We occasionally walk up to the Plateaux de Trizac and once up there the feeling of space is immense. Last month we walked up the other side of the valley, almost up to the Promenade des Estives, a track which goes along the crest of the hills between two valleys, the Mars and the Auze.
|The plateaux du Trizac|
My other readngs have been quite mixed, varying from the light-hearted Lucia in London by E F Benson, which I think I enjoyed even more than the two previous novels in this series. I feel that I am familiar with Lucia and her social climbing attitudes, so could sit back and just enjoy the tale for what it was., a highly amusing tale of social climbing at its most obvious.
Alan Titchmarsh's tale "The Haunting" had some particular interest as it was set in Winchester and the Itchen valley, a very lovely part of Hampshire, and familiar territory to me. The story concerns a school teacher who after his marriage fails, buys a small cottage with access through an overgrown garden to the River Itchen, The cottage and the house next door were formerly part of an old mill, and the story of those who occupied the place in the past has resonances with Harry and his neighbour Alex and her young daughter.Anne. A fairly quick read but one which held my attention'
Sebastian Barry's On Canaan's Side was aquite different story, being narrated by an eighty-nine year old Irishwoman, Lily Bere, who had fled to America just after the First World War, with Tadg, to whom she has become engaged. Lilly looks back on her long life, bringing up a son, and later a grandson, who has just killed himself. Lily's life has been one of loss, but she has also found some sort of contentment though her employer, Mrs Wolohan, who herself suffers grievous losses.
Not a particularly summery read, but a gripping and memorable tale.
Saplings by Noel Streatfield tells the story of four middle -class children, and their parents, and how all are affected by war. Seen at first as a happy family group enjoying a typical middle-class holiday at Eastbourne just before the start of the second World War, the story soon hints at the chaos and disasters to come. After war is declared the children are first evacuated to their grandparents in the country and are later sent away to boarding school, and separated from each other during summer holidays. The loss of their father Alex, who was more sympathetic to his children's emotional needs than their mother Lena, and of the home in London, was disastrous for them. I thought this a very interesting read and as someone who was at boarding while parents were abroad working, had a good deal of sympathy for the situation the children found themselves in. Their point of view is made clear to the reader, but not to the adults they are dependant on for their well-being,