"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Monday, 1 March 2021

Reading, Garden and Snowdrops in a Churchyard


Recent Reading

As mentioned before I decided to have just a short break from crime fiction.  "Once Upon A River" I must have bought well over a year ago - the cover appealed! and the assistant in Waterstones recommended it.  I really did enjoy it and it was certainly a bit "different" although I am not convinced it entirely lived up to some of the rave reviews it received.

My daughter recommended the above book and it was good although I did feel perhaps it would be enjoyed more by someone of her age.

Years ago I read all the Miss Read Fairacre and also the Thrush Green books. Sadly, I rather stupidly got rid of all the paperbacks when I last had a major book "cull" thinking I would never read them again.  I didn't realise at the time that we would be in the current situation when "comfort reading" is something you are looking for especially at bedtime.  I think I enjoyed the book even more than when I first read it.

A return to crime fiction!  I am really enjoying the Mitchell and Markby books.

A friend bought me the above book for Christmas.  I really do recommend this book as for me it had many good ideas on how to live in the present and make the most of every moment. It was certainly much better than other "Mindfulness" type books I have tried (and failed!) to read in the past.

"The Royal Baths Murder" was enjoyable although in some respects a bit similar to an earlier book in the series perhaps.


We are not getting too much footage at the moment on the wildlife camera or trail cam after the first videos of Grey Squirrels.  We may give it a break for a week or so and try again.

Sorry no photos but we are getting some more unusual birds in the garden.  A Jackdaw on the feeding station was a good garden "tick" as this species has only visited the garden once before.  It was good to see a Great Spotted Woodpeck return as I haven't seen one in the garden for ages and this morning we had a pair of Jays at the top of the garden.  Blue Tits have been investigating one of the nest boxes.  There has been no sign of frog activity in the pond yet.

D has bought some tiny Strawberry plants and a planter

Leaves are just starting to appear on some of the deciduous plants and shrubs.

Primroses continue to flower in abundance and the Snowdrop that was in bud now has flowers.

Rough-stalked Feather-Moss in an old stone wall.

I haven't seen any butterflies yet this year but we did have the first bumble bee in the garden last week possibly a Buff-tailed?


E is still baking from time to time. Orange Marshmallow cake from Mary Berry's "Fast Cakes" was the latest offering.

Snowdrops in a Churchyard

I took a trip to a local churchyard last weekend which was full of snowdrops and a few crocuses and daffodils are starting to flower.

I am afraid my posts somewhat lack variety at the moment!  In a "normal" year the caravan site in Herefordshire would have re-opened today.  Depending on what happens it looks as though it may be able to re-open in about 6 weeks but we shall have to wait and see. It will be five and a half months since we were last there!

I hope everyone is staying safe and well.

All photos taken by me with the Panasonic Lumix FZ330 bridge camera.


Rustic Pumpkin said...

I would have been tempted by the cover of that first book too. Maybe not the best way to select a reading choice! I love Miss Read, and also Maeve Binchy books, as you say, great comfort reading and of simpler more gentle times in the case of Miss Read. Everyone assumes, therefore, I must enjoy Rosamund Pilcher, but I don't like her one jot. Isn't it lovely to see shoots of green, snowdrops, primroses, and more as Spring nudges gently past Winter? The marshmallow cake looks scrumptious. I know what you mean, blogging isn't easy during lockdown, and thankfully for me I've had Dydd Gwyl Dewi Sant to write about!

Ragged Robin said...

Rustic Pumpkin - Thanks so much. It is not the first time I have bought a book for the cover! To be fair the book was very good and well written - but I wouldn't rave rave about it if you know what I mean. There again different books appeal to different people :) I used to read Maeve Binchy and Rosamund Pilcher but years ago and again the paperbacks were culled! I may try one again although I do regret now getting rid of so much fiction and having to re-buy!

It is good to see signs of Spring appearing. I did so enjoy your post on Saint David :) So informative and great photos! :)

Rosie said...

Lovely photos of the Spring flowers and shoots in your garden and the Snowdrops in the churchyard look beautiful in the sunshine. It is hard to find things to blog about when we can't go far, I hope you will be able to visit your caravan soon, it's the ideal place in these times. I hope you have lots of strawberries to enjoy in June. My Mum used to have a collection of Miss Read books I don't know what happened to them. I think I am going to re-read some Georgette Heyer books, I loved them as a teenager, I wonder what I will think now?:)

Caroline Gill said...

A lovely mixed post as usual, RR, with lots of interest. What wonderful snowdrops! Our trailcam didn't have anything either today, but we shall keep trying. Your daughter's marshmallow cake is making my mouth water! We have made Delia's Multi-coloured Swapshop Scone-based pizza a couple of times now that flour seems to be readily available again, but that is the extent of our baking! Thank you for the comments on the river book. I am planning to begin a Christmas present book on hedges soon. I am currently romping through 'Castle MacNab' by Robert J. Harris.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Our local cemeteries are also full of snowdrops at the moment!

I've not read that particular Matt Haig book but his novel The Humans is excellent, very moving and insightful (and funny too)

Pam said...

I'm all for comfort reading at the moment!! I hope you get more luck with the trail cam, maybe you'll get Hedgehogs at some point! I love the Strawberry planter, It'll look lovely :) I think everyone's post are a bit samey right now, I know mine are, I still enjoy reading them though :)

Ragged Robin said...

Rosie - Thanks so much. You are right - it is hard to think of things to blog about at the moment apart from the usual, garden, books and baking! I used to read Georgette Heyer as a teenager too - would be worth reading one to see what they are like. I've also uploaded an Elizabeth Goudge to my kindle "City of Bells" - I used to love her books too.

Caroline Gill - Thanks so much. I hope we both get something on the trail cams soon :) Flour and other baking ingredients do now seem readily available thank goodness! The hedges book sounds good please keep me updated. I am not sure if I have read any Robert J Harris so will look into his books thank you!

Crafty Green Poet - Thank you so much. It is so lovely to see flowers starting to appear and I will check the Humans - thank you.

Pam - Thanks so much. Wish I could say Comfort Reading helps me sleep! Sadly, it doesn't but it is nice to go back into a 1950's world!! Yes I enjoy reading posts too - it is good to keep in touch with people and see what they are doing.

The Quacks of Life said...

the flowers are lovely to see. I've seen the odd bee and as you know a brimstone ;)

I've been reading lots of vintage science fiction but despite the time I am not reading as much as I'd expected.... weird

Bovey Belle said...

I used to have a lot of Miss Read books, culled them, picked up a couple from charity shop and reread and then re-culled because of our move. Comforting reading in these difficult times. You had an interesting selection of books. I've just read two loaned me by a friend, by Ann-Marie Morgan: Death Master and You Will Die. The 2nd was a better read - the first had some torture details which I could have lived without. You Will Die is set in Wales - vicars being murdered - and they kept getting closer to our new home, which was a bit disconcerting! From the same source (last year, must read and return) came Catherine Robinson's Forging On, about the life of a country farrier's apprentice. I started it this morning.

Back in the day, I read all the Catherine Cooksons and Georgette Heyers (I DID enjoy those, especially Frederica), I wonder what I'd make of them now?

Ragged Robin said...

The Quacks of Life - Thanks Pete. It is good to see flowers and I remember clearly your Brimstone sighting!!! :)

Must admit I am reading more than ever but I think you listen to podcasts and music more than me?

Bovey Belle Thank you. I think the Miss Read books have "aged" well. I am very squeamish so couldn't have read the torture bits!!! Always wary of starting a new crime author in case they prove too gory!!!

I had forgotten Catherine Cookson - I used to read hers too!!! The Georgette Heyer title that stands out in my mind is The Grand Sophy! I suspect these days they might seem a little too light? May try one one day if cheap on Kindle!

Amanda Peters said...

Lovely to see so many Snowdrops, I think they have done well this year. Great selection of books, I could have a whole library on books just bought for the cover picture!and hopefully I'm not the only one who buys book just to have even though I won't end up reading it.
Amanda xx

Ragged Robin said...

Amanda Peters - Thanks so much. It was good to see snowdrops en masse in that churchyard as other churchyards I usually visit are probably too far to travel atm. It took me a while to get round to reading that book! Must have had it at least 18 months! Covers are important for selling books I think! :)

Millymollymandy said...

It's so lovely seeing huge masses of snowdrops like that - they look their best like that. Your primroses look great with so many flowers! Lucky you having a daughter at home who likes to bake - hope the cake was as yummy as it looks. Sorry can't comment on the books but glad you enjoyed them! :-) xx

Ragged Robin said...

Millymollymandy - Thanks so much. Snowdrops are at their best en masse. Wish I could have got to more of my favourite locations to see them and I may primroses in churchyards too. Yes cake lovely thanks :)