I've done a lot of reading and walking recently but not much else. However, one of my new year resolutions is called The Daily Bowl. Organised people should skip to the next para but if, like me, you have numerous little bowls scattered around the house containing a button, coins, a needle threaded with black cotton, bent paper clips and odd pearl earrings, then you will understand my spasmodic desire to sort them out. Not hugely ambitious but I feel good when I can tick one off.
Snowdrops by AD Miller. Fast-paced story about an expat in
who sacrifices his judgement and self-respect - his honour, if you like - to please a dubious but sexy young woman. An excellent read. You keep shrieking, no don’t trust him/her. Miller is a good writer who paints a convincing but no doubt much exaggerated picture of corrupt modern Moscow and the long Russian winter (probably true about the winter) Do read it. Moscow
When God was a Rabbit didn’t appeal to me so much. If you are worried by the title, then the book probably won’t appeal to you either but many others loved it.
I did enjoy The Kashmir Shawl by Rosie Thomas. Her best recent book, in my opinion. I was interested in her vivid and obviously authentic descriptions of Ladakh and
Kashmir, perhaps because I’ve visited - coughs modestly - the foothills of the Himalayas myself. Admittedly I went to , the north-eastern end of India, and admittedly on a guided-tour bus rather than by trekking or some other hearty method, but there must be a few similarities. I was so interested that I looked up Leh on the map and am amazed that missionaries lived in such a harsh, high-altitude and remote place. Also fascinated by the descriptions of Sikkim , now so near to the disturbed border. At first this novel is a peaceful travelogue but then suddenly there’s tragedy and I ended up, a few nights later, reading until after midnight., Srinagar
I don't have many pictures of the Sikkim and Darjeeling holiday in 2003 as my luggage containing the camera was lost for 10 days (long story) but here's a couple.