2018, it's said, has been the worst year for hay fever, and I can personally attest that yes, this is the case. As I'm super sensitive (tree, flower, and weed pollen all has me sneezing) it's likely this will run into September for me (I've even known it to go right through October) but at least the end (might) be near. For that I am grateful: I'm not sleeping terribly well at present (which at least gives me a little more time to read, but I'd sooner the sleep to be honest!). 2018 has also been the hottest summer, and with hot sun comes fire and we've had one of those, and I also saw the heaviest rain I've ever seen in my life. It was a week ago now: I heard thunder for about an hour before the rain hit, and we saw the rain rolling down the forest over the tops of the trees before suddenly an absolute deluge of rain and hail with high winds. It lasted for less than five minutes but was enough to bring down several road signs and a few young trees. And all that water, sadly, and all the rain we've had since, hasn't been enough to save my garden. I've lost so much this year after the snow and then the heatwave. It's going to take a lot of rebuilding I'm afraid, which I'll have to start in the autumn (not trusting the rest of the summer!).
A combination of pouring rain or red hot temperatures means I've been indoors a great deal and I've spent the time reading. This is a good moment to mention the 2018 Reading Challenges: I have 22 titles left for the Deal Me In Challenge and 2 from my Ancient Greek and Romans. Other than that, the Back to the Classics, European Reading Challenge 2018, Roof Beam Reader's Official TBR Pile Challenge, Victorian Reading Challenge, and #NewAuthors18 Reading Challenge - they're all complete. So I'm pleased to have my new Classics Club list, and for the spin I see I've drawn Battle of the Books by Jonathan Swift. I'm so glad #11 wasn't drawn: I completely forgot I'd put down A Simple Story by Elizabeth Inchbald for my #11 and I read it over the weekend. Other than Swift, I've got quite a pile of books by my bed which I'd love to read this month:
I've got Swift on there, The River Between by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o (I'm nearly finished it and am enjoying it), Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management (I've made a start and it's absolutely fascinating), Myths from Mesopotamia, Sunset Song by Lewis Grassic Gibbon (which I stumbled upon a few days ago in a charity shop), Self-Help by Samuel Smiles, Rural Rides by William Cobett, The History of the English People 1000 - 1154, and Foxe's Book of Martyrs. Not on there is Book I of Rūmī's The Masnavi: I'm waiting for that to arrive and I'm really looking forward to it. As I don't tend to read non-fiction at night and as this may be a tad non-fiction heavy I may find myself reading some other fiction aside from what's listed (and not all of the non-fiction listed). I'm in the mood for something big - The History of Miss Betsy Thoughtless perhaps, or bigger still - I'm also thinking of David Copperfield.
Other than that, there's no other news. Everyone's fine here - Pablo is proving himself to be an excellent and very clever little dog, the budgies are well, so is the parrot and so are the hens. Meg had a setback from which she seems to have recovered, and I'm afraid the two banished chickens remain banished but they're both fine, I saw them a few days ago (I do miss them). And I'm sneezing! I'm really looking forward to autumn now, but past years have taught me that August seems to be the last month where the year seems to stretch ahead: form September the year always seems to go as quickly as lightening. I'm not quite ready to think about 2019 yet...
Happy August, everyone 😊
|View from my desk: it's a very gloomy evening.|