Tuesday Tidbits

Mum and I are once again at our place in Bavaria. We drove here last Thursday afternoon, again amid flurries of snow on the way. Real April weather. It’s quite cool and not really pleasant to work in the garden, which is a pity, because we’ve got lots of dead stuff from last year to tidy up. Our large rosemary bush hasn’t survived the harsh winter, which is a pity. The small apple tree and the Juneberry bush we planted have survived and are starting to grow new leaves. The three tiny hedge bushes I planted had a mixed result. One is looking healthy, one is middling and one seems to be ailing. We’ve also got tons of daisies and even more dandelions in our lawn. The peonies are coming up nicely and the lilacs are also growing new leaves. At my place in Baden-Württemberg, where it is warmer, the lilacs are already showing emerging buds.

Curious Dog is back to his usual state. The last couple of weeks he’d been very much driven by hormones. Some bitches around my place must have been in heat, or something, because CD spent all his time on our walks sniffing everywhere like a crazy dog and pulling worse than ever on the leash. He also whined and even howled a few times in the house, which he otherwise only does when he hears emergency sirens. It was quite strange. He’s never been so lovesick before. He’s also losing his winter fur and spreading it evenly around the house. He always sheds a bit, but currently it’s shedding season. I wanted to go to dog school with him, but it is closed again due to Corona lockdown. We haven’t been since sometime last fall. We don’t really need it, but it’s fun and sometimes we do learn something new.

Work is insane. I have my usual tasks, which have multiplied, because tasks we used to do every 6 or 7 weeks we are now doing once a month. There’s also the special project that I’m coordinating, which I can’t wait to be over, but it’ll run for some months yet. Then I have to do a presentation and demonstration of something next week, which is driving me crazy. I hate presentations. At least I hope things will be more manageable once the presentation is done. I spoke with my manager about that other task I complained about in my last life update post, and he couldn’t answer my questions. Turned out, he hadn’t thought the thing through very well. He’s now gone off to think about it a bit and in the meantime, I’m not doing anything about it. Haven’t got time anyway.

I spent some time on the weekend reading The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell, by Robert Dugoni. It’s told in the first person by Sam, who has a rare condition called ocular albinism which means that he has red eyes (that is, the colour of his eyes is red). He is born into a Catholic family and is sent to Catholic schools where the students tease and bully him for being “the devil child”, but his parents are very supportive. He tells the story of his life as a grown-up looking back and comments on it. He makes friends with a couple of other misfits, has a run-in with a terrible bully who also turns up to harass him when he’s grown up. He makes it through challenges and tragedies and grows rich, gets the girl, has a son… It’s like a modern fairy tale in which the hero forges alliances, struggles through adversity, grows wiser, gets the treasure, marries the princess and is set up for living “happily ever after”. It was not bad but not exactly memorable. Angle of Repose, about which I posted a review yesterday, was memorable, this novel wasn’t. Everything was explained and tied up neatly, no ambiguity, no open ends, hardly anything to mull over and ponder.

It didn’t do much for me and I wouldn’t have read it except that it’s the book that my book club is currently reading. The book club selections are always very hit and miss, but at least it wasn’t as bad some of the others I’ve had to read. Although I admit that the book club members quite often don’t like the books I suggest – sometimes even I don’t like the book I proposed. The person whose turn it is to select the book is supposed to choose one they haven’t read yet, so you never know what you will get. Our reading tastes are also quite different. Sometime there’s a real gem, but mostly it’s so-so or even quite terrible. But we do enjoy discussing the books and gossiping about life in general. We usually end up gossiping more than we discuss the book. We’ve been doing Zoom calls during Corona which isn’t as much fun as meeting in person, but better than nothing. We are meeting this week, I’m looking forward to it. Also anticipating the next book – it could be a hit.

Keep safe, world.

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