Hello lovelies. I’m three weeks post surgery and improving a little every day. I’m healing well, eating well and sleeping marvellously. My blood pressure is not too low, sadly it’s not perfect either, but then my hormones are still being slippery little suckers, so it’s to be expected.
Stamina wise I am having to go super, super slowly. I am up to twenty five minutes of gentle walking (round the house, to a gratifyingly awful Spotify playlist of my own invention) a day before I have to throw in the towel. This is pretty good going. I aim to add a little bit on top every day if I can, and if I can’t, I’m not stressing about it.
I went out twice. Once on Sunday where I mostly sat in the car, and again on Tuesday when my parents took me out to lunch and I went to a bookshop. I was amazed at how much effort both of these things took, given that I really didn’t do very much at all. I was absolutely wiped out afterwards, and by the evening I was somewhat tearful on both days. I feel rather like a toddler overwhelmed by all the bright colours in a toyshop. I love it, but my brain can’t cope with too much of it without me having to lie down and cry.
I am receiving lovely visitors, although still having to space them out due to my toddler ways, and still managing to receive lovely parcels, which is frankly astonishing and above and beyond.
I’m cooking again, when I can. This is always a good sign for me. Improving mental health goes hand in hand with my desire to feed people. I’m being aided and abetted by Amazon Vine, who sent me the marvellous Feasts by Sabrina Ghayour. Tonight I am road testing her turmeric chicken and noodle soup. It’s bound to be good for what ails ya.
When I can stay awake in the evening, I am still working my way through Rupaul’s Drag Race. We are a third of the way into season five and I am sad, because I am not loving anyone as much as I loved Sharon Needles in season four. I am hoping that one of them becomes delightful to me soon. I like having someone to root for.
I note, as an aside, that the word ‘realness’ is very popular in the world of drag queens and this makes me laugh a lot. I am currently channelling post hysterectomy realness in mis matched pyjamas with tomato pips down my front. I am a FIERCE queen.
Now for books. I am still reading, reading, reading.
I have read The Gritterman by Orlando Weeks, and Monster by Michael Grant, both of which I have reviewed over on Making them Readers. I had to read Monster in about eleventy seconds due to Oscar, who read the entire Gone series over the summer holidays and cried when it was done, breathing down my neck. He has now snatched it away and gone to his room. No doubt we will see him again by Sunday night.
I read and loved the marvellous You’re All Just Jealous of my Jetpack by Tom Gauld. Gauld’s art is wonderful. I covet his Noisy Alphabet poster, and one day, when my ship comes in, and I can find somewhere on the already crammed walls to put it, it will be mine. In the meantime I make do with his gloriously funny and extremely clever cartoons. There is a particularly pleasing one about Shakespeare and the moon here, with such a clever twist it made me snort.
I read and also loved Excellent Women by Barbara Pym. I’d never read any of her books before, but I shall now hunt the rest of them out for this was splendid. Wryly funny and so acutely observed it made me laugh out loud on more than one occasion. I was particularly taken with a dinner party in the middle of the book in which the heroine, Mildred, is landed making small talk with an elderly lady who believes that if we don’t eat them, the ‘dominion of birds’ will be upon us. The most beautiful thing about the writing is that not a word is out of place and the social niceties are so scrupulously observed and yet the sense of the absurd and also the tragedy of Mildred and women like her is never far from the surface.
Finally in my hat trick of loveliness is Robert Webb’s How Not to Be a Boy. Oh my word I loved this so hard. It left me almost as exhausted as The Choice. It’s so good. It’s tender and sad and funny and just so humane. I found it particularly emotionally exhausting because my grandparents lived where Robert grew up, and many of the places he references in writing about his early life, brought back memories of my own, some of which I haven’t thought about for years, and which added to the emotions that had already been prodded into life by his writing. I’d urge you to take a punt on it even if you’re not generally a fan of celebrity memoirs, because it’s so much more than that, and if nothing else, it’s only £4.99 on Amazon at the moment.