The First A to Z of the Year …

How are you coping, in this changed, strange and uncertain world?

We are all fine, but anxiety got the better of me for a while and I have struggled to read, write or interact.

I’m learning to live with the uncertainty, the restrictions and the changes; and finally finding a book that made me care about the character and want to know how their lives would unfold really helped.

One day very soon I will start talking about books again, but before that here is an A to Z to pick up the threads ….

A is for ALDERMAN. My most recent piece of knitting has a simple shape, elevated by a simple but effective stitch pattern.

B is for Business as Usual

B is for BUSINESS AS USUAL by Jane Oliver and Jane Stafford. It is lovely to finally have a copy to keep and to have given back the old library copy from the fiction reserve.

C is for CLARA AMEDROZ. She is the heroine of ‘Belton Park’ by Anthony Trollope, the first novel that really engaged me after a long spell of picking up books and putting them down again.

D is for DOROTHY DUNNETT. My copy of ‘Niccolò Rising’ is on by bedside table, waiting for exactly the right moment to start reading.

E is for THE EIGHTH LIFE by Nino Haratischvili. I checked my library catalogue but there was no sign of a copy in stock or on order, and so I decided that I had to buy a copy.

F is for FINALLY FINDING A USE FOR A SINGLE SKEIN – The pattern Waterlands uses two contrast colours but I am using one lovely varieagated skein and really like the effect.

F is for Finally Finding …

G is for GULL. The limping seagull who visited our garden last year and the year before is back again.

H is for HONNO CLASSICS – I was delighted to find a copy of ‘My Mother’s House’ by Lily Tobias on my last visit to the library before lock-down,

I is for I KNOW THAT WE ARE LUCKY to have a view of Mounts Bay and good lovely places to walk close to home, but the thing I miss more than anything else right now is being able to go further afield, to Red River, to Hayle Towans, to Madron Carn, to Chapel Carn Brea …

J is for JUST ONE LOOK – I’m just a couple of episodes in on ‘All 4’ and I am intrigued.

M is for Maeve Kerrigan

L is for LESLEY DUNCAN. I looked her up after seeing her on a BBC singer-songwriters programme and I was disappointed to find very little available online and silly prices being charged. I don’t know what prompted me to look again but I did and I found that two career-spanning compilations has been released.

M is for MAEVE KERRIGAN. Her new investigation, and other developments in Jane Casey’s new book, are making me so eager to keep turning the pages.

N is for NEWLYN – I listened to Dark, Salt, Clear: Life in a Cornish Fishing Town by Lamorna Ash on Radio 4 , and though I had some reservations by the time the book ended I was captivated – and I really want to read the book.

O is for OFFICE. I’m working full time from home, at the table in our Aga room.

N is for Newlyn

P is for PROMENADE. Resurfacing had to be suspended when lock-down began, the barricades are still up, but we noticed this morning that a small opening had been left so that we can at least go to the rail and look down at the sea. Thank you Cormac!

Q is for QUATUOR EBÉNÈ – a recent addition to my life’s soundtrack.

R is for RENEWALS. I haven’t read a single library book since the library closed and all of my loans were extended for three months.

S is for SCRABBLE. I have had an excellent run, I am currently leading 10-1, but there are still many matches to pay before our in-house tournament is concluded, on the Man of the House’s birthday in August.

V if for Vaughan

T is for TWO SCREENS. My adjustment to working at home has been easier than I thought it might be, but there are times when I look at my laptop and miss my usual two screen set up .

U is for UNPACKING. When I packed up a good number of my books so that our spare bedroom could be refurbished and bookshelves built I didn’t think it would be for very long, but it may be a good while know before the carpenter can begin work.

V is for VAUGHAN. It’s a pattern that I really want to knit but I have to think about colours first; because though I love the designer’s choice I know that it wouldn’t suit me,

W is for WHEN A PROJECT BECOMES A BURDEN. I took down 100 Years of Books project page for a while, because I began to feel that there was nothing I really wanted to read right now that would fill one of the vacant years, but once I had done that I felt much more relaxed about the whole thing and I read a wonderful book to fill the very first year.

Z is for ZZZZ

X is for (E)XHIBITION. Had you noticed that the Paris Museums have made a collection of more than 100,000 artworks freely available online?

Y is for THE YEARS. I read a sample of Annie Ernaux’s book and then I really couldn’t resist buying a copy.

Z is for ZZZZZZ. Briar had a lovely walk around the boating pond this morning, and now she is sound asleep.

12 thoughts on “The First A to Z of the Year …

  1. Thank you for your honesty about trying to get involved with books and other things. Isn’t strange that when we have time to read, we don’t always want to, or at least the ones we have. I am trying to post a review every day, which at least gives a focus – reading and writing about a book is my equivalent of a jigsaw or crossword I suppose. As we work our way through “Death in Paradise” episodes, I type…An interesting selection of books in this post as well!

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  2. I agree about the interesting selection of books — and about not being able to read at first. Slowly getting back into it, even as this and everything is far from normal. I’m looking forward to reading Business as Usual very soon … and I love the thought of a desk near the Aga. Take care, Jane!

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  3. I enjoyed your alphabet post. I am finding it hard to concentrate on reading much too so am currently listening to a Bill Bryson book while doing a mindless puzzle on the computer. It is one of his very earliest one, Notes from a Small Island. It is quite dated but does have some thoughts that make me laugh. Stay well. Briar looks well.

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  4. Jane, lovely to hear from you. These are such strange times that I think we seek comfort in whatever it maybe. I have craft projects strewn about the house and the same books. I have discovered podcasts on my daily walks, but so wish I had a dog so I don’t feel so daft striding about the roads near me.

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  5. So glad to hear from you, Jane, and knowing that you are coping. I’m sure dear Briar is a comfort – it’s times like this I wish I had a dog… I have read a lot, but struggled a bit with reviewing. I think I’m settling down a little, but working from home has been a difficult adjustment.

    This a lovely A-Z and some lovely yarns and patterns in there. Thank you for the hint about the Paris Museums – I am missing gallery visits so I will go there virtually. Stay safe and well! x

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  6. I’m glad to hear you’re all well, including Briar! I was really struggling with anxiety a few weeks ago, but am feeling slightly better now and am starting to be able to concentrate on reading and blogging again. I hope you enjoy Niccolo Rising when the right moment comes.

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  7. Lovely post. I am finding it hard to to settle to things and concentrating on reading and blogging is harder than I would have expected. Glad to hear you and Briar are well. Take care.

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  8. So lovely to see this post, Jane, and have enjoyed my indoor ramble through all its various delights. I could not resist buying a copy of Business as Usual and am looking forward to starting it. And I adore that stitch pattern in the Alderman sweater! 😍🧶

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  9. Enjoyed your post and may try to emulate as this is my third week working from home and maybe it would help entertain my staff. I too have Niccolo Rising ready and waiting for the right moment. It was supposed to be one of my 2019 books but I ran out of something, I suppose. The new Jane Casey is supposedly on its way over the Atlantic to me. It will be a nice treat when it comes!

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  10. A lovely post, thank you. I am adjusting slowly, I would give quite a lot right now to be able to get to Chapel Carn Brea and stand on the top with the wind in my hair looking in all directions: I am going to have to trudge to a quite dull road tomorrow just so I can see a longer view! I’m glad you have the sea and access to the railings and have found something good to read.

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  11. I’ve been trying to learn to live with the anxiety and uncertainty of life right now, too. It’s not easy. But we don’t really have much of a choice, do we? At least you’re finding positive things in your life. And I always love your A to Z posts. Thanks for sharing another one. 😀

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