Look, if you haven't read any of the 44 Scotland Street series, you're missing some beautiful writing. Alexander McCall Smith is such a wonderful observer of life and its idiosyncrasies and he expresses these so cleverly through his characters.
This is the tenth book in the series. You could start with The Revolving Door of Life but I don't recommend that. Start with the first title (44 Scotland Street) to discover the gently intertwined lives of the residents, all described charmingly by the author.
Delightful yarns, amusing stories and fascinating glimpses into McCall Smith's Scotland. What's not to love?
You can read more about The Revolving Door of Life on Goodreads.
I love that the internet easily enables me to find information about anything. If I have a sudden urge to learn about an unfamiliar term or to confirm a fact, my search engine is immediately revved up. My information comes to me from so many sources: blog feeds, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds, Instagram, email newsletters and Pinterest. I enjoy all of these because I've set them all to push information to me; I don't need to seek it.
I regularly cull these sources and this week, it's time to start doing it again. If I don't keep the information to a manageable flow, I feel overwhelmed. Frankly, some of it's just not worth my time!
These are my criteria:
Am I still interested in the subject or has my interest waned?
Does the source engage me or irritate me?
Am I still interested in that person or should I move on?
Does the source communicate in a manner I enjoy?
Is the information useful to me?
Does the source say the same thing over and over?
Would I like to meet the person in real life?
Are there floods of photos of cats or angels? (I have 'unliked' plenty of FB pages for this reason!)
So, here I go again, clearing a swathe through the e-clutter. How often do you do this?
This week, it's the simple things that have been most enjoyable. That's often the way, isn't it? Making note of the experiences that make you happy; well, that's life-affirming!
1. Walking with a friend
In the fresh air, along paths in a public garden, this walk cleared my head of the day's earlier activities and opened it to new thoughts. Conversing and engaging, observing and learning - all in an environment of calm companionship. Yes.
2. Taking photos
Today I took 150 photos. I am over-stimulated by all the shapes and textures, so need time to process what I have recorded. But isn't our ability to snap digital images extraordinary? I am grateful every day for what technology offers us. Brilliant.
Did we have rain! Serious, steady, glorious rain for several consecutive days. My garden absorbed it all and, once the sun came out again, I thought I could actually see many of the plants growing. No matter how often I water the garden, it is never a substitute for proper rain. Lovely.
Yesterday, I posted an opinion on my Facebook page that somehow reached nearly 3,500 people and attracted a huge number of comments. I was amazed by its reach and disappointed by many of the comments. I don't expect everyone to agree with my opinions. That would be a ridiculous assumption but I was amazed at the number of people who felt the need to share their disagreement, along with a dose of bile. I'm no Pollyanna. I can be judgemental and cynical but I'm trying my best to look for the positive aspects of life and to be kind. These commenters weren't and I felt saddened. I won't have rudeness and negativity on my Facebook page so I simply deleted those comments and blocked the posters. So let's all be respectful. If you don't agree with someone's post, feel comfortable to say so but do it in a civil way. We aren't all the same, we haven't all had the same experiences, so it's not surprising we won't all agree. Just do it with respect.
What an astonishing story. I was engrossed and wanted to know so much more about the narrator's life even before the secret in the plot was revealed.
Rosemary's sister has vanished from her life and her brother has walked away from home. What could possibly have happened to cause this fracture in the Cooke family? I'm certainly not going to tell you but, if you want to read a story about sibling love and rivalry, and how a family falls apart, this is the novel for you. Read more about We are all completely beside ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler on Goodreads.
Even after all these years, I still enjoy sharing my thoughts with you. I am always grateful to you for reading my ramblings and I still get excited when one of you leaves a comment. Let's continue in 2016 together!
I confess it would have been easier to write about three things I don't like this week, but that's not the point, is it? So here we go!
1. It rained!
Properly. For a full day and a couple of nights, it rained softly and steadily, while the ground absorbed the precious water. Buildings, trees, and shrubs were gently cleaned of city grime and the earth said thanks. That's the first rain we've had here for a month and we were grateful.
2. Practical beauty
I received these secateurs as a gift from a friend. Adorned with the William Morris Cray design, they are gorgeous. I'm looking forward to using them in my garden.
3. My renewed driver's licence arrived and my photo doesn't look hideous
I had my doubts that it would arrive at all since it took three weeks to be delivered to my mailbox. It finally arrived and I cautiously peered at the photo, worried that I would be unrecognisable, but was OK. Not brilliant, but OK. I can live with that! (No, I'm not sharing it here. That's too much to expect!).
Random fact: when having your photo taken for a driver's licence in NSW, you now have to have your eyebrows showing in the picture. True!