... instead of posting here.
I visited the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam with a dear friend and her children. It was insanely busy, but full of beautiful paintings like this one (Cypresses and Two Women, oil on canvas, 1890).
I let my partner cut off all my hair. Advantages: much less bother to wash or brush, I look less like a hearth rug. Drawbacks: I have nothing to hide behind, I have to wash the back of my neck occasionally, I look like a standard lamp.
I read quite a few books:
Little, Big, by John Crowley
Beauty, by Robin McKinley
Weathering, by Lucy Wood
Cuckoo Song, by Frances Hardinge
Alias Grace, by Margaret Atwood
The Tortoise and the Hare, by Elizabeth Jenkins
The New Moon with the Old, by Dodie Smith
The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt
Severina, by Rodrigo Rey Rosa
Ingenious Pain, by Andrew Miller
The Lie Tree, by Frances Hardinge
The Tin Princess, by Philip Pullman
Longbourne, by Jo Baker
Extra(ordinary) People, by Joanna Russ
The Earthsea trilogy, by Ursula Le Guin
The Historian, by Elizabeth Kostova (not pictured because I didn’t keep it)
The Behaviour of Moths, by Poppy Adams (ditto)
Now that term has begun, I’m rereading The Midnight Folk by John Masefield. I can’t really cope with anything too taxing at this time of year, and this is magical.
At the moment, we have two hens, and one of them, Daisy, kept getting broody. As she receives no gentleman callers, we asked our neighbours (whose hens do) if we could have some of their eggs for her to hatch. Daisy nobly sat on the eggs for three weeks and two duly hatched. Goodness but chicks are tiny! And if I’d been anxious about the kittens, I was a thousand times more anxious about these tiny, piping little puffballs. Cats! Rats! Crows! Magpies! Small, eager children! Wolves! Eagles!
I didn’t like to mention the chicks on here, lest I tempt fate and the day after I posted, something ate them. But Fluffy (the yellow one) and Night Fluffy (the dark one) are flourishing and growing and in fact most of their potential predators don’t seem terribly interested in them. Not even Mister Puss.
And the kittens... I am not given to peering at cats’ bums, but our kittens do rather brandish theirs in one’s face and after a few weeks it occurred to me that Clara’s bottom was quite radically different from Sootica’s. Further examination by K, our resident cat expert, ably assisted by the internets, confirmed that Sootica is a boy kitten. We are thinking about a new name, but our Chief Pet Namer has only offered Black Cat and Black Boy Cat and I am sorry but there are limits and those names are objectively crap. Any suggestions from total strangers gratefully accepted...