Waking up the neighbourhood

by missmaudy


Since December, I’ve been walking the Hound of the Baskervilles every morning – we’ve worked out about five different routes so that we don’t get bored, but the end result is a roughly twenty minute walk in the general vicinity of our house. What I’ve been astonished by is the sheer number (and volume) of dogs in the neighbourhood – ok, we see three or four walking most days, depending which way we go. There’s a couple we avoid, and a couple who avoid us (like the poor doggie that found itself with the Hound standing on its head. Actually, the Hound was fairly surprised to discover herself standing on the head of another dog) But the rest of them are amorphous barking machines that carry on like a proverbial pork chop behind their fences and front doors. We’re home by 7am each morning leaving a trail of barking mad barkers in our wake. The neighbours must love it.

I’ve been reading, too. YAY, Finished the Codex Alera – I knocked over the last three volumes in short order. Won’t go into too much detail, because I did that last time, and hey, it’s more of the same. One thing I will say is that reading Game of Thrones certainly gives one the stamina to read 1,400 pages of swords and sorcery in relatively quick order. In fact, by my calculations, I whizzed through the final three books in three weeks! This is quite good really, considering my reading funk; and means I’ve read maybe eight books this year (surely I’ve read more than that? Maybe not. It appears I have in fact read nine books in about 14 weeks. Hmmm, might hit 30 books at this rate.)

On the plus side, my reading mojo seems to have re-entered the building, with one or two exceedingly late nights caused by reading til midnight because I was caught up in the story, and actually taking time on the weekend to sit on the couch with my book for half an hour to read. HOWEVER, if someone can explain to me why crises occur the minute I sit down to read, and the world will in fact cease to orbit around the sun if I don’t immediately get up and deal with it… This never happens when I am sorting laundry. Ever. But I’m taking the time to read and I am moving through some books. I’m mid way through book ten – which doesn’t involve swords, or sorcery, however there are a number of guns and a hammer and a reasonable amount of gratuitous violence. Not so much of the kissing though, which is perfectly fine with me.

And I’ve been looking for books – not so much for me (aside from cookbooks – I’m always looking at cookbooks), but for Chaos, who is at an Awkward Age. His reading age is about three or four years older than his chronological age, and the books that are suited to 11 year old boys – well, that’s $20 gone on two hours. Not an effective use of time or money. OK, effective use of time, maybe, just not exactly what you’d be calling value for money. So, I get something that’s a challenge for him and he’s all “muuuuuuuum, there’s too much KISSING”. Or it’s too gloomy and depressing. No wonder boys are reluctant  readers! He’s reading Divergent at the moment, and is finding it ok for school, but a bit brutal for before bed reading. This is odd because he loved and devoured the Hunger Games trilogy and I couldn’t read it, because I found it all too violent. Maybe the violence in Divergent is realer (or more real, even/ Realistic? Imaginable? Foreseeable?) Anyway, while he likes it, he’s disturbed by it.

(I ended up having a chat to him about it on the way home tonight, actually (totally taking advantage of my son going through a particularly lovely phase and conversing with me about all and sundry completely voluntarily because I know these days are numbered, and when he becomes a teenager, he’ll stop talking to me) and he said that when he was reading the Hunger Games, he felt like the audience, and with Divergent, he feels like an actor, and he’s right inside the book – which is why he doesn’t like reading it before bed.

He’s a clever boy.