Wot! Three Weeks in and no books left to read?

vee_new

Have any of you run out of reading material? Are you being forced to re-read old favourites or difficult and boring works you gave up on years ago? Don't say you are reduced to reading the back of cornflakes packets or the instructions, in 25 languages, on the information sheet that came with the latest electrical gadget . . .or maybe the contra-indications that are now included in all medication and will scare you half to death . ..

Luckily I have a wide range of books yet to be started (the ones my S-in-L told me to get rid of) plus many of the 'classics' so much enjoyed by my late Mother.

Of course the book I was planning to make a start on The Name of the Rose is no-where to be seen. I put it down a couple of days ago and it has vanished . . .! Not the first time this has happened to me. The nuns from my schooldays would have told me to "Pray to St Anthony" patron saint of lost things.

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annpanagain

I have plenty of unread books but no inclination to read much at present. My poor eyes are feeling the strain from constantly watching the many news programs, comments and Press conferences, checking the i'net etc.

I am having to conserve my viewing and sometimes just listen. I could dust off the CDs of books which I bought years ago when I had to rest but I find as soon as I lie down, I fall asleep.

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msmeow

I am very thankful for our public library's digital collection! I don't have many "real" books on hand, and I've read most of them at least once. Even though the libraries are closed I can still download ebooks. :)

I haven't been reading any more than usual, though. Partly because (thankfully) I am still working, and partly because I've been doing other things with my extra free time.

Donna

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roxanna7

I am very fortunate to have a veritable cornucopia of yet-to-be-read books in many genres -- fiction, non-fiction, children's books, as well as plenty of books started and not finished. About the only type I do not have is comic books! I am nothing if not eclectic in my reading interests...

When I was a newly-wed, over 50 years ago, there was no money to buy books (libraries have been my second home since I was 5 years old, tho). Things are different now and I am a happy camper with my stash. Library book sales are wonderful -- I still have several boxes from that source yet to open. I usually have more than one book going at a time -- think I'll have to slow down if this present situation continues.

I am an Anglophile at heart, have been ever since I learned England existed, at a very young age. So I have bought any a "coffee table" book about the British Isles with fabulous photos and extensive written sections that I have not actually read yet. Just ordered a very large and sturdy adjustable book stand which will enable me to prop up these over-sized tomes and dive into them. Can't wait for it to arrive!!

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Rosefolly

Plenty of unread books here, but I seem to want the comfort of re-reading. Of course I am spending good part of each day working in the garden. It is high weeding season. At the end of the day I am too tired to concentrate on anything that requires effort, which is another reason reading books I previously read seems easier to me.

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sheri_z6

I'm also lucky enough to have plenty of unread books around -- my two TBR bookcases are an absolute comfort to have. However, I've also been having trouble focusing enough to read anything demanding. But between dipping into non-fiction and having plenty of brain candy books on my kindle, I've still been reading a good bit. If my reading slows too much, I can always fall back on Barbara Pym. Her books get me back on the reading track when I can't muster up any interest otherwise. I don't know why, but Some Tame Gazelle almost always does the trick.

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yoyobon_gw

Not in this life time ! I have a pantry full of books....and there are two neighbors who comprise a "street book club" which we run through e-mails.

We chat about book ideas, or ones we've read....and lend books to each other!

Perfect set up during this isolation. If we are lending a book or taking one we leave it in the mailbox.

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merryworld

Between my rather large collection of books, mostly from the library book sale, and all the books on my kindle and being able to borrow ebooks from the library, I will never run out of books to read. The local book store is still open with curbside service or delivery.


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carolyn_ky

I am another who is downloading e-books from the library. My present one is The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith, which ought to hold me for awhile.

I own a ton of books, going back some sixty (!) years from when I first started buying my own and many of which I'm sure I don't remember a word. Some of them are favorites that I've reread more than once and could cheerfully do so again, but authors I like just will keep on writing new ones so that the goal post keeps moving away from me.

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vee_new

Interesting to read your comments about 'e books' from the library. As I don't have a kindle or other device for downloading these I have never thought to check if they are available through our system.

As I don't know anyone around here who read books ( magazines are refereed to as books both here and just over the border in Wales) I have to rely on my own tomes.

Luckily St Anthony came up with The Name of the Rose plus another book I was missing.

I have a bookcase in the bedroom which sits across an old fireplace. At this time of year the local population of crows likes to make their homes/nests in all the surrounding chimney pots. In the early morning, pre-dawn, they sit up there shouting abuse at their rivals and generally disturbing our sleep. One corvid quarrel led to a crow falling down the chimney where it scrabbled about unable to get up or down while screaming to its relatives for help.

We tried moving all the books plus bookcase to 'rescue' the bird but couldn't reach it and during the day we noticed while outside that up to a dozen crows were on the roof around the chimney screaming encouragement to their friend. It must have worked as no more noises came from within the chimney.

I then had to clean up all the dust and stray feathers and replace the books . . . at which point I must have added The Name of the Rose and The Crow Road to the book shelves.





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msmeow

Vee, that sounds like quite a day! My brother had a duck come down the chimney once. I think there was quite a long session of chasing the flying duck, trying to herd it out the door. And some friends has a squirrel come down the chimney and ended up building a tunnel out of boxes to try to get it outside. :)

Digital materials from our local library can be read in a browser if you don’t have a tablet or Kindle.

Donna

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vee_new

Donna, I think if a duck had fallen down our chimney it would have been dispatched, plucked and roasted. Some years ago we heard a commotion outside on our busy road, even though it was late evening. On investigation it turned out to be a goose that must have been knocked by a car. It was still alive with no visible injuries so we bought it and made a 'nest' for it in the kitchen. By the morning it had died probably of delayed shock. It did make excellent eating a couple of days later!

There used to be a custom in rural villages to sweep the cottage chimneys by lowering a pheasant (dead) down the stack collecting the soot on its way down. Those were probably eaten and the 'evidence' disposed of' as poaching carried quite a heavy fine; perhaps it still does?

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annpanagain

I sympathise with cleaning up after a bird gets into the house.

We had our place on the market with a potential buyer due to view it. My cat, wishing to add something special to the decor, proudly brought a maggot infested dead pigeon into the main room!

Try picking maggots out of a shag pile carpet by hand!

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skibby (zone 4 Vermont)

Vee - you may want to move that crow book - it will just attract them!

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msmeow

Ann, ewww! That must have been really awful!

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vee_new

Annpan, maggots are one of the few things that really turn my stomach . . . even the thought of them makes me feel queasy.

Re the book Umberto Echo's Name of the Rose after all the soul and house searching for the d*** thing I started to read it and immediately became mired down in over-long sentences, passages of Medieval Latin and little sign of a 'plot'. As it has been translated from Italian it seems to have lost something along the way.

Maybe I'll return to it when I have run out of other books.

Has any one here read it?

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annpanagain

I think I may have done, I recall something about a discussion regarding Christ carrying a purse? Is that the one? There was also a movie.

I checked the plot on Google after I wrote this and can't find anything about a purse!

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vee_new

Annpan I think this one is about the murder(s) of monks in a monastery in Northern Italy.

I didn't see the film but it did star Sean Connery!


The Name of the Rose

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annpanagain

Yes, that was the plot Google described. I do recall a plot where the monks were in a discussion about whether Christ carried a purse and it got quite acrimonious! Perhaps another book?

The Name of the Rose wasn't my usual reading genre but perhaps the murder attracted me. I'm not a great fan of Sean Connery but I think I saw the film.

It was a long time ago!

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Rosefolly

Several decades ago when I still lived at my parents' home we once heard a racket that sounded like a bird in the chimney. As we had no fireplace in that house, the only place the chimney went was to the furnace. We heard the frantic cries for days, less frequent and weaker as time when on. It was heartrending. The cries lasted several days, astonishing us at the bird's endurance. You can imagine out relief and astonishment when we discovered the noise we heard was no bird at all, but instead the screeching of dying battery of our first smoke alarm, installed a year previously.

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vee_new

Rosefolly We had a similar experience in another bedroom chimney (we live in a too large Georgian/Victorian house with 6 fireplace downstairs and 4 upstairs!) A bird could be heard fluttering about but as the fireplace had been covered years ago by a sheet of asbestos there was no way we could rescue it. DH was not prepared to bash a way into the opening as asbestos is so dangerous.

The fluttering got weaker but it took several days before all was quiet and I felt quite guilty trying to sleep through the bird's death-throws. After a couple of weeks, from a minute corner of the asbestos, flies began to emerge; big fat ones . . . thank goodness there was no accompanying smell of rotting bird.

Despite several of the chimney pots having been 'capped' birds are able to get underneath and happily make their nests up there.

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carolyn_ky

My sister is currently having groundhog problems. One has gnawed its way through a metal vent and made a home underneath the house. Yesterday, it dug a new route and destroyed the television cord underneath the house because my brother had set a trap at its vent entrance. She is afraid there is a small family involved.

I tried to read Name of the Rose and got discouraged quite quickly. I still have it, I think. Finished Galbraith's Career of Evil last night. Tense, but good.

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skibby (zone 4 Vermont)

I'm currently reading Stewart O'Nan's The Odds. (yes, still). Each chapter he heads with the odds of an event occurring. I learned this: The odds of going over the falls in a barrel and surviving are 1 in3 but the odds of seeing a shooting star are 1 in 5800. Since I've seen a shooting star I must be one in 5800. Kind of nice.

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vee_new

skibby I've seen several shooting stars, always in the Summer and often part of a meteor shower, although with our unpredictable English weather the sky can be cloudy just when the 'weathermen' tells us to look out for these events!

When I was about 9 years old I was lucky enough to see a comet.

I remember it was in late Summer, just dark and I was looking out of the kitchen window below the half pulled down blind, when this streak of brightness shot across the lower sky.

I told my parents what I had just witnessed, of course not knowing what it was I had seen. My Father told me I'd seen nothing and my Mother agreed (safer to agree with every pontification from Dad, a bully and known as 'The Great I Am').

I was used to this reaction to anything we children said, so was surprised when on my return from school the next day I was told there had been a short article in the national paper and on the radio news about a comet with the time and details which fitted in with my story . . . of course they didn't apologise for not believing me but I didn't expect them to!

It probably accounts for the cynical view of life I have been cursed with . . .



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annpanagain

Vee, I, too, was of the "Don't argue with your elders." generation. By the time I was an elder, that had gone by the board and quite right! Do you remember the first time someone referred to you as "old" and what a shock it was to hear that?

Are we playing the "What will you do after lockdown?" game? If I haven't found one still working by then, my first port of call will be to a hairdresser. I have trimmed my fringe several times but my back hair tickles and I think it is an insect and keep flicking and swiping at it.

My son says he will go to the beach. It is only a short distance away from where he is staying but out of bounds until Wednesday when iso finishes for him. It must be annoying to hear the waves crashing and not be able to surf!

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msmeow

Ann, my first stop will be eating in a restaurant! We’ve gotten take out a few times, but it’s not the same. I really hate cooking and I’m a terrible cook, and most of all I hate meal planning. DH is no help - when I ask what he wants his answer is either “I don’t know/care” or “whatever you want”.

Donna

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kathy_t

I'm with you Donna. Driving your food home does not equal the experience of eating out. For example, I don't clean up the table or the dishes at a restaurant.

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yoyobon_gw

Vee........I have also seen many comets ' shooting stars' as well as watching the Hale-Bopp comet for almost a week. It was amazing and huge and always in the sky every night.

I've also seen the Northern Lights once and last February saw something in a dark, clear star-lit night that I am still not sure what it was. A large, luminous bow-shaped object ( which dwarfed plane lights in the same sky) . It traveled steadily directly south to north across the sky. It sort of creeped me out.


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carolyn_ky

I'm in the going to the hairdresser camp. Someone posted on Facebook a meme of a little girl crying, mouth wide open, hair in a mess, screaming "I need my hair done."

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yoyobon_gw

Clearly what we all need is a chef to come to our home, prepare a spectacular dinner ( and light the candles please), attend to our every need and then clear the table and take their mess with them so there is not a trace of inconvenience left for us :0)




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Rosefolly

Hairdresser for me. Mine comes to my house, as he is retired and keeps a few part time clients.

After that, I am going to go to the nursery! Our county shut down all the independent nurseries while leaving open the big box stores. Not true of most places, but it is true here. I worry that they may go out of business. It is a real possibility as their cheaper but lower quality competition is allowed to stay in business.



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vee_new

Rosefolly. we have a useful plant nursery/garden centre less than a mile away and, as with all similar outlets, it has been made to close. Luckily just before the 'lockdown' took hold we had visited and DH was able to buy bags of seed potatoes etc, which according to tradition, should be planted on Good Friday, but are just about to go into the ground. Better late than never!

They are running a simple scheme whereby the customer phones up and orders what they need and they deliver it . . . of course it does mean it is not possible to choose the plant, tray of 'plugs' etc or 'look them over' but is better than nothing. Apparently they have been really busy.


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Rosefolly

Vee, ours can also deliver, and I have an order in. As they are not allowed to receive any new stock, they may be depleted in a few more days.

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vee_new

Thank you Rosefolly. Where does your plant-stock come from? Here nearly everything is shipped over from Holland, although often seed potatoes and raspberry canes come down from Scotland. The various 'blights' not reaching that far North.

We usually order a few trays of bedding plants for the beds near the house. We are 'troubled' with ground elder; impossible to dig out and happy to make its way under the lawns to the next patch of bare ground. John has taken to keeping it strimmed down and we have several people ask "What are those delicate white flowers growing in the borders"!

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Rosefolly

I mail order specialty plants (roses mostly) from all over the USA, but our local nursery stock mostly comes from here in California. We supply plants to a good bit of the country. Of course there are specialty nurseries all over the country. There is a very nice one in Ohio I order from regularly. In the less cultivated part of the place I plant natives, in part for ecological reasons, and in part because I don't have enough water to keep the whole place irrigated. We have a summer dry climate, by which I mean no rain whatsoever the warmer half of the year, so the areas further from the house have to get by on their own once established.

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vee_new

Just heard Margaret Atwood on the BBC this morning saying she is planning to spend the rest of the lockdown reading long and 'difficult' book that she has been putting off until now.

The first will be The Brothers Karamazov then an Icelandic reading of Beowulf in Anglo Saxon. Then if she has any energy left she will work through some Scandi and Italian detective stories. Good Luck with the first two Ms Atwood.

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carolyn_ky

Now that's OCD!

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vee_new

It reminds me of one of the books by Betty MacDonald describing the time she worked in the office of a mining engineer. While he was away on a trip she decided to tidy up his huge pile of geological maps. On his return he asked her to find such-and-such a map from the third shelf down, tied with blue string . . . Of course she couldn't find it as she had put them in order of size. The rest of the day was spent putting them back as the engineer had originally kept them.

And what about people who 'colour code' their books; just by the colour of the dust jackets?

And another thought. Do people really keep those over-large, heavily illustrated coffee-table books on their coffee tables?

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carolyn_ky

(Cringing) . . . I do. I have a wonderful one called London, another one English Gardens, and another At Home with Books in the living room and some travel books from different places in the den.

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kathy_t

I do too. What else would you sit on a coffee table?

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skibby (zone 4 Vermont)

Sadly, I have no coffee table. I have to stand there and hold them.

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annpanagain

Oh, Skibby, you have just given me a coffee choke!

I am all over the place timewise. Napping during the day and wide awake now at 5am. It is a Public Holiday here, not that you would notice the difference as a lot of people around don't go to work any more.

However, as we have few people falling ill now, the children can go back to school this week and there are other easings but tentative ones.

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carolyn_ky

Our schools are not resuming this school year. I have seen a few signs in yards congratulating 2020 graduates.

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annpanagain

Our school year ends in December so now would be too soon to graduate!

We are being assured that the children are safe but not the teachers who must be careful not to be in close contact with other teachers or parents. It is not compulsory to send children to school but essential workers are finding home schooling very hard. This is also the case for parents working from home.

Too distracting!


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vee_new

Nothing has been decided about English and Welsh schools re-opening yet. I did notice the other day a teacher in the playground of our small village school 'deep cleaning' all the little desks and chairs and drying them in the sunshine.

Have any of you read Village School by Miss Read? A wonderful picture of rural education in the 1940's, before all these SATS and 'targets' became the norm!

Boris returns to work today, after his possibly 'near-death' encounter with C19. It is thought he will be very circumspect in any decisions he makes on opening-up the country too soon.

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vee_new

Kathy, our 'coffee table' has probably never made contact with a cup of coffee but as I write has on it a couple of magazines, one on bread making and the other from the local reopened steam railway (both interests of DH), some bits of electric gizmos to do with recharging phones, cameras etc which land up looking like a tangle of black spaghetti and without which modern life is apparently unlivable.

It is oval with a glass top and shows up every finger print. A present to DH from his scary Mother when he bought his first house. When I came on the scene she demanded back every present she had ever given him but forgot the table! A couple of years later when I was expecting our first child S-in-L gave us the passed through the generations family crib. When M-in-L heard of this she threw one of her better tantrums and demanded it back. S-in-L had to drive miles to pick it up and take it back to her house. He dumped it in her hall, where it sat for many years!



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annpanagain

Vee, you sound like you had the most awful rellies! A bullying father and a witch of a MiL..Ah well, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger!

Sadly the lovely glassed-top polished wood framed coffee table I was given in the UK had to be given away when I moved to Australia. I don't have space for one now so settled for a nest which has a Balinese Garuda carving on it and the library books I can't return.

The large coffee table books prop up the displaced bottom shelf of an Asian bookcase with a hidden drawer. I got those gorgeous picture books when a library I worked in had a clearout. I might look through them one day.

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vee_new

Annpan, we have to laugh over the goings-on of M-in-L; it certainly beats crying, As my father said of her "If you ever have to see her again it will be too soon"

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Rosefolly

Vee, your MiL sounds just awful! I have been married twice and fortunately both of my MiL's were very pleasant to me. The first one remained so even after I left her son. The only time she was upset with me was when a few years later I remarried. She was worried about the children, but she soon accepted that they would be fine, and that her son and she would still be able to see them. Your story reminds me once again that I have much to be grateful for.

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kathy_t

Good heavens, Vee. I've never heard such a mother-in-law story!

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vee_new

I'm probably sounding like a cracked record but. thinking of the post stated by Rosefolly about what we call our grandparents . ..

Many years ago when DD was about ten she answered the phone and came into us saying "The person I spoke to wouldn't give her name and said 'He will know who it is.'

'Daddy, I think it must be your Mother.' DH groaned and went to take the call. After a couple of minutes he put his head round the door and said to me 'My Mother says you (ie. me Vee) are not to come to her funeral.' I was so fed-up with all the abuse I had put up with for so many years I replied "When is it?" which John relayed to his Mother . . .

I know this wasn't a very Christian attitude but she was in good health and not likely to fall off her perch in the near future.

In fact when she did die many years later DH went to her funeral and the only people there were his sister, husband and two daughters, a 'representative' of the firm that provided home-care and the wife of the church Minister. And this is someone who had lived in the same place for more than 50 years.

It seems so sad that someone's life is so filled with hate.

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carolyn_ky

She sounds like a doozy. I had the same experience as Rosefolly. In-law problems were about the only problems my first husband and I didn't have. My MIL was quite fond of me, most likely because I was good to her son. I didn't remarry until my mid-forties at which point there were no MILs or FILs around except my own dear mother whom no one in his right mind could object to.

Skibby, I now have this mental picture of you standing in front of your sofa poised as a Greek goddess in a running position holding aloft a stack of large books in both hands.


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msmeow

Vee, my husband’s maternal grandmother was horrible, too. She seemed to hate all men except DH (the only grandson) until he was in high school. His best friend was in a a car accident and the friend’s parents were out of town. DH missed Grandmother’s birthday party because he was trying to get in touch with his friend’s parents. She never forgave him! She was awful to everyone. When she got to the point of needing assisted living, she had to move several times because the facilities wouldn’t put up with her.

My FIL is on his third wife, so I’ve had 3 mothers-in-law, and they’ve all been wonderful!

Donna

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skibby (zone 4 Vermont)

Carolyn - sadly I have no sofa either so I have to sit standing up too. Life is hard.

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carolyn_ky

You poor thing! But you can always read in bed--you do have a bed?

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skibby (zone 4 Vermont)

Yes, I have a bed. Made of nails. (rusty) But I make up for it with cashmere sheets.

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vee_new

Cashmere sheets must be cosy, satin sheets would be decadent but rusty nails are just good old fashioned masochistic.

Each to his own . . .!

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