Sunday, April 06, 2008

The Sunday Salon: On a Gloomy Sunday

Suddenly, spring has gone away. It was gray and rainy and cold, all day. Even the forsythia looked dim and lifeless. Very depressing, especially for a day in April. Plus, all the cherry trees are shedding their blossoms now, and the drizzle is plastering them all over cars and sidewalks. Like flat pink snow. Very messy. And very depressing – but I think I mentioned that already.

I am very much affected by the weather and the amount of sunlight I get (yes, I know – sensitive plant and all that), so these dark, dreary days always get me down. And for some reason, it seems even worse when they happen on a Sunday – somehow I feel that Sundays should be endlessly bright, happy, and filled with amusing activities to provide amusing anecdotes for amusing blog posts.

Well, there won't be any of that today, folks. But I did manage to get a little reading done. Finished up my latest "cozy" mystery novel – Mrs. Malory and the Silent Killer, by Hazel Holt. I started reading the Mrs. Malory mysteries back in the 1990s, mainly just because Hazel Holt had been Barbara Pym's friend and colleague, and later her literary executor. But the books turned out to be so enjoyable that I've stuck with them and now have read almost the whole series (hope to get the rest of them read this year). They are indeed a charming portrait of English village life (I must be quoting someone there, but at the moment I don't remember who).

Also read a bit of Chatterton, by Peter Ackroyd. I'm reading it for a couple of challenges, and so far it seems very entertaining. But I don't know about "unputdownable," which is what the jacket flap claims for it. I've actually put it down several times in the last week.

And that reminds me – aren't book jacket blurbs a wonderful study? The flap also calls Chatterton "ceaselessly entertaining, dazzlingly clever." Well, that's a good all-purpose blurb, if I ever heard one. Put that together with something like "absolute rubbish, not worth the paper" and you've got yourself covered, review-wise, with hardly any effort at all.

Oh, and I started reading Susan Cooper's The Dark Is Rising, my second book for the Once Upon a Time II Challenge. (The first was her Over Sea, Under Stone - you can read my report on that one here.) Haven't gotten far enough into this one to tell much about it. But a few lines, early on, make me think it's a book to match my mood tonight:

"The Walker is abroad," he said again. "And this night will be bad, and tomorrow will be beyond imagining." [p.8]

Well, things may not be so bad as to be "beyond imagining." After all, the second half of "Sense and Sensibility" is on PBS tonight. But if this rain doesn't let up, we're in for a very gloomy Monday, whether the Walker is abroad or not.


  1. The Dark is Rising is one of my favorites. You're right to read it during gloomy weather, though I recommend reading it at Christmas time for maximum effect. ;)

  2. You need to come on down to southern Louisiana where is humid, but the sun still shines. :)

  3. I'm another one who is affected by the amount of light there is so Sunday wasn't too bad for me. We'd had five inches of snow in the night, but the day itself was bright, blue and shiny. I do think, though, that for a bad day you've got yourself a wonderful pile of books. I love Ackroyd and oh how I envy you having 'The Dark is Rising' to read for the first time. Holt is a name I didn't know and if she's linked with Barbara Pym then I must go and do some investigation. Thanks for the tip. Take care.


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