Thankfully the sun was shining, already brightening my mood for the day and I had just started a new book on recommendation by Eileen who I can always rely on when it comes to good reads. It was one that she had found in a charity shop which is where she finds a lot of her suggestions if they don’t come from the book club that she irregularly attends and it was by an author that she loves which is usually how she picks out the good ones. She is a very loyal reader and once she finds an author that she likes she reads every book written by them until the list has been completely exhausted.
This one was complex from the start and had me gripped instantly. I love books that have that effect and I knew that I wouldn’t be able to put it down until my eyes began to droop with tiredness later that evening. The protagonist had experienced a death of someone close to her, a relative I felt, though it wasn’t clear who had died. She was sorting through the will while trying to sort out the house with a useless brother and intrusive friends to make matters worse. Three chapters in, she had discovered so much about her life that she never knew, and each chapter ended on a cliff-hanger forcing my addiction to the story line to continue.
I was so engrossed in the novel that I hadn’t noticed Jack set up his chair beside me with his iPad and headphones in. He must be playing a game, I thought to myself, but didn’t start to ask him because we were both content in our own worlds but sharing a happy space in our garden, together.
The sky looked like one in a perfect world, clear blue with just a few fluffy white clouds dotted about, perfectly shaped. The breeze came at intervals that provided just enough cool air but never too much that we had to get jackets on, and the warmth continued to make our skin smile. The birds seemed to be enjoying themselves with subtle sounds coming from the trees but apart from that everything was still.
The first smells of freshly mowed lawn came over the fence as our neighbours started to perform their initial garden tidy up of the year and the sounds of the lawnmower and laughter from their children hinted strongly that summer was well on its way. As I started to think that the length of the last warm period on my skin was considerably longer than the last, I looked up to see that most of the clouds had vanished and the sun shone down on its own.
‘Here, you two. Put some cream on,’ Eileen shouted from the kitchen, a tea towel in her hand and clearly emptying the dishwasher while listening to Randy Travis on the stereo.
I had attempted to introduce her into the world of Spotify, claiming that it would save her a lot of money, time and space on her shelves, but she disregarded my efforts and instead wanted to keep her old habits alive.
I lay in silence beside my brother reading my book and my attention only became slightly interrupted when passers by walking their dogs and their children were in loud conversation that interested my brain. The topics were never that interesting at all and they were talking about people I didn’t know but I felt it was natural for a girls brain to focus on any form of gossip, whether it involved me or not.