long time no speak

There are times in life, when a certain state is reached and the need for change occurs: the state we may be finding ourselves at that point in, it is one that differs from the state of affairs we wish. In the course of the past year, I have recognised myself as being in a necessity of change – it was needed for my well-being. I am undertaking a path for change, which is not sure where it will lead me to. Change is usually not easily attainable – if it is at all, it may involve a lengthy process, which may drain one’s energies.

Reserves of energy are limited, and I find myself having to not attend to things, activities or situations that I would have otherwise done. At times, it happens that there is a need to withdraw from “noisy” contexts, maybe go “offline”, disconnect. So this is part of the reasons why I have not being posting for a while. On the other hand, I have taken up activities that, for some reasons, I had left behind in the past: reading, meeting up with friends, going for a walk.

As a kid and a young adult, I would read very often, but in the last years, I could seldom get myself to complete a book. Maybe out of curiosity or a need for distraction, I’ve recently been reading quite a lot. I’ll briefly introduce some of the books, so bear with me if you’re still interested…

In a way, these were related to history (some treated about real history, others about an imaginary one), in particular that of areas now part of the United Kingdom.

One of the first I read was Vinland by George Mackay Brown. Some time has passed since, so I don’t recall everything about it. Though, it was an interesting reading, although at times I remember feeling somewhat unsatisfied with it (it felt a bit too religion-prone). It is the story of Ranald, an imaginary Orkney-born character, and follows his story and adventures, from his youth trip across the ocean to Vinland, to later times at the court of Norway, the fighting at the side of the Earl of Orkney in Ireland, and life back to the family farm in Orkney until his final days. It reads very much like a saga. A much better description and thorough commentaries can be found on this GoodRead page.

Image Vinland by George Mackay Brown

More recently, I read The Story of England – a Village and its People Through the Whole of English History by Michael Wood. The book accompanied a major BBC TV series, focusing on the village of Kibworth in Leicestershire and its community throughout the centuries, from Roman Britain to the modern days. I thoroughly enjoyed it and appreciated Michael Wood skills in telling stories from the past in a fascinating manner. While there will accidentally (unavoidable) be mention of kings, the focus is more on the overall life and perspective of the people. I would wholeheartedly recommend it!

Image The Story of England by Michael Wood

While I was at the local community library, my attention was captured by a strange book. I hardly had any knowledge or familiarity with the subject – ghosts in an English rectory (I even didn’t know what a rectory exactly was!), but curiosity got hold of me. I borrowed out the two books on the subject: The Enigma of Borley Rectory by Ivan Banks and The Borley Rectory Companion: the Complete Guide to the Most Haunted House in England by Paul Adams, Peter Underwood and Eddie Brazil. The first book is a comprehensive, even if biased, presentation of the topic: very briefly, the Borley Rectory was built on the ground previously occupied by older buildings and was seemingly haunted by various apparitions and characters (a 17th century nun, an old fashioned horse coach, a headless man, a little girl, among others). It offers a thorough investigation on the historical matter that could have originated the facts presented. I would say that I’m not inclined in believing in supernatural, but after reading it I thought whether there was some truth in the stories, chiefly because of the many witnesses across different times (collective hysteria, or for our current knowledge inexplicable facts?). I found the reading compelling but also scary at times… especially during the night sessions before bedtime! The other book, offers a more coarse overview, followed by a dictionary-like treatment of the corpus, but has extra and more recent information, due to the later date of publication. Overall, I would recommend both of them to those who have an interest or curiosity about the subject.

IMG_2491 Borley Rectory

Currently, I am reading The First Europe – A Study of the Establishment of Medieval Christendom, A.D. 400-800 by C. Delisle Burns (1947): the work is concerned with the establishment of the early Christian Europe and investigates in particular the coming in being of moral authority and new social relations. Although some of the material may be somewhat dated, the subject is still source of interest and fairly well presented.

The First Europe by C Delisle Burns The First Europe by C Delisle Burns

The post has well overran an ideal length.. so that’s it for today! You all take good care ♥

6 thoughts on “long time no speak

  1. Flora Poste says:

    Dear Judith, welcome back and how I missed your posts!
    I really enjoyed your book reviews, especially on Michael Woods. Big fan of him and I must read this book. Well, keep on traveling to your own good place, girl. Big hugs from Ohio, Johanna.

    • itwasjudith says:

      Dear Johanna,
      Thanks for your kind words 🙂 the process is started and hopefully it will bring to some positive change!
      Right now, I’m pondering to give a go at a lovely scarf whose pattern has been published recently – it’s called Thistle. Well, if it gets further, I’ll post about.
      Have a nice and relaxing weekend in your beautiful new places xxx hugs from across the pond

  2. I have always found ghost stories interesting, (and scary). When my daughter was born we lived in a very old cottage near Manchester. Once, when she was about one, I saw her raising her arms like she wanted to be picked up, even though there was no one there. She got very angry and frustrated because whoever she could “see” wouldn’t pick her up. They say children see ghosts better. Who knows, 🙂

    We have a very small library here, and it even has some books in English, but I miss the libraries I visited when I lived in the UK. Thanks for taking me back to them. 🙂

    • itwasjudith says:

      That’s a fairly impressive story, I wondered whether some people may be more “sensitive” to certain presences – if they do exist. I myself never had any strange experience or encounter. Not sure how I’d have felt in the case, though!

      Thanks for your words, it is true, living in London it’s amazing how easily so much is at hand. But any place has its good as well as less good things 🙂

      Keep well and enjoy life, wherever it may take you. After all, we only live once (do we?)

  3. Martha says:

    Welcome back. I’m glad you’re posting again 🙂
    Change is good and we all need it sometimes. A positive change, of course. Hope it all goes ok for you and you will get wherever you plan to be.

    Interesting books. Thanks for the reviews. I like to read about vikings and other celtic or celtic-like stuff. Norway, Scandinavian, Ancient Britain etc ….

    I’m trying to read more these days too. I’ve discovered medical thrillers and crime stories – a genre I was never interested before. Tess Gerritsen’s books is what I’m curently exploring.

    • itwasjudith says:

      I once was reading a book based (sadly) on a true story of a serial killer: Zodiac. Quite mind twisting, and they never got him… Medical & crime stories seem to have become popular, since there have been a few good tv series..
      Thanks for your kind words and moral support 🙂 It’s slowly getting better, and I found the energy to write some posts!
      I’m now working on a lace scarf that will possibly take me ages to complete, but, hey, autumn is not yet here 😉

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