It rained for most of today - a steady, demoralising rain, not pounding or dramatic but persisting right through to teatime, when the sun appeared too late to be useful. Not that I felt particularly demoralised, I suppose - I felt rather triumphant in that once again I was in the supermarket just after 8am and home with a week's shopping just after 9, in time for breakfast. After that, I felt justified in flopping somewhat, with the radio, my phone and my usual coffee with FaceTime - before I remembered that my Duolingo Italian lessons went better in the morning and fitted in 4 tests before lunch.
After that I had an old lady doze with a book - justifiable, I think, in light of the fact that last night was pretty hellish until I supplemented the ibuprofen 400mg I took at midnight with a couple of strong co-codamol at 3am - lying down made my jaw ache hideously and sleep was impossible. After the second dose of painkillers I lapsed into unconsciousness till after 7am, which was welcome but not long enough to keep me going. It was the book I'm now reading that prompted the photo for today: I opted to follow the wonderful Hilary Mantel with Robert Harris's The Second Sleep, which I'd pre-ordered pending its release in paperback and which came a couple of weeks ago. That was what I finished sitting in the sun yesterday - it's a real page-turner, and well enough written not to let me down after the Mantel. Now, however, I'm a bit stuck until the Mantel I've ordered (a recommendation from a friend) arrives, so I decided to revisit Graham Greene after an interval of many years. In fact, I think I read the bulk of Greene's work while awaiting the birth of my second son and then during the months of feeding him - and he's 42.
I'm interested in my reaction to Greene's writing after what amounts to a lifetime of reading and writing and teaching literature, but today what struck me most was the size of books these days. Paperbacks used to be neat little things you could stick in a pocket, or post to a husband serving overseas during the war (several of the books I read in my youth had followed this path to the Middle East or Essex!); there didn't seem to be so many pages even in quite substantial novels; the paper was rough and the print so very much smaller than I've become used to. Just look at the comparison of the three books above - there's no question which one would be the choice for a rucksack - or for reading in bed.
Mention of which makes me think that's what I should be doing now ...