[quinces from our tree]
I have a particular aversion to the word 'rollercoaster' as in emotions, life etc etc . It's a terrible cliché, and is horribly overused. For what it's worth, I prefer simple 'ups and downs', but I'm glad to say life has not been a rollercoaster of anything recently although there have been some nice ups, and one or two less satisfactory downs (and we are talking very minor stuff here).
Up: a Ray-Stitch workshop on Sunday with another wonderfully interesting group of women. I'm going to be do more workshops next year (details will be on the blog as well).
Up: the smell of quinces filling the house, not just downstairs but wafting upstairs, too.
Up: Fenland celery cooked according to the recipe on page 216 of Tender (minus the 15-20 mins cooking of the sauce - it's got 40 mins in the oven anyway). Best celery ever, though I say so myself.
Down: Christmas ads from retailers with delusions of grandeur. I find it's worth remembering that John Lewis, M&S et al are out to make profits, and their objective in life is not to make you happy. These are moments when I am grateful for the fast forward button.
Not just a down on the rollercoaster, but a derailment: Where'd You Go, Bernadette. A plot and characters that are up and down to the point of being manic. I couldn't identify or empathise with any of these accomplished haters and professional complainers who are allegedly of super-bright/genuis level intelligence. At first, I felt sure it could only be satirical but in the end I had to conclude it wasn't as the characters are so wholly entrenched in what Phoebe calls their 'first world problems'. After far too many dizzyingly complicated and unlikely turns (with truly unpleasant results), the plot came off the rails completely. I turned the last page asking, 'where'd you go, ending?' because it's a long time since I've felt so let down/left hanging high and dry by an author.
Ups, lots of them: my reading faith is consistently restored by Simenon's Maigret books (more on these very soon).