Thursday, March 24, 2016

An autumnal Easter miscellany

Isn't it odd how the seasons sometimes seem to change as if a switch had been flicked? A week ago, the weather was humid, hot & we'd had no rain for weeks. Overnight, a cool change came through, pushed out the humidity & we had over 30mm of rain in two days. Autumn had arrived. Since then, the mornings have been cool & crisp, the nights are drawing in & suddenly it's Easter. Time to make hot cross buns (the ones with a V on top are for a vegan colleague so no egg glaze), pull out the tomato plants in the veggie garden & plant daffodils ready for next Spring, which always reminds me of the Provincial Lady & Lady B..

Lucky & Phoebe love the autumn. The sun is warming, not burning, the hot north winds are gone & a little sleep in on a cold morning is very agreeable.

I'm going to spend the long Easter weekend doing some gardening, catch up on some podcasts, decide on my next audio book &, of course, reading. One of the podcasts I have listened to is this interesting discussion about the definition of literary & commercial fiction on Books on the Nightstand. I agree with Ann & Michael that bookish people know literary fiction when they see it but actually defining it to someone who's not in the book or library trade is difficult.

I'll also be making a decision about what I'll be reading for the 1938 Club. I've listened to Nevil Shute's Ruined City, which I loved, but I'd like to read at least one more book, if not two.

Whether you'll be observing Easter or just enjoying a long weekend; whether it's autumn or spring in your part of the world, I hope you have time to relax & do whatever makes you happy. I can't resist a poem by John Donne, suitable for the occasion. Good Friday 1613. Riding Westward.

Let mans Soule be a Spheare, and then, in this,
The intelligence that moves, devotion is,
And as the other Spheares, by being growne
Subject to forraigne motion, lose their owne,
And being by others hurried every day,
Scarce in a yeare their naturall forme obey:
Pleasure or businesse, so, our Soules admit
For their first mover, and are whirld by it.
Hence is't, that I am carryed towards the West
This day, when my Soules forme bends toward the East.
There I should see a Sunne, by rising set,
And by that setting endlesse day beget;
But that Christ on this Crosse, did rise and fall,
Sinne had eternally benighted all.
Yet dare I'almost be glad, I do not see
That spectacle of too much weight for mee.
Who sees Gods face, that is selfe life, must dye;
What a death were it then to see God dye?
It made his owne Lieutenant Nature shrinke,
It made his footstoole crack, and the Sunne winke.
Could I behold those hands which span the Poles,
And tune all spheares at once peirc'd with those holes?
Could I behold that endlesse height which is
Zenith to us, and our Antipodes,
Humbled below us? or that blood which is
The seat of all our Soules, if not of his,
Made durt of dust, or that flesh which was worne
By God, for his apparell, rag'd, and torne?
If on these things I durst not looke, durst I
Upon his miserable mother cast mine eye,
Who was Gods partner here, and furnish'd thus
Halfe of that Sacrifice, which ransom'd us?
Though these things, as I ride, be from mine eye,
They'are present yet unto my memory,
For that looks towards them; and thou look'st towards mee,
O Saviour, as thou hang'st upon the tree;
I turne my backe to thee, but to receive
Corrections, till thy mercies bid thee leave.
O thinke mee worth thine anger, punish mee,
Burne off my rusts, and my deformity,
Restore thine Image, so much, by thy grace,
That thou may'st know mee, and I'll turne my face.


  1. Have a lovely restful booky long weekend Lyn.

  2. You too, Rose! Hope the weather is kind & you have a chance to relax.

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks Val, I hope you have a happy Easter too.

  4. I have never had hot-cross buns! Yours look delicious.

    I am so looking forward to the long holiday weekend. I need to decide on a book from 1938 - thank you for your list in the earlier post.

    We had a taste of summer here, before the weather turned colder again, so the cats are curled up - currently on my pillows - rather than sprawled out on the cool floor.

    1. HCBs are delicious, probably even more so because I only eat them once a year. I've just started reading Knock, Murderer, Knock by Harriet Rutland, another 1938 title. It was very difficult to make a decision.

  5. It sounds like a lovely weekend. I've been planning to read one of the Rutland books, but I got caught up in the latest Donna Leon / Commissario Brunetti mystery. It's very good, much better and more satisfying than the last few.

    I really wish I could have one of those vegan hot cross buns! You're so nice to your vegan friends. Happy Easter!

    1. I've never read Donna Leon. A friend I used to work with recommended them but there are only so many new authors I can add to my list! I've just started the Harriet Rutland & it's going to be fun, I think. Happy Easter, Joan!