Books and yet more books

It’s Sunday again, how fast they follow!

This week has all been about reading. I promised myself at least 2 hours per day, and so far I am in advance of that target. I finished the Forrester book ‘Seductions of Psychoanalysis’. I sort of joked that I understood 5% of it last week: that joke just got older but no better. It was psychoanalysis presented in a very academic voice. I did find it difficult to follow; but then, no-one said a PhD should be easy. I have started reading Elliott, ‘Psychoanalytic Theory: an Introduction’ and I must say it is being kinder to me. He sets out the case for a variety of theories and then sums up why they aren’t the definitive article. I like that. The hardest section deals with Kleinian theory, but every time I read some, I ‘get it’ a bit more. So I will persevere.

I also finished reading Vol 1 of Robert Graves ‘Greek Myths’ in bed this morning. This has been my bedtime read. I borrowed Vol 1 and 2 from MMU library and then realised when I got them home that they were on a one week loan so I put them on my Kindle. Now I can read them at my leisure. I realise I don’t have to read all of them, that only a few are relevant to my project, but really, they are so fascinating I have decided I want to read them all. Fascinating also how Graves relates the myths to real historical events to show where the myths, the gods and goddesses originated from. I’m really looking forward to starting Vol 2 tonight!

My younger son had his birthday this week. He rang me early in the week to arrange to come for a sleep over on 12th December. I checked my diary and said that was fine, we would be here and we arranged for an invasion: Mike and his wife and son; his two step-daughters, their partners and babies (three between them). All I have to do is provide enough sleeping space!  I told my partner I had agreed to 12th and he said ‘that’s a Saturday isn’t it?’ Well, in my diary it was a Thursday, so I checked my diary again and realised I had been looking at November instead of December! On 12th December I will be in Grange over Sands at a poetry weekend run by the lovely Kim Moore, with Andrew Forster, Amanda Dalton and Ian Duhig also having an input. So of course I rang Mike again to tell him I wouldn’t be here but he was very welcome to come anyway, I would make up beds for them all before I go. He didn’t like the idea of coming when I won’t be here, he wanted to visit me, so he changed the date to 22nd December. The good news is my elder son can also come on that date. Not sure where I’ll put them all, but we’ll get by. That’s what families do. My daughter lives a couple of miles down the road from me so we’ll have a family party: it’s not often I get together with all my children at once so I’m really looking forward to that. Of course, I’ll need to plan it into all the PhD work, get ahead of myself so that I can enjoy the time out.

Yesterday I went to the Christmas markets in Lincoln with my daughter. We travelled by train, an interminable journey that involved 1 change on the way there and two changes and a delay on the way home. We met up with No.1 son and other friends in the beautiful Lincoln Cathedral. Unlike Manchester’s seasonal markets, which last for several weeks, the Lincoln markets were only on for this weekend and it felt as if the entire population of East Anglia had amassed in Lincoln. It was heaving with humanity. We all walked around the route of the stalls in a clockwise direction like some Victorian fantasy of a visit to IKEA. We couldn’t get to many stalls because of the crush, but we did manage to access the gluhwein stalls, obviously. After a couple of hours we left the Cathedral/Castle area and went in search of food. Walking down Steep Hill I called into a delightful bookshop, Lindum Books, and bought two poetry books. So, I went to Lincoln to do Christmas shopping and ended up with two more poetry books, Dylan Thomas’s ‘A Child’s Christmas in Wales’ and Carol Ann Duffy’s ‘Dorothy Wordsworth’s Christmas’. I’m seeing Duffy read again at Carol Ann Duffy and Friends at the Royal Exchange Theatre on 14th December, so I can get that one signed then.

Did I need two more poetry books? Of course I didn’t. But I didn’t need the gluhwein either and that didn’t stop me. Sometimes just wanting is enough.

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