“The first was that if one did not master one’s circumstances, one was bound to be mastered by them; and the second was Montaigne’s maxim that the surest sign of wisdom is constant cheerfulness.”
― Amor Towles, A Gentleman in Moscow.
Just a bit of a quick update. Wanted to give a shout out to those who are participating in the Gaia/nature reading challenge and share some links to reviews: Over at A Year of Kayaking I learnt about Yearning Wild by R. Glendon Brunk a book that looks at life in wild Alaska, and Curlygeek @ The Book Stop posted a great review of The Puma Years by Laura Coleman. Two books to add to my own to-read list, check out the reviews and over at Hopewell’s public library of life check out their list of potential reads, it is an inspiring one.
We have been building a little free library to put up on the footpath. We sourced all the materials at the tip shop or from old bits and pieces in the shed so the final colour scheme may be interesting, we are at the painting stage now and I am determined to only upcycle or recycle so my colour choice is a bit limited, might ask around and see what old tins of paint other people might have lying around. The current covid crisis has me back working from home, it has advantages but overall I think I prefer to go into work.
Disappointingly, my veggie patch has been raided, not sure if the culprit is a rat or a possum, but we have also had a nocturnal visit from an owl, not sure of species as it has been only a fleeting glimpse, possibly a powerful owl as they are appearing more and more in urban areas. The owl also seems to be staking out the veggie patch. I am leaning towards a rat as the culprit. I suspect we may have a rat in the shed. Rodents rarely last long, if they dare to trespass in the house, three belligerent cats make sure of that. I won’t use poisons due to the birdlife that might also be preying on the rodents. There are also possums in the area, we see them occasionally, they tend to attract the larger owls. Whatever it is it has finished off my tomatoes. A few weeks ago there was a bit of a possum tragedy with one managing to sadly electrocute themselves, taking out power to the whole street. Even in suburbia, we can still encounter wildlife.
No nature-themed reads this week, instead, I finished the charming: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles, a book as charming as the main character: In the new Soviet Moscow, Count Alexander Rostov finds himself imprisoned indefinitely, in the glamourous Metropole Hotel. Who would have thought a book about an “unrepentant aristocrat” trapped in a Moscow hotel could be so compelling. It was a lovely read and I found myself compulsively turning pages and cheering on the charming count as he voyages through the turbulent years of Soviet Russia from 1922 to the 1960s. Very much a character-driven novel, filled with fascinating characters especially Count Rostov himself. There are also fiery chefs, loyal friends, seductive actresses, petty apparatchiks and KGB operatives. Punctuated with literary and philosophical references it is a stimulating and entertaining read, funny and moving in parts and very, very charming. A bit Grand Budapest Hotel, in fact, it would be easy to see Ralph Fiennes as Count Rostov. An interesting journey through relatively recent Russian history, it is not that long ago when you think about it.
Just a quick post. Life is a little monotonous at the moment but trying to keep up the discipline of posting.