|The new study.|
Today has been, in a word, wet. We had gone for a drive when it was early enough to expect light, but everything seemed dark. The tree trunks were black, the grass and leaves were the darkest green I've seen, and the moorland was bleak: everything looked soaked, absolutely sodden with the rain and sleet we had today and last night, that had also caused the power to fail. The sky was heavy, grey, and full. People's roof tiles looked like mirrors. I was hating the book I was reading (Pickwick Papers most definitely needs to be read a section at a time, and is not a bedtime book), and the only cheer was the Christmas trees and lights still up in people's windows, and even those will be taken down by Thursday.
Except my fairy lights. My fairy lights stay up around my bookcase all the year around. I had call to move the study into another room (pictured above), and this space is much smaller, which is a lot better: I like small spaces. I'm so happy with it, but the time it took to move each bookcase took up a lot of reading time, and consequently I felt bad. I felt behind.
It's funny, how finding a book dull can put me in these moods. This is Anna Karenina syndrome. Getting two hundred or so pages into Pickwick Papers took a lot of time, and whilst War and Peace is well underway, I feel like nothing is completed. I feel like I haven't done anything of worth. At least not yet: a good book makes all the difference, and having taken the advice of @seekinghappyville and @Fleurinherworld, I put Pickwick down and picked up Great Expectations. It is going so much better: for three days, I've felt bad, like because these three days haven't amounted to a great deal, it is some kind of sign that this year will somehow continue in this vein. But we're only three days in, and I have achieved some things: I've got this room looking lovely (at least I think so!), the writing desk is clear of all junk - all it has on it now is my laptop, a notebook, a pen, a Vogue (maybe that shouldn't be there...) and my Greek dictionary (incidentally, learning the Greek alphabet is not as difficult as I feared!), and, like it or not, I am getting through a book that is worthy of reading.
And I still have my plans and my hopes. I'm not "writing off" these past few days, but I am drawing a line under them and moving forward. If I have my plans, my hopes, and, indeed, my motivation (which is still in check) then I'm all set. Call this the post-Christmas blues, but anyway spring is coming, and we have a few months ahead of comfort. The weather is still inhospitable, I wonder how anything manages to survive, so we stay indoors. Armchairs, tea, coffee, telephone calls, and reading. Winter is cosy, whatever happens outside. The wetness and cold doesn't stop anything. I may well be reading a good many dull books in 2012, but isn't this what reading is all about? Discovery? Sifting through all kinds of everything to find the few books that live with us for the rest of our lives?
In that spirit, I will partake in The Broke and the Bookish's Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I'm Excited to Read in 2012.
- Great Expectations by Charles Dickens.
- He Knew He Was Right by Anthony Trollope.
- Pamela by Samuel Richardson.
- Les Misérables by Victor Hugo.
- Collected Poems by Ted Hughes.
- Persuasion by Jane Austen.
- Discipline and Punish by Michel Foucault.
- Vanity Fair by William Thackery.
- Germinal by Émile Zola.
- The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis.
And there are other things, as well. I'm looking forward to re-writing my novel, progressing with Ancient Greek, seeing some progress with exercising (I'm counting distance against time now, I don't look at the calories burned), going away with Big C, buying Lord knows what new books, completing the most boring books in the whole world so I can at least say to myself, "I have read it" (I hope you're listening, Pickwick), watching Effy get even stronger, seeing the owls, joining in with some readathons (I am so ready for a readathon, if you know of any, please do tell me!), getting into yoga again... All the things I've listed, which I've re-read just now. I am excited again, despite a few off days. In the next hour, I'll be headed to bed (not with a cup of coffee!) and continuing with Great Expectations. I have no plans for tomorrow, so it doesn't matter how late I go to sleep. I'm one hour into the 4th January, and I have the whole night, no, the whole year ahead of me right at this moment!