Brexit has been occupying much of my thinking processes in the past few weeks. I signed the petition, even contemplated going to the march in London but then remembered that crowds like that may trigger a panic attack and thought I best stay home.
I am slowly making my way through the Walter Scott Prize Longlist and so far the results are:
Little by Edward Carey (Gallic Books) – yet to read
A Long Way From Home by Peter Carey (Faber) – yet to read
After The Party by Cressida Connolly (Viking) – read, thought it was ok – ***/5
Washington Black by Esi Edugyan (Serpent’s Tail) – read, don’t get the hype **/5
The Western Wind by Samantha Harvey (Jonathan Cape) – read, not my thing, but get why people love it **/5
Dark Water by Elizabeth Lowry (riverrun) – read, atmospheric, if you love Moby Dick, you are going to love this, atmospheric, clever. Torn between *** or ****/5 but probably more like ****
Now We Shall Be Entirely Free by Andrew Miller (Sceptre) – not read yet
Warlight by Michael Ondaatje (Jonathan Cape) – read, am a fan woman, ****/5
The Wanderers by Tim Pears (Bloomsbury) – will only read if shortlisted
The Long Take by Robin Robertson (Picador) – not yet read
All The Lives We Never Lived by Anuradha Roy (Maclehose Press) – not yet read
Tombland by C J Sansom (Mantle) – Uber fan and read when it came out and *****/5
I am taking a few books break now from the shortlist. Currently reading a mix of fiction and non-fiction:
Der Trümmermörder by Cay Rademacher (Murder in the Ruins) is a book that so many people recommended to me in the past few months, I just have to give it a go.
Slowly making my way through a poetry collection: Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo which I am really loving so far.
Writing Down the Bones, Natalie Goldberg’s classic on writing practice is also on the side and I read a chapter when I sit down with a cuppa.
Then The Stopping Places by Damien Le Bas, longlisted for the Jhalak Prize is also on the go, I have never read a book before on Traveller/Romani culture and so far I am finding it a fascinating read.
And then finally, a new release The Conviction of Cora Burns by Carolyn Kirby, set in Birmingham in the 19th century (I live in Birmingham) and so far, I am really quite enjoying it, I have a feeling this will turn very dark, so we shall see. Kinda fun though to hear a character referring to places you know (“no, Smethwick way”). I am a bit of a sucker for local colour.
I also went to the library today because clearly, I don’t have enough books out already (22 books at present), no, I needed to add more books (now 24 books out) and got Manda Scott’s Into the Fire and because I am an eternal optimist, I also got the second book in the series A Treachery of Spies. See Brexit has not totally destroyed my optimism, in some areas it still works. Victoria from Eve’s Alexandria and I shall start buddy reading Into the Fire this weekend and I cannot wait, I am really in the mood for some page turner type goodness and I loved Manda Scott’s Boudica novels a lot (read all of them quick succession, was proper obsessed).
The sun keeps shining at the moment which is good as I don’t think anyone could cope with what’s going on if it was raining on top of it all. The neighbours across from us had a lunchtime barbecue. On a weekday. I like their spirit.
As I was driving down Soho Road in Handsworth today, I was struck once again by the sheer number of wedding shops there and how wonderfully colourful Asian wedding gowns are in comparison to white ones. I also kind of love that a wedding shop is right next to a shop selling fruit and veg. Keeping it real, even if you are buying wedding gear, you are still hungry. I keep meaning to stop at the Romanian bakery in Handsworth and buy some of their stuff to try it out, I adore shops like this. Someone on Facebook said that Polish shops are the reason, we have Brexit. And lots of people agreed. I like Polish shops although the one I love might close as the owners are thinking about going back to Poland. Another empty shop on the High Street. Maybe a betting shop will open.
I know I sound bitter, but it’s surreal to live through this Brexit stuff and it keeps going. And then there was the Guardian Article about the findings that European’s rights in the UK will be impacted. We have been saying this all along, but naturally no one listens. I basically no longer really talk to anyone, because the joke “we will just hide you in the cellar” has stopped being funny in 2017, which was incidentally when it started, meaning the joke was never funny. Just not funny. Also: I know nobody with a cellar.
Apparently dinner is ready. So farewell, thanks for reading, if you did.