The Discomfort of Evening – Marieke Lucas Rijneveld
This was brilliant, but brutal. Narrated by ten year old Jas in the aftermath of her older brother’s sudden death in an ice skating accident, The Discomfort of Evening is a portrait of grief, loneliness, and adolescence in a strict religious farming community ravaged by unspoken trauma and a turn of the century outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease. It is graphic, desolate, haunting, and every page makes you squirm. Just when you think it can’t get any darker, the ending slams down hard. I can’t wait to read future works by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld, they’re a fantastic writer.
I picked these oxalis plugs up for £2 each from Birmingham Botanical Gardens. The foliage drooped and died back after re-potting them, but they have since started to recover and put out new growth. I have left them out on the balcony in dappled sun – this corner faces south west, although it’s very built up so not a full south west exposure.
Walking south along the canal on my way to my appointment for my second dose, I pass a narrowboat heading north back to the city. The people on board are dressed in smart clothes and sat at tables, enjoying an intimate wedding reception cruise. It used to be a common sight on Saturdays in summer, but I haven’t seen a tour boat in nearly two years. I can’t help but smile.
The towpath is lined with foxgloves, campion, honeysuckle and columbine, all grown wild and tall in the midsummer sun, yet to be cut back from the water’s edge by the Canal and River Trust. I secretly hope they’ve forgotten this year and that the overgrown look is here to stay.
After many months of being out of bounds, glasshouses around the UK reopened on 17th May. In my book this is cause for celebration, I really missed spending time under glass, especially over winter when everything else was grey, cold and miserable. Ed and I made the trip down to London on Friday to visit Kew Gardens for the first time in two years, as he had the week off school for half term. It rained, all day, but nothing could dampen our spirits.
May was a wet month, and it seemed to do nothing but rain for days on end. Hopefully we’ll have a good berry crop at the end of summer from such a wet start to spring, and as I write this at the very end of the month the forecast is looking up.