Paradise

by Toni Morrison. The novel is about the clash between two groups of people with different histories and different ways of life. It’s a great novel and I very much enjoyed it. My review contains spoilers, so as usual, it is underneath the cut.

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The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit

by Charles Dickens. I quite liked this novel, but it wasn’t as good as some of the other Dickens novels that I’ve read this year. I found it really quite astonishing that part of the novel is set in America and Dickens criticized and satirized America in a way that really seems to fit to our current times (the novel was written from 1842 to 1844).

He was the greatest patriot, in their eyes, who brawled the loudest, and who cared the least for decency.

Chapter 16, Martin Chuzzlewit (1844), by Charles Dickens, p. 266

They’ve such a passion for Liberty, that they can’t help taking liberties with her.

Chapter 17, Martin Chuzzlewit (1844), by Charles Dickens, p. 275

I couldn’t help but think of Trump while reading these and other passages. Hope he doesn’t get a second term in office.

Dickens based his critical view on a visit to America in 1842. Dickens was against slavery and angry about the pirating of his work. Notably, he changed his mind during a later visit to America and printed a postscript to Martin Chuzzlewit to document this change of opinion.

My summary of the novel is under the cut as it contains spoilers.

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Monday Miscellanea

Today at lunch I rang the helpline of my internet provider and complained about the quality of my internet connection in a nice way (there’s not point at bitching at helpline employees). We’d had nothing but one outage after another all afternoon on Sunday after we’d returned from Bavaria. It was very annoying. Today, almost as bad: how are you supposed to work, if your connection breaks down once every hour at least? I had a look at the error log of my router and identified the error that was popping up all over the place and did a google search. Talk about depressing! Couldn’t find a fix and the problem seemed unsolvable. Anyway, my familiarity with the error log impressed the provider employee so much that they didn’t ask me to check the cable connection or restart the router (which we’ve done tons of times anyway) and they even went so far as to send a technician tomorrow. After the call, I did some more internet searches and found that the problem might be due to our Devolo dLan thingies – we use them because normal wlan doesn’t work for our needs. Well, I found that they needed a software update and some changes in the settings. Ever since we did those changes, the internet connection has remained stable (well, it remained stable for most of the afternoon, but broke down again at 5 p.m). Now I’m wondering if this is a fluke (yes it was) or if it is a true fix (nope, sadly not). If the latter, what about the technician coming tomorrow? I guess it can’t hurt to have them check whatever it is they check. If the problem isn’t fixed, I’m sorry I ever agreed to update my internet plan. Should have left well enough alone.

Fun fact: the nice helpline employee even said that it’s luck whether your fast connection works out or not. Isn’t that the pits? How can a company sell stuff that depends on luck to work? They must have let that slip to me by mistake. Probably not company policy to make such statements. Pity I haven’t got a recording of the conversation. It would be useful to get out of the contract if they can’t fix the issue. Currently, I’m hoping it’ll stay fixed with the new Devolo settings (it didn’t).

We’re back from Bavaria (no internet provider issues there, but there it’s a different plan and a different provider). As usual, the week went by really quickly. Last Monday’s dog school went fine. Curious Dog had a good time playing with a Labrador bitch and was otherwise reasonably concentrated at working with me. The rest of the week was the usual: work in home office (rather quit, as it is the vacation period in Germany although it’s coming to an end, what with September being round the corner), walks with Curious Dog in the woods, and shopping for groceries. We had one lovely regional watermelon. Watermelons are usually imported from Spain, but a couple of years ago suddenly there’d be these ones from Bavaria for a couple of weeks for sale in the local supermarket. They are amazingly sweet and juicy. Much better than the Spanish ones (which are also good, no complaints – the Bavarian ones are just special). This time, we only got one. I tried to get another one to bring with me to share with Partner, but they were all sold out.

Friday was the hottest day of the week. It went up to 34°C and was dreadful outside in the afternoon. But that seems to have been the last hot day, so we got of lightly this year with only about 8 days of extremely hot weather. Saturday it was already much cooler, not above 24°C with a short thunderstorm in the morning, so that I couldn’t take CD for his morning walk until late. Since it was either hot, rainy, or thunderstorms all week, I didn’t get much done outside. Only just a bit of lawn mowing but no progress on the spot of plaster repair that I started last year on the wall of our old garage. I think next time, in September, I will have to take some days off, otherwise there won’t be any progress. The neighbours, by the way, hadn’t done any “improvements” on any of our stuff, so no reason to get huffy with them. Good, I can do without silly conflicts with neighbours.

Today it’s overcast and a cool 23°C, very refreshing. According to my weather app, it’s supposed to stay this way for the next few days and then it’s supposed to rain for much of the weekend. That’s a bit of a shame (even though I normally love rain), as we’re having visitors on the weekend. My two favourite cousins (once removed) are coming for a long weekend. This will mean lots of elaborate cooking and some watching of movies. It will be fun – except for the house cleaning before they arrive.

There’s a small bird that spends the night in the roofed passage behind our house in Bavaria. We had one do that I think last Winter for a few weeks and now the bird is back, or another one. I don’t know what kind it is, because I tried not to look at it directly, so it didn’t get scared off. It might be a sparrow. It perches on a cable duct that runs along the wall, high up, under the roof. Curious Dog and I walked past the bird every night when I let CD out into the garden before bedtime. CD didn’t notice (he can be rather inattentive) and I only peeked from the side of my eye in passing. Hope the bird will still be there when we return in September.

Keep safe, world.

July Reading

My belated reading report from July. I got a bit derailed in July, didn’t manage all my goals and didn’t keep a scorecard (maybe that’s why the month got away from me). But it wasn’t all bad.

Ongoing projects:

  • Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace
    138 pages, my quota for July. There’s a cliffhanger: will Andrej survive?
  • Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy
    Total fail again. Maybe I should give up for now?

Poetry:

Daniel Karlin (ed.), The Penguin Book of Victorian Verse
I finished the New Oxford Book of English Verse right at the mid-year mark and started up with this new anthology. It’s also very good and I’m enjoying it very much. Who’s have thought that I’d have such a good time reading poetry? Best goal I started this year.

Short Stories:

A.S. Byatt (ed.), The Oxford Book of English Short Stories
I didn’t read a lot of stories from this anthology in July, but the ones I read were all good.

Elmore Leonard, The Complete Western Stories
I read all thirty stories in this collection and mostly liked them. I did think that the later stories where better than the earlier ones, one could see improvements over time. These stories are also mostly from the point-of-view of non-Native Americans and I kind of suspect they are rather biased at times. I need to read some stories by Native Americans and will keep in mind to find an anthology or an author of short stories.

Non-Fiction:

Margaret Stanger, That Quail, Robert.
An absolutely lovely story about a quail that lived with a family in New England. A short read and highly recommended.

Graphic Novel:

None. Didn’t get around to reading a graphic novel in July.

Novels:

  • Charles Dickens, Martin Chuzzlewit
    This Dickens novel was ok, but I’ve read better. Will write a review (I actually already wrote one, but then I deleted it by mistake and couldn’t recover it. Very annoying.
  • Toni Morrison, Jazz
    I read this one again. It was good, but quite complex and one read wasn’t enough. So, I’m a bit behind on my Morrison reading. I wrote a review.
  • Brandon Sanderson, The Way of Kings
    A very good fantasy novel, the first in a series of four, where the fourth is coming out later this year. I’m doing a BookTube readalong of the first three books. It has great characters and super world-building. Looking forward to the other books in the series, and strongly recommend it.
  • Anthony Trollope, Can You Forgive Her
    Started this one in June and finished in July. I liked it a lot and still plan to write a review.

So, I didn’t reach all my goals this month, but didn’t do too badly, except that I didn’t read a new Morrison and missed out on the graphic novel. August is three-quarters done, and I still haven’t finished my next Morrison, haven’t started the Dickens or the graphic novel. I’ll have to buck up. Guess I’m getting a bit fed up with the goals. I’ve read a lot so far in August, just not the novels I’ve got in my reading goals. But I’ve still got time.

Keep safe, world.

Into the Heart of Borneo

by Redmond O’Hanlon. I’ve been reading this excellent account of a 1983 journey into the Bornean jungle for the last couple of days. I found it on my brother’s bookshelf and liked it a lot.

The author, Redmond O’Hanlon was a natural history book reviewer who took a trip into the interior of Borneo with a poet friend of his. The tale is full of humour (sometimes a bit raunchy), full of odd things, of interesting quotations from earlier naturalists who traveled in Borneo and who catalogued the flora and fauna and wrote about the Bornean tribes. These quotations provide a net of earlier and related book that the reader can look up if they wish to follow up on the subject. There’s also a select bibliography to browse in.

The people on trip, O’Hanlon and his friend James, the Bornean guides Leon, Dana, and Inghai are very different but very likeable. They horse around and play tricks on each other. The two Europeans wouldn’t have lasted ten seconds on their canoe voyage up various rivers without the expertise of the three Borneans. James spent half his time between rapids reading Victor Hugo but otherwise found marvelous things to look at such as a crested serpent eagle:

The eagle was thick-set, black and brown and grey, his stomach lightly freckled, his head plumed flat. James was sitting up, boatered, bearded-black, his shirt dazzling white. James looked at the eagle. The eagle looked at James. The eagle, deciding that it was too early in the morning to hallucinate, flapped off into the jungle, puzzled.

Into the Heart of Borneo (1984), by Redmond O’Hanlon, p. 43

The book gives a glimpse of the culture of the Bornean tribes that live in the interior of the Malaysian part of Borneo. It shows the vibrant community of the villages, but also the hard and dangerous life in the jungle far away from such lifesaving things as medical help. The people are all shown in a very empathetic and real way. The voyage took place in 1983 and the whole setting and atmosphere reminds me very much of my youth in the tropics also in the first half of the 1980s (though I didn’t live in Borneo, but in New Guinea and not in the jungle but in a city). It would be interesting to know how much of this way of life has survived until now, more than thirty years later.

The way of life is already under pressure in 1983, with the young people of some of the tribes disdaining and disrespecting the old people, who have all the traditional knowledge. Who knows if this is still the case, or if there has been renewed interest in the traditional way of life or maybe a fusion between the old and the new? We know that a lot of the Bornean rainforest has fallen to logging and palm tree plantations. Already at the time of this journey, the Bornean rhinoceros, which the author had hoped to see, was not found, and today, it sadly seems to be extinct (as far as I could make out).

Here’s a little thing that struck me as a Harry Potter fan, concerning bezoars:

“Have you ever found any?”
“No – but the Tuai Rumah [the headman], he never find any either. But we keeps looking,” said Leon. “When you sicks, you shaking – you take the stone and you eat a bit, a very little bit. You not die.”

Into the Heart of Borneo (1984), by Redmond O’Hanlon, p. 136

The Borneans thought that bezoars from the gallbladders of certain monkeys helped against some sicknesses. They also sold them to the Chinese, who also used them (or still use?) in their traditional medicine.

The book was a very good read and certainly a recommendation. I’m much inclined to look up other books by O’Hanlon.

Keep safe, world

Just for Fun

Last weekend, it was hot and muggy and I didn’t feel like doing anything except hang around and read (except for some excursions with Curious Dog early in the morning when it was still pleasant outside and late in the afternoon when it was at least tolerable).

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I had remembered that I’d enjoyed the first two installments of the Innkeeper Chronicles by Ilona Andrews: Clean Sweep and Sweep in Peace. I’d read them around Christmas two years ago and liked them. They are a fantasy series with sci-fi touches where the earth is located at a sort of hub in space. There’s a treaty between representatives of earth and the rest of the galaxy that everyone may use this hub to travel freely, but that earth must remain a neutral power and earth’s people must be allowed to evolve in peace. Only innkeepers on earth know about all this and they are magically bound to their inns, kind of sentient houses that can cater to any alien species. The innkeeper has magic powers (and uses a magic broom) and keeps aliens secret from the rest of earth. The series is about the adventures of one innkeeper, Dina Demille, her family and friends. It’s great fun, full of action and adventure, with bit of romance thrown in (not too much – which is good because I usually don’t like pure romance books). There are vampires and werewolves who are actually aliens, not supernatural beings. I found that three more books had come out in the meantime (though one of them is a novella):

  • One Fell Sweep
  • Sweep of the Blade
  • Sweep with Me

I binge-read the three new to me on the weekend (got them on Kindle). Very good for some light, fun, escapist reading. I got kind of hooked and the weekend was only half done when I was through with them, so I had a go at another series by the same author, the Kate Daniels series. This one is set in a future Atlanta, where magic seems to be taking over. There are fluctuations between “tech” and “magic” states, with the magic gradually taking over, as the world is swinging over towards magic after having been dominated by “tech” in the past. It also has all sorts of were-beings, vampires and other magical creatures. The protagonist, Kate Daniels, has magic powers and is great at martial arts. She fights to keep her friends and allies safe from diverse, usually magical, dangers. Also very thrilling, fun books. I read the first two books in the series (there are at least ten) and enjoyed them a lot: Magic Bites and Magic Burns.

2020_08_18a

I’m sure that eventually I’ll be reading the other books in the series, too, but at the moment I’m satiated with this genre and will continue with my normal reading plan. But I really enjoyed these books and if you are into this genre, I can recommend them. Interestingly, Ilona Andrews is actually a nom de plume for a wife/husband pair of writers. They have a website where they publish free bits of their writings, a blog, and other interesting stuff: https://ilona-andrews.com/.

Keep safe, world.

Monday Miscellanea

So, last Thursday Mum, Curious Dog, and I headed once again to our home in Bavaria (with all our copious luggage: one bag for Mum, one bag for me plus my office backpack, CD’s bag of toys, and a box full of dog food and groceries, as well as a few odds and ends). It was raining quite heavily when we left, but it was only a localized downpour, so I didn’t have to drive all the way in the rain. The two usual diversions because of roadworks were still in place (sigh) but at one of them I saw that the road workers were painting the road markings, so surely, they must have been almost done and hopefully at least that diversion might be history on our return.

That downpour when we left marked the end of the heatwave or at least an interlude. We’d traveled in the morning, not in the afternoon, as I was concerned about thunderstorms in the afternoon and hey, it did rain in the afternoon after we’d arrived. It was great, actually. As we’d shut all the shutters on the windows when last we left, and since the day was not as hot as it had been all week, the house was cooler than expected and the afternoon rain cooled things down even more. It was great. The relief of summer rain after the week-long heat…

2020_08_17

I did some work on Thursday afternoon, and also worked Friday morning to make up for the travel time on Thursday. Last week was very busy, finishing off the update of four documents, but by Friday I was mostly done, with only one chapter to update and a few quality checks. I’m sure there will be additions and corrections coming in until the final deadline in October, but at least the draft versions were done on time. It was a very productive week. I had more to do than planned, because recent weeks had a lot of stuff that kept me from working on these documents. Usually I prefer being ready earlier than on the day of the deadline, but as everything worked out fine, I’m pleased enough. Still, I’ll try to be ready earlier for the final deadline (although quite often I get request for additions or corrections a week or so after the updated document was published which always annoys the heck out of me). Anyway, this work week will be more relaxed. It’s holiday season. Lots of colleagues are on vacation and I’m getting fewer emails than usual. Also, some tedious meetings have been canceled, because so many people are out of office.

Saturday and Sunday turned out quite hot and humid. Pleasant in the morning, but muggy in the afternoon, so that any exertion made me hot, sweaty and sticky. Very unpleasant. We also had a few thunderstorms in the afternoons or evenings, which luckily were mild ones. Curious Dog, however, didn’t like them at all. Saturday evening I we were walking in the woods when he suddenly sat down, wouldn’t go any further and only wanted to go home. He was either hot (it was still very hot and humid although already 7:00 p.m.) or he felt that the humidity presaged the next thunderstorm. Or maybe he mistook the noise of an aeroplane for distant thunder. No idea. Anyway, since it was hot and sticky, even in the woods, I didn’t try to change his mind and we went home. At least the ticks are not as bad as earlier in the summer. He’s only had a few latched on so far and I don’t find ten or more crawling on his fur after our walks. That’s always good.

Because it was too hot to do anything that involved movement, I did nothing but read all weekend. Urban fantasy, pure escapism – I’ll do a separate post on those books. This morning, for my daily poetry-reading before getting out of bed, I read the poem “The Voyage of Maeldune” by Alfred Lord Tennyson, in the Penguin Book of Victorian Verse. I was absolutely struck by how much the poem reminded me of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, one of the Narnia books by C.S. Lewis. The poem had a subtitle that said it was founded on an Irish legend from A.D. 700. I tried to find out if Lewis had known this poem but couldn’t find anything. I did find (on Wikipedia) that there’s an Irish genre called immram, where voyagers sail to the Otherworld, and on the way have adventures on fantastic isles. So maybe, both Tennyson and Lewis were influenced by or found inspiration by these immram tales. Learnt something new today. I must say, I really like what I’ve read of Tennyson in the Penguin Book of Victorian Verse. I think I shall read some more of his works when I’m done with the collection.

After work, Curious Dog and I will be off to his dog school. I hope there’s not another thunderstorm, but since it already rained this morning (a nice calm summer’s rain, no thunder) maybe that will be it for today. I am hoping we’ll have fun.

Keep safe, world.

Towers of Silence

Sounds like the title of a fantasy novel but is actually the place the corpses of members of the Parsi community in Bombay (Mumbai) used to be exposed to the elements and vultures in the Zoroastrian funeral rites (or maybe still are, I’m not sure). I learnt this interesting and new to me fact from the novel Chronicle of a Corpse Bearer by Cyrus Mistry that I read last weekend. A very good read that I highly recommend. My review contains spoilers, so it’s under the cut.

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Monday Miscellanea

Oh, it’s been so hot the last few days, 33°C+. It was nice in the mornings, but brutal in the afternoons and miserable to sleep at night. Partner and I took Curious Dog for his morning walk as early as on workdays on the weekend so as to escape the heat. It was lovely in the woods in the morning. In the afternoons it got so hot, I had to wait until the sun had almost set behind the hills before going out. Only took CD on his walk at around 7:30 p.m. when the paths are mostly in shadow around here. It was still very hot, but manageable. I’m so glad that the heatwave should only go on for a few more days. Currently it looks like Friday will be cooler. But until then, it’s sweltering and getting quite humid, with nasty thunderstorms in some parts of Germany.

2020_08_10

We’re planning on driving to Bavaria again on Thursday, but this time I believe I’ll take the morning off, so that we can get there before any afternoon storms. Also, it’s mostly driving east, so that the sun will shine into the front of the car, and not the back, where CD has his box. I’m always scared he’ll overheat. The car has air conditioning and dark windows in the back, but I still don’t like for him to sit in the sun and I’m anxious about getting stuck in a traffic jam when it’s hot. Theoretically, we could drive at night, but I don’t like driving in the dark, especially on country roads as I’m always scared that I’ll get into an accident with wildlife, deer or boars. Well, Thursday is supposed to only get up to 30°C, so hopefully, it’ll all work out. Will take lots of water along.

The heat really serves as a very worrying reminder that we need to increase our efforts to limit climate change as much as possible. It really must be a global priority, but I’m afraid it isn’t. Europe and Germany aren’t doing half as much as we should be doing. I’m very anxious and angry about it. I definitively support Fridays for Future and will only vote for politicians that promise to work on the topic, but, so far, our acts have been less than impressive. Everyone is always worried about the economy, but if we bugger up our planet, the economy won’t survive either.

Friday morning, I drove to the town where my office is, but not to work, just to get my summer wheels checked. I’d had them mounted a couple of weeks ago and you’re meant to get them checked and the nuts tightened after driving 50 to 100 km. As I’d been to our team barbeque the weekend before last, I had already driven that far, at least. Anyway, that only took about 5 minutes and afterwards I went shopping in one of the towns on the way back. I used to go shopping in a special organic produce supermarket quite often when I still drove to the office every day but have only gone there once since Corona home office started in March. By the time I got back home, it was almost lunch and it was too hot to do much of anything else the rest of the day.

We did a lot of cooking on the weekend but tried to do it early enough so as not to heat up the kitchen too much. Friday, we made potato salad, which was enough for Saturday, too, so we didn’t need to do anything except fry up some tofu to go with it. Sunday, we had homemade pizza with salad. All very delicious. On Friday we also had left-over tiramisu from Thursday and for the weekend Partner made a very nice no-bake fruity vegan cheesecake (with cashews). We also bought some ice cream from the ice truck that comes around daily or made our own ice cream from frozen banana pieces and berries. Very lovely, and cooling.

As planned, I did quite a bit of reading (but also wasted time surfing the Internet, that is, BookTube). I read the book for my next book club meeting in one sitting (it wasn’t very long). Very interesting: Chronicle of a Corpse Bearer, by Cyrus Mistry. I think I’ll write a review of it, as I liked it a lot (something that can’t be said for every book club selection, that’s for sure). I also started and got half-way through Toni Morrison’s Paradise. Also very good. I would probably have been able to finish it, but I also had to do some of the usual week-end housekeeping. I got very hot vacuuming and cleaning. Still, good as a kind of ersatz sport (that’s what I tell myself to motivate myself). Partner and I also watched Captain America: Civil War. For some reason, we hadn’t yet watched this Marvel film, probably because I didn’t want to see the Avengers split into two factions. But it was pretty good. I usually enjoy the Marvel films. Sunday night we stayed up too late watching Casino Royale with Daniel Craig as Bond. I rather like Craig’s Bond, but we had seen this film before, at the cinema when it first came out and a couple of times on DVD. It’s a favourite. Don’t think it will be possible to watch the coming Bond at the cinema in November. Hopefully, we can see it online or we’ll have to wait until it comes out on DVD.

My new Internet still has some micro outages every now and again, but it’s not too bad. Today, I didn’t have any outage and I did a lot of work all day where I needed to use the VPN-connection to the company network.

It’s pretty hot in my home office, under the eaves of my home, but I was still very productive today. Probably because of the deadline for my documents on Friday. I almost finished one document today and am planning to do the rest of it tomorrow as well as one more. Then I’ll have done all four of them and can spend Wednesday and Thursday making some minor corrections and additions. I’ll have to do another review, with some expert colleagues in the next few weeks, but at least the review copy will be done as planned this week. It’ll be a busy week.

Keep safe, world.

Pet Rant

Curious Dog and I went on our morning ramble up the hill and through the woods without Partner, who had got up early to photograph the sunrise with the new digital camera he got for his birthday. On our way CD and I came across another dog and their person, which gives me occasion for one of my pet rants: Why, oh, why do people waste their time with their dogs in glorious early morning nature with their smartphone? This person had their eyes glued to the small screen of their smartphone instead of enjoying the lovely fresh new day and their cute dog. That dog is only going to share your life for a limited time (as, sadly, dogs don’t get that old) and you should use this time to interact with them and not read work emails, surf social media or online news or whatever! You probably only take your dog for a walk once or twice a day, so why can’t you keep away from your smartphone during that time? Why do you keep a dog, if you’re not going to pay attention to them, or play with them? I see this so often on my walks with Curious Dog. Also parents out with their small children – even worse. What’s your child going to feel, if you keep your nose stuck to a smartphone screen when you are out and about with them? I always feel sorry for the poor kids and dogs.

End of favourite rant. Of course, being a rant, it’s an exaggeration. I do quite often see these smartphone addicts, but I also often see the opposite: dog walkers interacting with their dogs, parents with their children. Usually, the smartphone users are young people, older ones, that is, middle age and above, don’t do it as often (at least not around here). Probably because they are not “digital natives”.

Found a patch of blackberries some of which were already ripe and quite sweet. There’s lots of blackberry brambles hereabouts, but this one was right by the path and easily accessible. The photo turned out a little blurry.

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Not being a digital native myself, I was stumped at work today with a new tool that was used to start a video session with different subsessions and subjects. Took me ages to find the icon I had to click on to join the session of my choice. But I was not the only one; lots of people joined the first session late and I bet they also had problems finding the icon. Once this initial difficulty was out of the way, the sessions were actually very interesting. Information about new processes, concepts, and strategies that will start popping up in my daily work soon. So, it wasn’t a waste of time as so many info sessions at work tend to be. Afterwards, I got on well with my ongoing review and update tasks and finished my document for today. Now I can go off into the weekend with a glow of accomplishment. And start up again with new enthusiasm on Monday (well, as enthusiastic as it is possible to be about reviewing documents, that is, not very – I’ll be relieved when I’ve done my first round covering all my documents by next Friday, hopefully.) Bit of a pity that the next round of reviews is never far off.

This afternoon for coffee we had homemade vegan tiramisu. Made by Partner, the resident producer of delicious cakes and desserts. And for lunch a very nice cream of broccoli soup also homemade by Partner. Our division of labour: Partner does most of the cooking during the week and I do the grocery shopping. Works very well. On the weekends we often cook together. Mum usually does the dishes. Partner likes trying out new dishes, and we’ve had a lot of excellent finds during Corona that have entered our repertoire of dishes. He often finds new recipes on YouTube, although we do have quite a few cookbooks.

I’m so looking forward to the weekend. I want to start reading Toni Morrison’s Paradise, which I should have read last month according to my reading plan, but somehow didn’t get around to. If I get it done on the weekend, I can get started on the book for my book club and on the next Dickens, Nickolas Nickleby. And the next section of War and Peace. As always, I have no shortage of reading material!

My new Internet is still acting up and having short annoying outages every now and then which it never used to have with the old plan. It’s quite annoying. I guess I shall have to phone the provider tomorrow, which will be a pain. Wonder what they will blame it on and what they will suggest to solve the problem. My colleague, who has the same plan, has been living with these annoying micro outages for more than a year. If I’d known that beforehand, I never would have gone done this path. I hope that doesn’t happen with our plan, because then I shall be forced to find a different provider eventually and that will, no doubt, also be a pain. Kind of wishing I hadn’t upgraded our plan. But it’s early days, maybe the problem will yet disappear.

Keep safe, world.