Well done for making it through January! I finished 13 books and, um, acquired 13 more, spending ยฃ59.57 in total. Not increasing my TBR is progress, I guess.

Last week I rounded up February new releases on my radar and shared my review of Adam Roberts’ The This. And I currently have a giveaway running on Twitter:

In the local news Lyndhurst businesses were saying how badly they’d been hit by the A35 being closed, so we thought, what a great time to do the Lyndhurst walk from the book. It was not quiet at all, too busy to stop for lunch, maybe everyone had had the same idea? Once we’d walked a bit away from Bolton’s Bench, the forest paths turned peaceful again. Here is Scully in front of Bolton’s Bench, which is a small hill with ancient yews on top.

Labrador standing in front of hill with clump of trees at top, in sunshine

Further out from Lyndhurst, we stumbled upon a solitary monkey puzzle tree with a plaque. Not on a main path, or near anything you’d walk to see, this was where someone decided to plant a specimen tree to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Okaaaay. 10 years’ on, it’s looking a bit spindly.

Monkey puzzle tree in New Forest

Such a lovely blue sky! It’s a bit sad to see so many contrails back again though. It’s almost like everyone forgot about climate change the moment restrictions ended.

Scully enjoyed her weekend of walkies and a visit to Pet’s Corner, where they bribed her to go past the terrifying freezer. She loves it in there, there’s people to say hi to and they always give her a treat. Scully tried her luck thinking someone choosing pick and mix chews were getting them for her and sat down to beg. Nice try. It worked for her on aย  walk the other day when another Labrador owner gave her a gravy bone, so I can see why she might think all treats are for her.

Labrador in forest on fallen leaves

On a more boring daily walk, some weird fog descended as I went into the meadow and had vanished by the time we’d walked round it. Do I have to worry about ghosts now?

Meadow at sunset with thin layer of fog

One of my Christmas presents was an air-dry clay pottery kit, so we made pots at the weekend. I’ll wait until they’re dried and painted to see if they look like something I want to share with the world! I also played a bit of Evil Genius 2, so not much reading got done.

I did finish How High We Go in the Dark by Sequoia Nagamatsu, a powerful exploration of the ritual of death and grief in the face of a plague unleashed by climate change. I will post my review of this soon, I loved it.

I also finished Dog Rose Dirt by Jen Williams on audio, a story about a woman who discovers her mother had been writing to a serial killer before her suicide. Good pacing and plotting and a relatable main character, with a side helping of gory fairy tales.

New books acquired:

The Lighthouse Witches by C.J. Cooke (ebook)