Spring in the Blue Mountains is quite the occasion. The European plantings explode into leaf and bloom, creating a riot of colour amid the ever-present blueish haze that inspired the area’s name. I took the opportunity to visit the Leura Gardens Festival and it was…bloody freezing! But beautiful. And, in the case of Blue Vista (pictured above), quite breathtaking. Great weather for bulbs. And hot chocolate, soup, cake and wood fires.
Not so much. You’ll see why.
September was indulgent. A HUGE reading month. Lots of Elly Griffiths and Ben Aaronovitch goodness! Talk about a binge. This is what happens when, in the winter months, the weather is nippy and you’re stuck inside with online access to your bank account and numerous online bookstores. Several weeks later the bounty arrives. Bookageddon!
The Elly Griffiths books – I love the Dr Ruth Galloway series. As a one-time archaeology student and crime novel fan, the series is a delightful fusion of all the things I enjoy in a suspenseful read. There’s even a bit of illicit romance and some pagan hijinks. And the body count is especially high given all of the neolithic remains littering Galloway’s Norfolk neighbourhood. Rather than give a rundown of every title, I’ll just say that as a series, there is a strong ensemble cast, the characters mature nicely as the books progress, and the plots have a wonderful mysterious-verging-on-the-supernatural edge. Fans of Phil Rickman will especially enjoy the series.
The Ben Aaronovitch books – As you get older you can convince yourself that you have found all the good writers there are to find, and you’ll never, ever, ever feel passionately about another writer’s work again. Hah! I had Aaronovitch’s first book in his Rivers of London series on my wishlist for a long time. A really long time. I finally bought it and sat it on the shelf for an equally long time, mostly because my dear friend Erina had read it before me and loathed it (although her sister loved it). Hmmm. I was torn. Eventually one week I ran out of other books to read and Rivers of London made the great train journey east with me on a foggy Monday morning and – shazam – I had a new favourite. The books catalogue the adventures of PC Peter Grant, who stumbles upon a world of wizards and magic sitting cheek-by-jowl with urban London. Peter, and policing, will never be the same again. I quickly snapped up the rest in the series and zipped through them like a packet of Tim-Tams. Ahhhhh.