Sunday, 1 May 2011

Still no pictures, but...

..I am now a free-er woman than I have been for a while and will be for longer.

At 37 weeks today the goblin is officially cooked but now has a five week window to make an appearance. Since my maternity leave has also started this weekend, it's become very clear to me that I could turn myself into a proper madperson by thinking it could be any day now, so instead I'm seeking a five-week project, one that's going to take plenty of effort and concentration and that I'll be wanting to complete enough that I'll barely think at all about when B-day might happen.
Perhaps, I thought, I'll just try to read a book a day for five weeks, thus making up in advance for any deficit in my reading time over the next few months. This isn't quite ruled out, but at the same time it's not really projecty enough. I could try and write the rest of my own novel - that's a good goal, but a bit too ambitious? Maybe a short story a week (but this doesn't sound big enough, not that I'm saying they're easy to write or write well, but there's not enough structure to it, not when most of the fibres of me are howling to pop, and demanding that I just concentrate on trying to discern signs that I might).
There's still knitting to do, though again this doesn't on its own consume enough attention. I will, of course, get entirely on top of all of my life-admin, and will be emailing all the people I don't email enough, and writing on my blog with a bit more commitment, and so on, but still they're not quite demanding enough. Do we think it's possible that I've not sufficiently bought into the idea that it's honestly going to be weeks and weeks more, and so am holding off just in case it's tomorrow?

Since I'm going to be good about keeping the blog up to date, I can supply it now with just a list of books, knowing that in due course I'll say a bit more about them.
21 Fat is a feminist issue (Orbach) - what a book. I don't know how I got to this stage of life without having read it.
22 Nurtureshock (Po Bronson) - quite a disappointment after how very much I loved his books about work and family. This was cobbled together science, with nowhere near enough added.
23 Toast (Nigel Slater) - I've been meaning to read it for a long time and was fairly sure I'd enjoy it. I did, though not like I enjoy reading his actual cookbooks.
24 Effective birth preparation (Maggie Howell) - like hypnobirthing, only a hundred times more convincing (to me) - this and the CD are regularly sending me into a zenlike state, now all I need to do is maintain it for the birth
25 Childbirth without fear (Grantly Dick-Read) - this is the classic of its genre and was originally written in the sixties, I think - in places it's horribly dated but in many others so very sensible and convincing that it's easy to overlook its faults. Both of these two would be books I'd recommend to anyone, though of course I'll tell you afterwards whether they turned out to be right.
26 Whatever you love (Louise Doughty) - I've been wanting to read something by her for a long time because I own, and mean to implement, her A novel in a year and was drawn to something about how she wrote in that. It may be enough to say that I got this from the library in the middle of today and finished it a couple of hours ago - I mean, not a classic of literature but such a read, and so believable. I'll be seeking to read more of her.
27 (in progress) Untold stories (Alan Bennett) - I'll say more about this when I'm done with it, though as it's my bedside book and regularly gets bumped by whatever else is interesting me, it may be a while.
28 (also in progress) Anna Karenina. This may suggest to you (rightly) that I finished War and Peace, which will get a post of its own in due course; what you can't tell from my simply listing its name is that I am enjoying it perhaps even more than I enjoyed W&P. I'm about half way through so might even finish it this year...

There are three more pieces of modern fiction in my library bag, all of which I was truly delighted to find on my trip today; I'm also keeping an eye out at thebookpeople to see if they do an Orange shortlist collection again this year since I'd actually have time to try it.

What's that I hear being suggested from the crowd? Perhaps that with all this reading I may not really need a project at all...?


  1. Read read read. You say you might not have time to read for months - but it might be longer. Or never. I make time to read, but most parents I know can't, and most mothers don't have the concentration available to even begin to recognise the written word. Of course, you can just prove me wrong ;)

    I hope you're not too uncomfortable, and that the next 3-5 weeks pass as quickly or as slowly as you'd like. Can't wait to hear a birth announcement :D x

  2. Oh and when I say I make time to read - at the moment I'm reading an Enid Blyton. I can't not read, but I totally don't have the brain power any more to read proper books all the time. I'll have a week or two of gorging on literary fiction, and then have a month off re-reading children's books.

    Again, maybe that's just me ;)

  3. Beth, you're not the first to suggest gently that the reading time I do manage to make might not be quite so high-quality as what I had does sound like children's books and Wodehouse all the way.
    Oh, the pressure to get all the real reading in (such a hardship)!