Such is the way of good writing

Having a lazy Saturday morning this morning, relaxing – still in my PJs – in the LazyBoy with a cuppa and my current library book, The Handsome Man’s De Luxe Cafe, the latest in the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith.

Handsome Man's De Luxe CafeAnd I’m smiling as he writes of things African – the colour of the evening sky, the heat of the day, the cattle standing in the shade of a thorn tree, a dusty country road – which are so familiar to me … and then suddenly there are tears as well, as I realise how dear to me those memories are, of another time, another place, so many years ago.  But with the tears there is also an overwhelming appreciation and thankfulness that I was lucky enough to have had those experiences, lucky to have had such a wonderful, almost enchanted childhood with loving parents and family, lucky to have such happy memories.

Yesterday I finished reading An Untamed State, by Roxane Gay – a powerful, harrowing story of a Haitian woman who is kidnapped, tortured and abused when her father refuses to pay a ransom for her return:  Untamed Statea story almost as far removed from the gentle nature of McCall Smith’s Africa as it’s possible to get, yet just as emotional to read and ponder over.  I suspect that my love of McCall Smith’s writing, whether it be of things African or things Scottish (I find his various Scottish series equally entertaining) is partly because of my familiarity with both settings, having been born and raised in Zimbabwe of Scottish parents:  it’s sort of like I’m pre-wired or programmed to enjoy those stories because of my upbringing.  But that doesn’t stop me appreciating his ability to capture a moment or thought and relate it so accurately that I know exactly what he means, and my smile (or tears) is in appreciation of that skill.  Roxane Gay’s writing is equally powerful and moving, just not as pleasant.

Did some more work on the ALYOF quilt I’ve committed to for my January finish, and now only have the ties left to do.  As you can see from these photos, Assistant Quilter Henry Lee was close at hand to make sure I stuck to the task 🙂  I’ve also sorted out a couple of possible project finishes for February.

DSCF6738  DSCF6739

Today is forecast to be hot and humid, so I’m planning to spend as much time indoors in the cool as possible … and besides, there’s a cricket match on TV this afternoon, the third ODI match between New Zealand’s Black Caps and Sri Lanka, to be played in Auckland.  And with the 7-match series tied 1-1, I think it’s important that I lend my support in voice if not in person, so it’ll be tieing the quilt in front of The Box for me this afternoon 🙂  Go, Black Caps!



2 thoughts on “Such is the way of good writing

  1. I didn’t know you were born in Zimbabwe! I have spent some time there, both for work and vacationing in the 1980s and 1990s. Beautiful writing can bring back memories, I’m glad yours are so happy! My next novel will be in the African setting too…hopefully out at the end of the year.

  2. Good writing can really touch deeply into so many emotions as you say. Hot and oh so humid here too which makes lounging about rather attractive. Henry has lounging down to a fine art:-) He is a handsome chap and dressed in NZ colours to support the Black Caps! Cricket will be on here this afternoon too. Enjoy your day.


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