Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Canada Day 2020

July 1 - Canada Day!
But this year will be a very different celebration.
The annual outdoor concert featuring Canadian talent on Parliament Hill in Ottawa isn't going to happen. I think there are all sorts of virtual happenings planned via the internet but I probably won't tune into it.
Our small town celebrates Canada's birthday with an annual 4 day Strawberry Festival.... yes, it's cancelled for 2020.
The only fireworks lighting up the sky will be in people's back yards. No big displays are planned due to the Covid-19 physical distancing rules keeping people apart.
I'll be celebrating at home, but I'll wear my Canada T-shirt and sing O Canada to wish my adopted country a Very Happy 153rd Birthday!

Virtual Canada Day | Wed, Jul 1, 2020, 10:00 am @ Online ...

And I hope Canada Day 2021 is an improvement over 2020.  Stay safe and stay healthy and enjoy the day!

Saturday, 27 June 2020

Scrub Caps

I'm proud to say that I have been a part of a team of busy people who have cut, pressed, sewn, and delivered more than 600 scrub caps to local hospitals over the past 3 months.  A great way to keep busy and be useful during the pandemic lockdown days. Well done everyone!


Some bloggers couldn't see the photo.... I hope I've fixed it now.

Saturday, 6 June 2020

Buzz ... click ... beep ...

It has been a very interesting week.
Last weekend I packed up a few groceries and my suitcase, put gas in the car for the first time since March (it only cost me just over $20!), loaded up some rollerblades and hockey sticks I had acquired for the kids, and headed off to visit YoungerSon and family for a couple of days. We last got together in February, pre-Corona.
YoungerSon has an in-law apartment where I stayed, so we were still able to practice the recommended social distancing..

It was lovely to see the grandchildren, and meet their new chickens (no eggs yet!) But I felt rotten all weekend, and by the time I arrived home on Monday, I really felt ill with fever, chills, trouble catching my breath, nasty cough, lost my appetite completely.

You know what we were all thinking!
So I drove to the local Covid-19 Assessment Clinic at Markham Stouffville Hospital.

After waiting in line for 30 minutes in the hot sun, I told the nurse how I was feeling and she took one look at me and told me to go to Emergency next door, RIGHT NOW!. An orderly in full PPE on a golf cart came to get me and whisked me round the corner to Emergency.

It didn't take long for medical staff in full PPE to get me on a gurney in an examination room, wire me up to an EEG machine, then take BP readings, temperature, oxygen readings, blood samples, urine samples, install IV drip. My heart was out of rhythm yet again. A doctor came by and gave me a Covid test.... not a pleasant experience. They even put the pads on me as they were planning another cardioversion.... I've had so many to get my heart back in rhythm I'm used to them by now, but it turned out to be unnecessary.

Then I was told there was a bed for me upstairs on the ward.... what? I only came here for a Covid test! I was planning to go home and unpack after the weekend! I don't want to stay.... but I had to.

By Wednesday they had my Covid test results.... negative, but could possibly be a false negative as I was still displaying many symptoms, high fever, chills, cough, lack of appetite. So I was given a second Covid test. (They don't get any more pleasant the second time) Two negatives are required in my case.

I was placed in a large two bed hospital room but one bed had been removed. All equipment that was not in use was covered in plastic. A large sign on my door warned every hospital worker, nurse, or doctor who entered my room was required to wear full PPE, and dress in extra plastic covering from head to foot as they entered the room. The extra covering was discarded as soon as they left the room and was not used again, even if they had only been in the room for 5 minutes.
A few moments of panic when my cell phone ran dry because I didn't have the charging cable with me... well, I was only planning to be out for an hour, not a whole week! So OlderSon went to my house and picked it up along with other necessities as toothbrush, toothpaste, book to read and 3 pairs of clean underwear!!!!! Had to drop it off in a sealed plastic bag at the front desk.... no visitors allowed.

By Thursday I was much recovered but they were still testing and it wasn't until Friday that I was finally declared Covid-19 free. Phew, sigh of relief.... and for my YoungerSon's family too!
I was worried about my car being towed away but it was OK< no panic. I was able to buy a 5 day parking pass that covered the car as it had been sitting in the Covid test parking lot since Monday.

Those medical hospital staff deserve all the praise and thanks we can give them. They are doing their jobs in extremely difficult and dangerous conditions, and they are all dressed up like spacemen. Everyone was kind and patient with me, especially when I couldn't hear their instructions clearly though their many masks. They were so very helpful.
And one more note about the Hospital food..... even though I wasn't in the mood to eat for the first couple of days, the food was very good, very tasty, and no complaints from me!

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Yellow Wood Sorrel

A pretty little plant has established itself in the gravel next to the AC unit.  The tiny yellow flowers love the sunshine but put themselves to bed if it's rainy, or at night. The leaves are shaped like shamrocks.  What could it be?
I consulted Professor Google and found that this is Yellow Wood Sorrel, oxalis stricta, a plant native to North America, and guess what.... it is edible!  Of course, I had to try it and chomped on some leaves, and it has a sour lemony flavour caused by the presence of oxalic acid.  It is sometimes called "sourgrass".  Both leaves, flowers and seedpods are edible.  A sprig or two of this plant can be used as a tasty addition to a salad, and the leaves can be used to make a flavoured drink that is similar in taste to lemonade.  Both the leaves and the flowers close up at night and open again in the morning.

Additional important note: It's grandson Isaac's birthday today... he is 11! Have a Happy Day, Isaac!

Saturday, 23 May 2020

Rhubarb!

A friend with a large rhubarb patch called me and said "It's ready! Come and get some!"
So I did.
Rhubarb is classified as a vegetable, but is generally used as a fruit in desserts and jams.  It's strange that the stalks can be eaten, but the roots and leaves are poisonous and contain oxalic acid.
When I was a child, there was nothing better than to sit on the ground next to the rhubarb with a bowl of sugar and dip the young rhubarb stalks and eat them raw. Sour but yummy!
So this is what I did with the rhubarb.....
Rhubarb crumble. I had some for dessert. Good with a scoop of icecream, but even better with lashings of custard!

Thursday, 21 May 2020

Random pictures and High Drama

Coronavirus life goes on.... I'm still staying at home, although I bravely ventured in my mask to the early morning seniors hours grocery store this morning to stock up with supplies. Stores and services are gradually starting to open up and restrictions are gradually easing, but I hope things don't move too fast.... we are not ready for "normal" yet.  We finally have some lovely weather which will encourage people out of their houses.

I've been baking.    Coronavirus bread?
Cleaning up the back yard...... Coronavirus dandelions?
I have been watching the buds get bigger and bigger on this gorgeous "Yellow Bird" magnolia bush.... no leaves yet but only the blossoms. The leaves come later.
High Drama around the pond today. Fat cat Minnie, who belongs to a neighbour, was intent on stalking something moving in the grass.  I stood and watched for a while while she slowly wiggled her way forward and then she suddenly pounced as fast as lightning, and then there was a little squealing chipmunk in her mouth.
I had no idea fat cat Minnie could move at the speed of sound but she did!
Minnie decided to take her prize home, but luckily my neighbour interceded before she could go inside, and the chippy's luck changed as Minnie dropped him.  Chippy dashed for safety up a nearby tree with Minnie in close pursuit, but chipmunks climb trees faster than fat cats, so Minnie lost her plaything and sat at the bottom of the tree looking up with a determined look in her eye.
Here's the poor little chap, sitting on a branch keeping an eye on Minnie.


Minnie kept watch at the base of the tree for a while but eventually went home for her dinner.  I hope the chippy got over his shock and went home to tell his family all about it.  Life can be dangerous out there!

Friday, 8 May 2020

Pink

I have taken a different direction with creativity this week. As everyone is aware, our hospital staff and care workers are in desperate need of PPE.... that is personal protective equipment. A friend has been organizing women with sewing machines into an army creating some of the garments that are needed.
I have been sewing scrub caps for nurses.... so far have sewn 24 of them this week. No quilting projects on the go right now so I have been using up my stash of baby quilting fabric.
Each cap has a little bit of elastic sewn into the back to keep it snug. I ran out of elastic, so I put the word out that I needed more... and the sewing community provided! Now I have more than enough elastic, but I'm fast running out of fabric. I may have to send out another SOS.
Yes, it's all extremely undeniably over-the-top pink! I hope the nurses like pink.

Sunday, 3 May 2020

Spring Sunshine at last!

Finally, the month of May has delivered some blue skies and sunshine. The temperature got up to 21C for the first time since October 2019, and I sat out on the deck wearing summer clothes! WOOHOO!
Last fall over 200 daffodil bulbs were planted on the slopes around the pond. I have been anxiously watching those tiny green shoots appear above the ground, and getting taller each day. Buds started to appear but the weather was cold and windy and we even saw some snowflakes in April so the buds stayed tightly closed. But in the sunshine today.... WOW! Gorgeous.


My two artist groups have been on hiatus since March due to the recommendations for social distancing, so I have been playing with art at home. I have't actually tackled any serious painting, as I don't seem to be able to raise up enough inspiration or motivation. And our annual Art Show and Sale has been cancelled due to Covid-19.
However I have been playing with colours. I've been watching videos on line and have been impressed with a British artist called Dan Tirels who paints with plastic shopping bags, so I thought I'd have a go too. Make plastic shopping bags useful. Here are my efforts.




One afternoon last week I was playing with my home made gelli plate.... made of gelatin and glycerin... printing on Chinese rice paper. The faces are image prints taken from an old Vogue magazine. The bird is stencil cut out of mylar.  The paints are cheap dollar store acrylic paints. 

More prints to come as the gelli plate process is a lot of fun and keeps me busy all afternoon. Many of these prints have found a home in a pretty little book made of hand made paper that I bought at a thrift shop a few years ago.
I knew that little book would come in handy! It's going to be my Covid-19 memory book.

Thursday, 23 April 2020

St. George's Day



Today, April 23, is St George's Day.

Saint George is the brave soldier in the Roman army who slayed (slew?) the Dragon, and here he is in a Miniature from a Passio Sancti Georgii manuscript (Verona, second half of 13th century).

Did he really slay a Dragon? Maybe. It's a good story related to the conflict between light and darkness, good and evil.

The fearsome Dragon demanded human sacrifices and brave Saint George came along just in time to save the princess who had been chosen as the next offering. The King offered George treasures as a reward for saving his daughter, but George gave the wealth to the poor, who were so grateful that they all became Christians. But George was tortured and lost his head during the persecution of Christians in 303AD, thus becoming a Saint.

The warrior Saint George has been the subject of legend since the 7th Century, and became a Patron Saint of the Order of the Garter in 1348. He was promoted to the Patron Saint of England in the middle 1500s. The Cross of St. George (red cross on a white background) is the basis of the Union Jack flag. 

Sunday, 19 April 2020

In Appreciation

In these strange times, there is an army of essential workers keeping Canada (and the whole world) operating as usual. Those brave people are in the front lines of the battle against this nasty little bug and they are the people who are allowing me to do what is requested of me, that is, to stay home and stay safe and not worry.
Thank you to Hospital Workers, Doctors, Nurses, Pharmacists, Volunteers, Personal Service Workers, Teachers, Police, Fire men and women, Garbage workers, Grocery workers, Drug store workers, Government workers, Bank tellers, Bus Drivers, Truck drivers, Cleaners, Food Delivery, Restaurant owners, Cooks, Mail Carriers, TV and Radio news, Politicians, I am running out of names.... but they are all working together to beat this Pandemic and get our country back to a version of "Normal". THANK YOU!


Sunday, 12 April 2020

Art Behind the Story

The current Covid-19 situation has caused so many people to abandon the daily commute to the office and work from home. This includes the so-called "experts" and journalists and interviewees who have been appearing on our TV screens to keep us up to date with what's going on around the world.
Often, whatever is hanging on the wall behind them is more interesting to me than what is being said. I'm getting an unauthorised peek into people's private homes and offices.
I don't know who all these people are, but they own some interesting art! I wish I could see the whole piece.





I don't remember who the last chappie is, but he certainly loves cars! And he plays golf.

And also..... HAPPY EASTER! 

Thursday, 9 April 2020

Day 28

Day 28 of me being isolated from the rest of the world. Ho hum.
Not much excitement in my life.... but this morning I woke up to SNOW! It's 9 April, should be spring, shouldn't it.... snow is not allowed! As soon as the sun came out, it all started to melt.

A couple of days ago I saw these little wild beauties flowering among the half-dead grass. Coltsfoot is one of the first flowers of the spring. Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara) is in the daisy family and has been cultivated for its medicinal properties. Used as an herbal tea, it's said to treat respiratory infections, sore throats, gout, flu, and fever.  I wonder if it has any effect on Covid-19?

Another snippet of information that is important today is that today, April 9, is Vimy Ridge Day.


The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, today issued the following statement on Vimy Ridge Day:
“Today, we remember the thousands of Canadians who fought and gave their lives in the Battle of Vimy Ridge.
“The capture of Vimy Ridge was more than just a military victory – it was a turning point for our country. During the battle, soldiers from all four divisions of the Canadian Corps fought together for the first time. They came from coast to coast to coast – Francophones, Anglophones, new Canadians, and Indigenous peoples.
“On Easter Monday in 1917 – after carefully planning and preparing their attack – these Canadian soldiers battled uphill through sleet, mud, and machine gun fire to achieve one of the First World War’s most decisive victories. The innovative fighting techniques used by our soldiers at Vimy Ridge would also contribute to the final Allied victory a year and a half later.
“The Battle of Vimy Ridge was a defining moment for Canada, but it came at a great cost. Nearly 3,600 Canadians lost their lives, and over 7,000 more were wounded. It remains one of the bloodiest battles in our country’s military history.
“On this day, we honour the courage and sacrifice of those who fought at Vimy Ridge. Canadians remember who they were, what they stood for, and the history they defined. We also pay tribute to all our brave Canadians in uniform, past and present, for their unwavering dedication and service. Every day, they protect the fundamental values that define this country.
“Lest we forget.”

Sunday, 5 April 2020

Worth Repeating

I saw this on a facebook page (yes, with so much spare time on my hands I have been tempted by the dreaded facebook), and I thought it was worth repeating here.
My apologies to whoever wrote it.... I don't know your name so I can't give you credit, but it certainly describes how I am feeling right now.

We fell asleep in one world, and woke up in another.
Suddenly Disney is out of magic,
Paris is no longer romantic,
New York doesn't stand up anymore,
the Chinese wall is no longer a fortress, and Mecca is empty.
Hugs & kisses suddenly become weapons, and not visiting parents & friends becomes an act of love.
Suddenly you realise that power, beauty & money are worthless, and can't get you the oxygen you're fighting for.
The world continues its life and it is beautiful. It only puts humans in cages. I think it's sending us a message:
"You are not necessary. The air, earth, water and sky without you are fine. When you come back, remember that you are my guests. Not my masters."


Now if only we can remember this when the world starts to return to what we used to think was normal.

Thursday, 2 April 2020

Day 21

WARNING: My blog posts are going to get more and more boring as time passes. For me it's Day 21 of staying at home and social distancing. Life doesn't offer a lot of excitement right now.

We're not in total lock down so far, but all travellers returning to Canada are required by law to quarantine for 14 days. My age group.... the oldies, over 70s.... are suggested to stay home too, with only a once a week trip to get groceries. I have ordered groceries for pickup, but it's very hard to get a time slot, so many other people have the same idea. I have a pickup at Longo's on April 8 and from Walmart on April 9. That should tide me over for April, but I think I'll still be here self-isolating in May.
I go for my daily walk around the pond every morning. No wildlife to be seen today, but five Canada geese and a pair of Mallard ducks were visiting yesterday.
The last loaf of store bread has been eaten, so it was time to do some baking. I have enough bread flour for 2 or 3 more loaves, but I have been told that flour is hard to get in the grocery stores. I hope there is some in my grocery order. Everyone doing their own baking I suppose.
I try to do some sketching or painting or other forms of art every day. Today, Thursday, is my usual Art Group day, cancelled for the last couple of weeks, and not likely to start up again for a long time. I miss it a lot. There are 20 of us in the group, and we share motivation and creativity. It's very inspiring to share an activity with like-minded people. I'm finding it difficult to get on with it on my own.

Sunday, 29 March 2020

Care Package Delivery

The doorbell rang just after 2:00 pm yesterday, and a package was left on my little table on the porch. Mmmmm I knew what it was. I had ordered it earlier this week from the Main Street Bake House where I often meet friends for coffee and a chat, but sadly no longer open except for deliveries. They deliver on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
I decided I deserved a cheerful reward after being in self-isolation. Gotta have something yummy to look forward to, right? Which one should I eat first?
The box contains: 2 lemon blueberry scones, 2 spicy bacon cheddar scones, 1 blueberry muffin, 1 banana chocolate chip muffin, 1 spinach and feta bistro, 1 leek and parmesan bistro.  All so delicious! 

I went for my daily walk around the pond yesterday morning, but only one male Hooded Merganser duck there, accompanied by a male Mallard. It's pouring with rain this morning so I'll be staying dry. But the rain is very welcome and soon we will see the grass turning green after the cold months of winter.

Friday, 27 March 2020

Staying Positive

I'm on Day 15 today on my own. I've been in touch with family via technology every day, and I've been out walking and chatting with my neighbours.... from a required safe distance of course. But the fact remains that we'll all be in this isolated situation for quite a while. It would be easy to get discouraged.
But there are many reasons for staying positive. Here are 4 of mine.

1: Look out of the window. The sun is shining and the sky is blue. It's still chilly out there, because after all, this is Canada, but Spring is on the way.
And as the ground warms up, last year's hyacinth bulbs are springing into life. I think they were given to me in a pot, and when the blooms died, I buried the bulbs. I'm so glad I did.

2: There are visitors to the neighbourhood pond this week, but they probably won't stay long. They are Hooded Mergansers, very handsome little birds. They are diving ducks and it's fascinating to watch them dive under water to catch fish, and then see them come to the surface a long way from where they went down. There were 5 males and 1 female, so the lady duck was getting lots of attention. Spring fever!

3: OlderSon delivered a box of groceries, fresh fruit and veg. Bananas, clementines, potatoes, broccoli, beans, fresh bread... I shall eat well for a while. Thank you!

4: Tonight and every Friday night, my neighbours will gather on front porches and driveways at 7:30pm to make some noise and to sing our National Anthem O Canada in support of the front line workers that are keeping us all going right now. Hospital staff, police, firemen, ambulance, grocery store workers, sanitation workers, government workers, many more. Thank you!
Update later this evening: The fire truck came by and flashed it's lights for us!!! The most excitement I have had all week!

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

Lady Day

You may recall this post from a previous year.... but I thought you'd like the reminder.
Today - March 25 - is Lady Day
It's one of the four Quarter Days of the old English Calendar. 

The Quarter Days are March 25 - Lady Day, also the Feast of the Annunciation in the Christian calendar; June 24 - Midsummer Day, also the Feast of St John the Baptist; September 29 - Michaelmas Day, also the Feast of St Michael and All Angels; December 25 - Christmas Day.

Quarter days were the four dates in each year when servants were hired, school terms started, and rents were due. Debts and unresolved lawsuits were not allowed to linger on, and accounts had to be settled. Leasehold payments and land rents are often still due on the old English Quarter Days. 

Just to confuse the issue, there are also four Cross-Quarter Days falling between the Quarter Days. These are February 2 - Candlemas;  May 1 - May Day;  August 1 - Lammas;  November 1 - All Hallows Day.

Lady Day was the traditional day when long-term contracts between landowners and tenant farmers would begin and end. Farming families who were changing farms would often travel to their new farm on Lady Day. It roughly coincides with the Spring Equinox, signifying a new beginning.

So have a Happy Lady Day!!

Monday, 23 March 2020

Boats

One of the subjects for our (probably not happening) art exhibition at the Town Offices was Boats, and here's my version.

This was a boat painting that I started and thought I had finished a couple of years ago, but I was never satisfied with it, so I decided to paint over my original brushwork using a palette knife. I like the texture a lot better, more interesting, and the colours are brighter. I find using the palette knife is difficult to control where the paint goes, but perhaps I just need more practice.

I've been isolated at home now for 10 days. I live alone, not even a dog or a cat to talk to, and the family are isolating themselves too, so I have been going out for walks around the neighbourhood and chatting to the neighbours.... from a safe distance of course. But I am appalled at how many people do not seem to be following the social distancing request. 
Our Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke to the nation this morning with very strong words. He said "Enough is enough. Go home and stay home. This is what we all need to be doing, and we're going to make sure this happens, whether by educating people more on the risks, or by enforcing the rules, if that's needed. Nothing that could help is off the table." 
Canada is not in total lock down yet, but the future looks grim.

Saturday, 21 March 2020

Returning to Rook's Nest

Blogland hasn't heard from me for a while.... for many reasons that I won't go into now.... but here I am, ready to share photos and opinions and whatever pops into my head. I hope you missed me.

One of the creative groups that I belong to, the AAP Collective (FYI: AAP stands for Art Ain't Pretty!), has a show scheduled at our local Town Offices in April.  Sadly, like the rest of the world, all public buildings are currently closed so it looks like our show won't be going on. And even if it does, will anyone come to see it?
When we were planning the show, we decided that each artist would provide three pieces of art. The topics are 1: water. 2: boats. 3: what inspires our creativity.
This last one about creativity was to be installed in a 12" x 12" wooden box frame. Here's mine.


This features some of the ways I have embraced creativity in the past. Sketching, quilting, lino cut and printing, painting, calligraphy, gelli printing, stained glass. 
And now I am self-isolating at home, trying to keep myself from going bonkers in this very strange and worrying time, so I have plenty of time to create more art!

Friday, 17 January 2020

Our Mosaic

The Canada Mosaic Mural project was launched in 2015 to celebrate our 150th birthday, beginning the journey to complete 150 murals illustrating Canada’s cultural and geographical diversity.
The purpose of the project is to create a national mural including all provinces and territories, 100,000’s of paintings and 150 individual murals that when united will form one gigantic mural mosaic. The mural, if ever connected would be over 365 meters wide (4 football fields) x 2.5 meters high (8 feet).
The mural will represent a cultural mosaic, a time capsule, a visual portrayal of history, an art masterpiece from the soul of the nation. An art piece that fifty years from now, may inspire another generation, who will in turn be able to celebrate through the mural, and maybe take it upon themselves to add to this memory.
OK..... I admit that information above was copied from the Canada Mosaic web page. The final mosaic representing our town is finally installed in the local Leisure Centre, in the hall linking the library, the pool and the fitness centre.

The public were invited to paint 4"x4" tiles with whatever topic they thought would represent the town. Of course, there were some guidelines to follow, both in shapes and colours.  The basement of the museum was set up with tables and chairs, paint and brushes, and boxes of tiles. I painted quite a few but I can't really remember which ones now!

The mosaic is half finished on display outside the log house in the museum grounds.

And the finished mosaic. I think I painted the "fried egg" in the middle of the wheel on the left, and some of the blue tiles too. And one with corn on it, but I can't find that one now. Perhaps the one in the second row from the top?

Tuesday, 14 January 2020

In Memoriam

Image result for candle imagesYesterday evening I attended a candlelight vigil in Civic Square along with many others from our small town. 

It was to remember and honour a family living in our town,  Dr. Razgar Rahimi, his wife Farideh Gholami, their three-year-old son Jiwan and their unborn baby, who were all travelling on Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752 when it was blown out of the sky by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps of Iran on January 8 2020. 

Someone had an itchy trigger finger.

138 of the 167 passengers were returning to Canada. 57 of them were Canadians.  Everyone was killed.

Many of the travellers on board were affiliated with Canadian Universities as students, faculty, researchers or professors. Five young students from schools in my local area won't be returning to school. There are vigils and flags at half-mast at towns and cities all across Canada. It is a Canadian tragedy.

We are sad. We are disappointed. We are horrified. And we are very angry. 

Friday, 3 January 2020

New Beginning.

YoungerSon and his family have lived only a 10 minute walk away from me for the past ten years. I've been able to show up whenever I've been needed. And they have been here for me if I needed help too.
But times are changing.
Their house is sold, and they have bought a small hobby farm on 6.5 acres in the country. They finally moved in on the afternoon of Christmas Day.


There's good news and bad news.
The good news is that it's the perfect place for them, something that they have wanted for a long time.
The bad news is that every time I want to visit my grandchildren, it's a 305km round trip from my house and back. And I will miss them so much. I already do.

There are two barns on the property, and two houses.... well, a house and an additional in-law apartment. It all needs lots of cleaning up.

They have been ripping up carpets, priming and painting walls and ceilings, washing windows, and replacing light fixtures. The house needs lots of care and attention, but they are determined and ambitious and energetic, and I'm sure they will make the place their very own.

I'll miss my grandchildren very much, but I can visit often, and technology has made the world very small. I'm very proud of them for taking this big step! 2020 is definitely going to be a Happy New Year for them.

Wednesday, 1 January 2020

2019 Books

“If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book.” – J.K. Rowling

As usual, a list of the books I have read (or tried to read) in 2019.

January 2019
The Truth - Michael Palin
The Mercy Seat - Elizabeth H Winthrop
Still Lives - Maria Hummel
Scribe  - Alyson Hagy
Beautiful Animals - Lawrence Osbourne

February 2019
The Oracle of Stamboul  - Michael David Lucas
The Last Watchman of Old Cairo - Michael David Lucas
The Feral Detective - Jonathan Letham

March 2019
Vincent and Theo - Deborah Heiligman
The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen - Hendrik Groen   (DNF far too silly)
Dear Sir, I Intend to Burn Your Book  - Lawrence Hill
The Light Keeper's Daughters - Jean E Pendziwol
The Windfall - Diksha Basu
Fruit of the Drunken Tree - Ingrid Rojas Contreras (I loved this book!)
Florida - Lauren Groff    (DNF all the short stories)
My Absolute Darling - Gabrielle Tallent     (DNF)

April 2019
Behind the Scenes at the Museum - Kate Atkinson (2nd time reading this)
Boy Swallows Universe - Trent Dalton (I loved this book!)

May 2019
Girl in Translation - Jean Kwok
Falling for London - Sean Mallen
The Suspect - Fiona Barton
The Gown - Jennifer Robson
Never Coming Back - Alison McGhee (very sad book)

June 2019
Mambo in Chinatown - Jean Kwok
Murder in Matera - Helene Stapinksi
Lives in Ruins - Marilyn Johnson
Becoming - Michelle Obama
Pachinko - Min Jin Lee

July 2019
The Lost Art of Walking - Geoff Nicholson

August 2019
The Perfect Predator - Steffanie Strathdee and Thomas Patterson
The Book Worm - Mitch Silver
Still Mine - Amy Stuart (did not finish)
Lady Macbeth - Susan Fraser King
Truevine - Beth Macy
The Orphan's Tale - Pam Jenoff
Finding Me - Michelle Knight

September 2019
Edward VII - Catharine Arnold
The Casual Vacancy - J K Rowling
The Redeemed - Tim Pears (DNF it was just not interesting at all, sorry Tim)
Welcome to the Goddam Ice Cube - Blair Braverman
At the Wolf's Table - Rosella Postorino

October 2019
The Calligrapher's Daughter - Eugenia Kim
The Storied Life of A J Fikry - Gabrielle Zevin
Down the Nile, Alone in a Fisherman's Skiff - Rosemary Mahoney
Walking the Nile - Levison Wood

November 2019
The Night Before - Wendy Walker
Magic Hour - Kristin Hannah
Secret Son - Laila Lalami

December 2019
Big Brother - Lionel Shriver
Once Upon a Time in England - Helen Walsh  (I could not put this book down!)
North Korea Journal - Michael Palin
Skeletons on the Sahara - Dean King
Currently reading The Post Birthday World - Lionel Shriver. I'm really enjoying this book and I think I'll try to read other books by this American author.

Lots more books to read in 2020. Happy Reading everyone!