Books and berg wind

 by Diana Studer

- gardening for biodiversity

 in Cape Town, South Africa


Hot berg wind today ahead of rain promised for Tuesday.


Winter sun, happy cat
Winter sun, happy cat


The secrets she keeps - the life she wanted wasn't hers ...


Only this stays with me. I wonder if it is true, or simply a comfort to adults?


Neither of them has mentioned Baby Ben since yesterday. I don't think they are unmoved, or uncaring. That's the difference between children and adults - children don't put as much energy into being sad.


Kate in the sand I asked my mother who wrote that,  and she looked shy, and said Monty
Kate in the sand
I asked my mother who wrote that, 
and she looked shy, and said Monty

Dominic SMITH

The last painting of Sara de Vos


A little bit, girl with the pearl earring, but this time it is the artist's story, not the model's.


The courtship rituals of the young men ... the way they used to ... write [their beloved's name] in the sand of the riverbank with a stick.


The painter sees the world as if through the watery lens of a pond. Certain things ripple and distort while others are magnified and strangely clear.


Roses comfort us too Great North in June 2013
Roses comfort us too
Great North in June 2013


The last kestrel


Afghanistan from an Afghan perspective (as the BBC journalist sees it)


There was an ocean of stars above. The night sky was spectacular, clearer here than she had seen anywhere in the world. 'In Afghanistan, when it is hot and we cannot sleep, we go onto the roof. The stars comfort us. They are Allah's way of saying sorry,' Jalil had said. 'Saying sorry for the sorrows of Afghanistan.'


Still some layers of memory for us here
Still some layers of memory for us here

Francesca MARCIANO

Casa Rossa


In a family, each one remembers. But when there is no one to ask - where was MY mother going, dressed so glamorously in a new hat - I will and can, never know.


Once every single piece of furniture and every single box are loaded onto the truck, this house, stripped bare in a single morning, will go back to being mute. A white canvas, where someone else will write their story.

That's how fast our memories disintegrate.



I refuse


Translated from Norwegian. A brother, a sister, a childhood friend. Tormented and traumatic.

I refuse to forget.


Storytime in the dust of the roads July 2010
in the dust of the roads
July 2010


This Is happiness


Electrification in Ireland, a tiny village at the very end of the list. Sounds b o r i n g. But, walking thru how much daily life changes with power and light from a switch - that is refreshing. And the words - that Irish gift of the gab! This is a book that I forced myself to ration, and enjoy just a chapter at a time. Three quotes to entice you here.


When you are born in one century and find yourself walking around in another there's a certain infirmity to your footing. May we all be so lucky to live long enough to see our time turn to fable. [that page number is the year I was born!]


The origins of it are in storytime. They're in the dust of the roads and the memories of birds. They're in the bars of the rain, in the floods and the tides, in the salt of the air and the thorns of the ditch.


... not yet realising you can turn a corner and find your life waiting there for you, and that if you walked past it, it would come after and keep tapping you on the shoulder.



The better liar


Two sisters. Two stories. Or, is she, the second sister??


Flowers from our Porterville garden August 2010
Flowers from our Porterville garden
August 2010

Audur Ava Olafsdottir

Hotel Silence


Translated from Icelandic. I love that in Iceland people have their own names. The 'family' name is Olaf's daughter, but her name is Audur Ava.


A slice of real life. A reality check. And two fresh starts. (You have tools! Can you fix, this tap, this plug, this ...) Poignant for Gaza now.


The web of life, and bloggers June 2010
The web of life, and bloggers
June 2010

Five weeks to our second vaccination


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  1. You're powering through a LOT of books! I love the cat photo. I bet the human was happy too.

  2. Interesting wording, for sure. And your kitty is so beautiful. There's nothing so calming as a cat in the lap while reading a good book on a cool evening. Enjoy!

  3. I love it when you share what you've been reading -- often books that I've never heard of, but some of them are available here. I'm going to look for some of these. Thanks for the suggestions!