Saturday, 2 February 2013

February Blues?

Saturday afternoon, and I have the telly turned on without sound so that from time to time I can check how things are going in the rugby match between Wales & Ireland. It's the opening game in the  annual Six Nations international tournament (the other teams are France, England, Italy and Scotland) to which I have become slightly addicted over the past years. I used to watch with my husband who had played as a young man, and who could be relied upon to explain elements of the game if I didn't understand a ref's ruling.  Perhaps I continue to tune in now as a way of remembering him, but I suspect it's also through love of the rough & tumble action in which I always find splendid metaphors for life itself.

Ah well, it's February, and one must do what one can do to keep one's spirits up... This can be such a dreary time of year in the northern hemisphere, and although we don't have Canada's snow here in the south of France there's nevertheless a drab, draggy sort of mentality. It takes huge effort to get through a day, more often than not. One must search around for ways to cheer up and happily, there was an email this week from The Writers Union of Canada bringing the good news that Douglas & McIntyre has been acquired by Heritage House Publishing and Greystone Books will continue now to honour the contracts already in place and print books... Writers like Lorna Crozier, whose clever & lovely THE BOOK OF MARVELS was published by Greystone can now look forward to more readers as the book can now be reprinted.

My friend Mary in Belleville recently sent an amusing little paperback that I am just now starting to look at but think I can recommend even on the basis of the first few pages, depending of course on whether or not the subject matter is relevant to you or someone to whom you might give the book. Written by an American writer named Meghan Lasklocky, it's called THE LITTLE BOOK OF HEARTBREAK, and rather than being some awful self-help book about how to deal with a broken heart, it gives historical examples of love gone wrong in a cheeky, sly and quite appealing way.  Published by Plume Books, bright yellow cover, it could be just the right Valentine's Gift for the right person -- or the wrong person, come to think of it.

So we must look for the best in February, and perhaps that means realizing it is indeed the shortest month and eventually March will give way to April and we'll all feel sunny and sane again. In that regard, here's a shot of what we have to look forward to... a happy bunch of wild flowers picked along the vineyard beside the river last April. Although I do sometimes buy flowers at the market in Anduze, for much of the year I have only to stroll along the lane to make my bouquets.

Readers of BELONGING may recognize the vase from the story THE WINDOW,
although its provenance is rather different in reality from its fictional history.