Sunshine and Snow in the Garden

Over the last few days, we’ve had a cold snap bringing frost, subzero temperatures and a tiny dusting of snow, but it was only the week before that I spent a lovely afternoon out in the garden with my girls in the sunshine.

Our youngest was wrapped up in her bouncer watching pinwheels spinning in the breeze before she drifted off for a little nap, as I tidied up the long border removing all the dried stems from last year, while our the three year old played witch on a broomstick. It’s not easy to keen on top of gardening with two little kids underfoot so I’ve been trying a little and often approach.

It’s always lovely watching the garden waking up after winter, from the first hellebores underneath the bamboo to the tete-a-tete daffodils in the long border. I’ve also enjoyed watching birds flitting around the garden, there have been blue tits, sparrows, long tailed tits, blackbirds, Robins and tiny wrens, which we’ve never seen in the garden before.

We woke this morning to a light flurry of snow falling. Spring can be such a changeable and unpredictable season, and yet one that I appreciate more and more as a time of renewal and the return of light and life after the barren darkness of winter. Have a lovely week. X

February Reading Wrapup

February was another slow month of reading, but one where I read the sequel to one of my favourite books from 2021, as well as two translated murder mysteries, one Polish and the other Japanese.

Bloodmarked by Tracy Deonn

The sequel to Legendborn (reviewed here), definitely felt like a middle book as Bree tries to learn how to use her unique powers as the Scion of King Arthur, a medium and the root magic of her ancestors, and prepares to lead the descendents of the Knights of the Round Table into battle with demons attempting to break into the human world. Bree finds herself hunted by enemies inside and out of the Order, and Bloodmarked is full of twists, revelations and betrayals. I’m not generally a fan of Chosen One stories, but I really love Bree for her bravery, loyalty and insights into race, privilege and grief. I found Bloodmarked had some pacing issues but had me hooked to the end, and I’m really looking forward to reading the concluding part of the Legendborn Trilogy.

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk

This is such a strange novel and hard to describe but it was absolutely gripping, creepy and atmospheric. Written as a stream of consciousness from an eccentric woman in her 60s who lives in a remote Polish village investigating the mysterious deaths of local hunters and poachers whom the narrator believes were killed by animals taking vengeance. I thoroughly enjoyed this macabre murder mystery that kept me guessing until the end about who, how and why, remiscent of Roal Dahl’s short stories and Agatha Christie.

The Honjin Murders by Seishi Yokomizo

My second murder mystery of the month, this time was a Japanese translation. The Honjin Murders follows investigation of the murder of a bride and groom on their wedding night in a locked room. Full of clues, suspects and misdirection, this was a clever and gripping mystery that reads like a Japanese take on Sherlock Holmes or Agatha Christie with a quirky Detective.