsome creature). So when the results came back for UKIP ๐Ÿ˜ ๐Ÿ˜  ๐Ÿคฎ๐Ÿคฎ Bloody Facebook. I’m sure the poll was rigged ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜ and I definitely didn’t vote for UKIP.

Anywayyyyy, back to the book. Its fascinating and since the weather today was so horrible; raining and windy and I’m really tired (coming to the end of a particularly stressful assignment), I decided to curl up in bed and read. I don’t care how much money they get, or how much they make afterwards, but that is one job I would not like….

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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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