I tried to write this post in the depths of Autumn semester, when I rarely have time to spend time reading for pleasure nor much time to blog. I failed. Instead, I have finished it after the last week of classes.
Observation Note 117: Pain.I unwisely took on an overwhelmingly large teaching load in February. I had nothing offered to me in Spring semester last year, leaving me stuck doing some contract work in road safety education which is totally fine but not what I want to be doing. So when I found myself drowning in offers in February, I decided a heavy teaching load was fine as I was feeling strong and healthy in February (despite the plague having finally befallen me). I was fine until I literally fell off the end of my bed injuring my back. I lay on the floor for half an hour, unable to get up, with hubs away on a work trip and my son taking a long hot shower. I was calm but winded. I couldn’t call out and my phone was nowhere near me. When my son finally came through he freaked out, helped me into my bed, checked me for breaks, concussion etc. But in the end, we decided I was just winded. I limped and was bruised, I saw my doctor who agreed with me. I felt mostly fine until a fortnight later when I started the gargantuan task of marking 170 student essays and then my whole body went to pot. Sciatic pain I had never experienced on my right hand side took hold of my life and pierced me with spasms and continues to do so. Weeks later I injured my ribs while I was doing some gentle gardening, giving me more grief and the inability to breathe deeply. And then last week I injured my ankle just by standing up. No rolls, no trip over, nothing. Once again, I am off my feet, because of pain, but I can’t lie down because of my ribs, and I can’t sit because of the sciatic pain. Because life needs to come in threes when it hurts. I found that I could not sleep, mark, function, at all. So, with all that, there is little surprise that I only read two novels in April, and one text book on web usability which is set reading for my students. No surprises, I won’t be discussing the text book.
Along with being late posting my April books, I also have spoilers because when I am in pain, I have not filters. At all. You are warned. Look away. Especially for the schmoushy fab Harlequin I discuss in Reading Note 65 (I wanted to end on a happy note).
Reading Note 64: Raynor Winn’s The Salt Path. Let’s start with the blurb: Just days after Raynor learns that Moth, her husband of 32 years, is terminally ill, their home and livelihood is taken away. With nothing left and little time, they make the brave and impulsive decision to walk the 630 miles of the sea-swept South West Coast Path, from Somerset to Dorset, via Devon and Cornwall. They have almost no money for food or shelter and must carry only the essentials for survival on their backs as they live wild in the ancient, weathered landscape of cliffs, sea and sky. Yet through every step, every encounter, and every test along the way, their walk becomes a remarkable journey.
The Salt Path is an honest and life-affirming true story of coming to terms with grief and the healing power of the natural world. Ultimately, it is a portrayal of home, and how it can be lost, rebuilt, and rediscovered in the most unexpected ways.
For many of you who have been reading my blog for a long time, you will know how much I hate camping and the fact that Raynor Winn and her husband choose to camp wild while they walk the UK’s South West Coast Path when they were rendered bankrupt and homeless was nearly the worst nightmare possible for me (pipped to the post by the thought of plummeting to my fiery death on a plane though that would be quicker torture than camping, right?).Continue reading