Sunday, June 13, 2010

Strawberries, maps and history jigsaw.

Back to a normal service, except to say thank you so much for all your kind comments.

I expect some people will have noticed how erratic 3BT has been over the last few months. I didn't know about first trimester fatigue, and it came as a shock to find I couldn't get out of bed in the morning, that I'd need a kip in the afternoon, followed by an early night. I'm feeling tonnes better now, though, and I'm expecting to get back to early morning posting from now on.

It feels much better now I can talk about the baby. I felt dishonest some days because I was listing four, five and six, rather than one, two and three. But Nick and I agreed that we didn't want to announce it too soon, in case we ended up having to un-tell..

1. Wild strawberries grow in the concrete planters outside The British Library.

2. We go up to London to see an exhibition of maps at the British Library. One of my favourites was Fra Mauro's World Map with its swirling royal blue seas and intricate accounts of each city.

3. I am reading Rubicon by Tom Holland. It's a history of the last decades of the Roman Republic. I learnt about this period for A Levels and at university; but I never felt really confident clambering around in the entire story. Narrative history was very much out of favour at the time, so we zoomed in on particular people and incidents -- wicked old Catiline who won popular favour with his promises to cancel all debts; and Clodius the incestuous playboy who seemed intent on turning the establishment on its head; and his sister Clodia, who is believed to be the lady who caused so much pain to the poet Catullus; While reading Holland's book, I've had so many 'Oooohhh!' moments, where jigsaw fragments joined up, and ideas fell into place.