Finally. The first day of spring! And it's even more exciting because we have a new edition to the household: I now have a Budgie, who I've named Trotwood (David Copperfield), or Trot for short. I'm so happy to have my own pet - Little G is more Big C's pet, parrots tend to bond with one person, and G's been here a lot longer than I have. So Trot is my own bird! He's only been here a day, less than 24 hours, and so far it's going fine. Last night was remarkably easy, he even fell asleep for about two hours on my shoulder, but today he's a little, well, flighty! Right now he's in his cage, and we need to get him used to that, as well as various rooms in the house. As with Little G, Trot will be out his cage more often than not, so he needs to get used to being handled as well. It could be a long process, but he's only about six weeks old, so it shouldn't be too difficult! He is very pretty, and I fully intend on taking some decent pictures in the next few days. For now, there's one here, and you'll see he landed next to Deborah Devonshire's Home to Roost! Here's another one of him checking out Bill Bryson, and finally one of him sitting on my hand. So, if you care to share some of your own happy budgie stories then do, because he is my first bird and I'm learning!
And what of books...? Well, I am delighted to say I have finished War and Peace, and was surprised that it was much better the second time around. I didn't love it, but it wasn't the chore I had set it up to be (I'll post about it properly in the next few days). So now, my 'currently reading' pile is The Bible (which I'm happy to take my time with) and Les Misérables.
I've wrote before about 'seasonal reading' (the most obvious example is reading Gothic Literature in October), and I said I liked the idea of reading French Literature in the spring, as well as Jane Austen. I'm also very keen on catching up with Ted Hughes, and a few more Penguin Greats. I don't particularly feel a spring-vibe from Dickens, however I will stick with that challenge and not neglect it! With this in mind, the plans for spring are:
- Complete Les Misérables, which I am very much enjoying (this is the first thing I'd like to do before I look at the rest).
- Complete my Ted Hughes challenge.
- Read three Dickens: right now I have my eyes on Our Mutual Friend, Domeby and Son, and Nicholas Nickleby, however I do have seven books left to read on my list, so I may change my mind: one thing I learned about winter was not to be too militant with my plans, and also strictly one chunkster at a time! I do think Our Mutual Friend will be the next Dickens, though.
- Get into some French Literature! On my list are: Dumas's The Three Muskateers and The Count of Monte Cristo, Zola's Germinal, Proust's Swann's Way, and Baudelaire's The Flowers of Evil. I also have about six books by Collette, which I'd like to look at, de Balzac's Cousin Bette, and Flaubert's Bouvard and Pecuichet, and Sentimental Education. So many to choose from! It would be good to read three or four, a few of them there are pretty long.
- I have a strong desire to read Mill on the Floss by George Eliot, mainly to see if Eliot and I will ever get along!
- I also want to read Mansfield Park and Emma, the two of the six major works of Austen that I haven't read.
- I want to read something by Wharton (I haven't read a single book by her), and possibly something by Henry James (I do get a summer vibe from him, though).
- Finally, as always, I don't want to neglect my 100 Greatest Reads Challenge, or any other challenge for that matter. By Summer Solstice, I hope I'll be up to about 75.
That's a lot to be getting on with - Budgie training, French Literature, and a pile of other books besides! But I'm so happy it's spring, I've been waiting so long!