Friday, 11 September 2009

Reading and painting

Still here in France, in the beautiful vallee du Mars, the weather which when we first arrived in August was very hot and sunny is now a bit cooler, though there is still plenty of warm sunshine, lovely for a swim in Mauriac's outdoor pool, which closes on the 13th of September. The leaves on the trees are just beginning to take on autumn tints. A local friend said she went hunting for girolles (a type of mushroom) the other day, but found none worth collecting, only the odd tiny ones, and they were difficult to spot being the same colour as the fallen leaves from the hazelnut trees in the woods.

Finally finished Little Dorrit, what a wondrful read. I'm now a Dickens fan, having avoided his writing in the past(probably due to mental laziness). The stories within the story are beautifully told and add to the wonderful texture of the book.

Much painting of walls and some woodwork has been done, although there is still lots to do, the house is beginning to become more homely. It would seem that since it was built in about 1920, not much redecoration has been done, most of the stuff we are doing is decorating over the original, much-deteriorated decorations.

What with painting and swimming, not that much time for reading, but I have recently finished Tim Winton's Breath, a story set in a small Australian country town, not too far from the sea. Bruce Pike or Pikelet, befriends the son of the towns pub owner, and both set off to the sea, to learn to surf. They both become hooked and attract the attention of Sandy, an older surfer who takes them under his wing. The addiction all three have to surf and surfing is beautifully described, as is young Pikelet's growing up and friendship with Sandy's young wife Eva. The emotions of a young boy coming to terms with his ability in the surf, his changing relationship with his parents, school and his eventual growing up are tenderly written. A wonderful story, I recommend it.

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