Monday, April 26, 2021


I had my second jab on Friday! 

I feel so blessed, so fortunate. I have emerged from the last year unscathed by personal loss, and fit and well, if slightly aged. The news from India is beyond horror, and here I am, able to go out in the spring sunshine without fear. I'm truly thankful - to the NHS for their organisation, and for the scientists who produced the vaccine, not spurred on by greed, but by higher motives.

Here I am, saying hello to my first bluebell on Friday:

photo by Liz

and here I am, sitting in the first cafe I've been in since March 2021, eating a bacon sandwich:

photo by Liz

I had the Astra Zeneca, and the after effect this time was feeling washed out all weekend. Of course it could be the result of too much socialising, sunshine and excitement, but I think it was the jab. I am not complaining, just reporting.

All I had the energy for was finishing my current painting:

The view from here.

I need a new novel to read. Any suggestions?

no sci-fi

no magic realism

no horror

no crime

no unmitigated darkness.

What I want is a warm novel about ordinary people, beautifully written, and not too wordy (like Barbara Kingsolver and Maggie o'Farrell are.) The ideal is Kent Haruf's trilogy - which begins with Plainsong ;   or All the Light We Cannot See - which I am still telling everyone about. 

I can take a sad ending.

Chrissie has suggested A Gentleman in Moscow and I'm going to check it out.

Do you have any other suggestions?

While you think about it you can look at the photo I took last week of the sunrise - from the field next door, while in my pyjamas:


Christine said...

Great painting!

Anonymous said...

I agree, the painting really sings!

Thea, xx

Kristine said...

Stoner by John Williams
The Salt Path and The Wild Silence by Raynor Wynn
This is Happiness by Niall Williams
Illyrian Spring by Anne Bridge
Brief Loves That Live Forever by Andrei Makine **

But I think you may have read some of these already ......
The one great thing about getting old is that you can read books again, as if for the first time :)

Love your paintings.
Keeps smiling,

Sue Hepworth said...

Thank you, Thea.

Thank you, Kristine. I have read The Salt Path which I liked, and also Stoner which I’m sorry to say I hated, because i thought it unmitigatedly miserable.

But I looked at the books of Makine and I think I’m going to buy his book The Life of an Unknown Man. The one you suggested looks too sad. But his writing appeals to me.
I am also going to read a sample of Illyrian Spring to see if I like it.

As for reading books again - I do. I just reread Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf for a third time and enjoyed it even more!

marmee said...

I wanted to do a proper list but the day got away from me. Sue my suggestions are books that I have re read recently. First off, Bricks and Mortar by Helen Ashton and House-Bound by Winifred Peck. Both were re prints by persephone and are indeed books about ordinary people. I enjoy reading them, they make me think , the Winifred Peck has its moments when it makes you laugh out loud. I also recently read Mrs Lorimer's Family by Molly clavering ...this is a bit fluffier but not brainless and I don't know, it is that sharp eye that sees how we are with one another and describes it in an ascerbic fashion but also with acceptance and understanding, but it is a light read.

Sue Hepworth said...

Thank you very much, Marmee, I will check these out.

Anonymous said...

Painting is lovely. I have just read All the Lonely People by Mike Gayle and as I finished it, I thought at the time (about 1.30 am) it might be something you would enjoy. Jenetta

Sue Hepworth said...

How lovely to be thought if at 1.30 a.m. in a friendly way by someone I have only met once.

Thank you for the suggestion Jenetta. I have just read a sample and will read the whole book. It looks heartwarming and will counterbalance the melancholy of The Life of an Unknown Man.

Sue Hepworth said...

Kristine, I have ordered Illyrian Spring as well as a book by Makine.

Kristine said...

I hope you enjoy Illyrian Spring - it is a very old novel, but I liked it :)
I didn't find the Brief Loves That Live Forever sad, but poignant and beautifully written. I don't know the Makine you mentioned - I will check it out. I think you would love the Williams book too.