A respite from the rain for most of the day, there was even enough sun to bathe the castle in a warm afternoon glow. Millie and I went out twice, morning and afternoon. We met Robin up on the castle bailey throwing a ball for Horace, the shaggy whippet who looks as if he’s wearing an Afghan coat. Millie was not amused. She likes Robin well enough and makes a fuss of him, but every time Horace raced past her she growled. Old dog ladies are like that, they feel the need to put these whippersnappers in their place. Robin and I just stood there, mesmerised by the unnatural feeling of sun on our necks. Two adults standing on top of a flat, low hill, watching a pair of mad dogs and stretching out their arm to their full extent, grinning like idiots.
|Magnus Manske - Wikimedia Commons|
With all this rain I’ve spent many hours reading. Good stuff and not so good stuff. One book I can recommend whole-heartedly is Barbara Kingsolver’s ‘Flight Behaviour’. I could barely put it down. The main character, Dellarobia Turnbow is beautifully observed, and her development from drudge to a woman with renewed hope is described with sympathy and understanding. Even her rather dreadful family on the rundown farm in the Appalachians is ultimately accorded compassion. But the main theme of the book is climate change. If there is anyone who still doesn’t get it - and I know, there are many - you might do worse than read this novel. But if this should prove too arduous a task, look at the myriad of blogposts from all corners of our planet telling us about the weird weather patterns we are all experiencing.
Flight Behaviour was published in 2012 and is Kingsolver’s seventh novel; it is a New York Times Bestseller, and was declared "Best book of the year" by the Washington Post and USA Today.
Finally, a bit of advice. Yesterday was Saint Apollonia’s day.This aged Christian matron having had her teeth pulled out before her martyrdom, is invoked against toothache. If she can’t help, “take a nail and make the gum bleed with it, then drive it into an oak." The very stout William Neal, who was mad with toothache and ready to shoot himself, was thereby cured.
So says John Aubrey in his Miscellanies of 1695. At least he doesn’t advise us to drive the nail into the gum.