My April read, Moranifesto, was everything that I hoped it would be: smart, thought-provoking, and really very funny. I haven’t quite finished it yet, but when I do, I shall be foisting it upon friends with an enthusiastic ‘you must read this!’.
This month, I’m excited to be reading a yet-to-be-released debut novel called A Quiet Life by Natasha Walter. I know that books really shouldn’t be judged by their covers… but look! I couldn’t love it more! And the novel does sound like my cup of tea: This is the warm-blooded story of the Cold War. The story of a wife whose part will take her from London in the Blitz, to Washington at the height of McCarthyism, to the possible haven of the English countryside. Gradually she learns what is at stake for herself, her husband, and her daughter; gradually she realises the dark consequences of her youthful idealism. Harper Collins have sent me this book as a part of the book club that I’m leading at the upcoming Sisterhood Camp retreat. I’ll be sure to let you know how I get on, and if you like the look of it yourself, I believe that it’s now available for pre-order.
I am documenting the year with monthly photographs of my kitchen table. Capturing the jumble that accumulates here, at the heart of the kitchen, is also a way to record some of the domestic stories of our family life.
On the April table there is cherry blossom, picked from the tree in our front garden. This is the one week of the year when the cherry is in bloom, its branches laden down with pink fluff that gradually drops, petal by petal onto the ground below. I can never resist picking a few twigs of blossom, this year popping it into a little milk bottle, although know that it’s futile to hope for the petals to remain for more than a day or so. Still, cherry blossom is pretty, perhaps even at its prettiest, as the petals start to fall in their wabi sabi way.
Chasing light. I suppose, in a way, that all photography is about exactly that; it’s light that makes a photograph possible, after all. My favourite photographs are often those where light itself is the subject of the image. Pictures of light are the most fleeting of moments captured: if I see a shadow or a sunbeam, I have to shoot it right away, before a cloud covers the sun, or before the light moves, travelling silently on its daily path. Focusing on light is a lovely way to really, really focus: looking carefully at the light draws the eye to the details that surround it, to the story of that exact instant.