Thursday 26th November, 2020
This is a day when the sense of building pressure begins to leak through the cracks of my soul. I am not wholly together, but am in control. I start the bread making progress and by bedtime have bread under a tea cloth rising, ready for baking in the morning.
I take the air later and collect a book that I have ordered from the Book Hive. I stand at the door way while the assistant collects my order, then he takes my card to tap the payment, then returns with my loyalty card stamped. I ask him what he is reading at the moment and we have a good-natured discussion about his current literary interests and his to be read stash. He has four books on the go at the moment.
One of the books we discuss in some detail is Night Train to Lisbon. He was unaware that until relatively recently Portugal was run by a military junta under Salazar. Before the pandemic Portugal was a very popular holiday destination for the British. I tell him how much I enjoyed enjoyed reading Anatomy of a Killing, by Iain Cobain as this gave great insight to The Troubles of Northern Ireland. We exchange anecdotes of people we have met who were deeply affected by that suppressed civil war, before a prospective customer interrupts us with an enquiry about something more esoteric published recently.
It is midnight before I switch off the light. I have read four chapters of my new book covering the Iliad, the Odyssey, Horace’s Odes, Sappho’s fragments and Beowulf. It is a cracking read, this A Little History of Poetry by John Carey – honest!