I wish I could post some photos of where I am right now - in beautiful sunny California! The weather is spectacular, the beaches are sandy and seem to go on forever, the people are friendly, and there's just a great vibrant atmosphere of relaxation and good cheer :) Ahh, how I love the sun! I'm also liking the healthy lifestyle that is so incredibly easy to enjoy here. It's actually a huge pleasure to go and be active outdoors (tennis! running on the beach! hiking! swimming! it goes on and on!) rather than thinking of having to exercise and being stuck running on machines indoors. And the food is delicious and nutritious so no problem there either.
Besides soaking up the sunshine, I've done a bit of reading as well. Especially during a magnificent stormy spell we had here - such huge waves! I finished reading The Mill on the Floss and couldn't help crying very hard at the end. I did not see that ending coming and it hit hard. It was a wonderful read, so true to life and yet artistic and thrilling and full of elevated emotion and profound insights. I love how Maggie's inner world becomes such a powerful force, and her character isn't a character but a breathing human being so full of life. The world she finds herself in is a living, breathing world as well, and sadly it does not provide the love and uplifting passion that she herself radiates and yearns for so badly.
After that intense read, I picked up 'Wives and Daughters' by Elizabeth Gaskell. I'm still happily stuck in the world of Victorian Lit., but this time I wanted something just a little bit lighter. I have to confess I have never read this author before, only seen 'Cranford' on PBS and the fantastic 'North and South' miniseries (starring Richard Armitage, one of my big favourites!) but I already knew I would love her books. This one is my kind of page-turner. The characters and their day to day lives are described with intricate detail, and the relationships that develop are interesting and make me hungry for more! I can't wait to find out what will happen next. I also really like how well Molly's sensitivity and emerging sense of self are painted by the author. Very true to life and subtley, intelligently described.
Whew. And now back to current concerns in the real world. Such as dinner :) Cheerio!