I'm ashamed to say that it's been ages since I've actually read a book. Following the Eurozone crisis and the local news avidly, then reading lifestyle columns online is one thing - but getting inspired and lost inside a book is something else - and much better for the soul I imagine. Plus they say that you can't write without reading - so that's where I'm going wrong!! - I say to myself...
So, I went off to the library yesterday and got 'The Hare with Amber Eyes' by Edmund de Waal and am already totally stuck in. I recognised the book cover from a magazine profile and grabbed it hungrily from the shelf. From what I can make out so far, it's a family history woven around a collection of inherited Japanese netsuke which crosses continents; Europe and Japan, and generations. Review here. My only problem now is a husband who likes to snap the light of as soon as his head hits the pillow - so I'm having to find stolen moments to read during the day.
In the meantime, we are all entering the expat 'visitor season' that will reach its climax at Christmas but for many people may well trail on until February or March next year. Having had a wet week or two here in Nairobi with accompanying frequent power cuts and dreadful traffic, the sun is now very definitely shining, the sky is blue and this week my parents-in-law arrive, followed closely by my own parents - both sets keen to escape the English winter gloaming for as long as possible.. They generally arrive pale faced, then do lots of sleeping and read copious numbers of books while here - and where normally I'd make a quick sandwich or instant noodles to be eaten by my computer at lunchtime when the kids are in school, it's now my duty to put my book to one side, step up the in-house catering stakes and get organised.
Last night we realised that we'd got the date wrong of my parents-in-law arrival. It's not the first time we've done this - my parents once had to call us from Dar es Salaam airport when they got here one sweltering February morning to say 'just wondering if you are on your way? Are you collecting us? My husband dropped everything at work and there was a frightful scuffle at home as we rushed to get beds made and flowers put in the guest bedroom. So we realised last night that the parents-in-law are getting here tomorrow morning, not Friday - and I've invited friends for supper the same evening...(something I'm rarely organised or energetic enough to do). Not sure where we are all going to sit. Oh well. A friend suggested hiring a freelance cook - I'm sorely tempted.
I wonder if I can take my book to my daughter's rounders match this afternoon?
My husband was sent the links to these two old (circa 1990s) French & Saunders comedy skits on expat wives - horribly un-politically correct - but just had to share! WARNING - EXPLICIT CONTENT, SOME VIEWERS MAY FIND OFFENSIVE.