You know how I was moaning about the weather last week, well I have only gone and summoned summer by buying a hedgehog boot scraper. Though the mud in the woods hasn’t totally dried up yet, so it may get some use.

I feel like I’ve been super busy with work, but I did take the afternoon off on Friday and went strawberry picking. At the weekend we went a walk near Ashurst, where we met a very baby calf who had lost his mum. He’d lied down next to some ponies, and then the ponies suddenly realised he wasn’t one of them and started to shoo him off. So he made a beeline for us, we’re frantically looking round for his mum, thinking she might be angry. Nope nowhere in sight. Fortunately the calf started bleating at us which his mum must have heard because a few minutes later she’s charging towards us and we scuttled off pronto, everyone living happily ever after.

The heather is starting to flower in the New Forest, so it’s looking rather pretty.

And on Sunday we went to the beach, where we entertained another lonely animal. We were throwing the ball in the sea for Scully and another Labrador appeared wanting us to throw the ball for him. He was actually pretty polite for a dog whose owner seemed to take no interest in. He went back and forth between us and a kid who was throwing balls for his own Labrador. The doggo looked so sad when no one would play with him and the owner just didn’t seem to care. If you’re going to get a dog like a Labrador you have to do stuff with them. Sadly I think they’ll be a lot of that from people thinking it was a good idea getting a pet during lockdown without thinking about the long term.

Here’s a photo of Scully, enjoying her Saturday walk, who is capable of getting muddy even on the hottest of days…

Last week I managed to post two reviews, The Rookery by Deborah Hewitt and Ace of Spaces by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé. That means I’ve now reviewed seven of my 20 Books of Summer. I had another five star read in Black Water Sister by Zen Cho, I’m not sure I can put my finger on exactly what I loved about it, I just did.

I also finished listening to The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris which is really hard to talk about without spoilers. What was going on was something that wouldn’t seem out of place in a Black Mirror episode (I’ve seen some people say it has Get Out vibes too). There’s a lot about the day to day of publishing in it, so I feel it’ll be a more popular book among those interested in the industry than the average reader, but it does have plenty of talking points about racism and code switching (that honestly could apply to anyone who doesn’t naturally fit in). Would generate some good discussion at a book club!

A while ago National Book Tokens were offering a free book via their Caboodle platform, and I picked out the Dishoom cookbook since we don’t really a have a good Indian recipe book in our collection. The first meal we made out of it was a biryani and it turned out great first time so I’m looking forward to trying more from it.

New books acquired:

Such a Quiet Place by Megan Miranda (ebook)