June End Notes

And just like that, 6 months of 2022 are over! I am quite undecided if I like the fact that I am moving forward in time or I regret the passing of time. The pre 2021 me, would have loved the fact that Summers were finally receding and soon Autumn will be here. The post 2021 me also is really excited about Autumn and Winters as always; but since being diagnosed with Cancer, I know that every additional day, a day when I am healthy , as in not Cancer sick, is a gift. And I want to hold this time in my hand and stretch it out as long as possible, because I still have so much to do and so many things to experience and I want to do it all.

Speaking of doing it all, June was a tad bit more managed despite 2 solid weeks of being Chemo sick. I got a lot more done – read more, wrote more and worked on Insta page a lot more. Also managed to socialize and get a huge work project off the ground. Getting things done has always been a thing with me and with all the sickness and low energy that comes from all the funky medicines, I feel especially chuffed for the months, when I am able to get more than my new usual done!

I completed 4 books in June and started off on a few others which I hope to complete in July. My TBR lists keeps growing, but that’s not new and let’s be honest – there is something infinitely joyous in speculating about what book to read next. It’s like being served all the best desserts in a platter and then you pick and choose per your mood and taste! Absolute bonanza!

Reading in June was very rewarding! Re-reading The Book Thief is always such a perfect joy! I really enjoyed the very cleverly crafted murder mystery of The Appeal. And non fiction reading for the the month was beyond brilliant with the travel memoirs of Dervla Murphy and her daughter spending the Winter of 1972 in the desolate mountains deserts of Baltistan in Himalayas. The Scared Geography was a very well written scholarly book on Hindu mythology and the history and culture of pilgrimage of India and how this forms the core identity of India, well before British imposed a western concept. The reading good fortune continues early in July and am in-between several good books with a few more planned over the next few weeks!

June was a also a month of a LOT of socializing. There were book buying expeditions, birthdays of friends and then I was very fortunate to be invited for a book launch of an author, who has since become a friend and whose book I reviewed in my last post.

June was primarily very very hot (it is every year but this was exceptionally so) but I survived thanks to a drink called Aam Panna. Its a cooling drink made out of raw mangoes that are roasted and then the pulp mixed with water and spices. My sister and aunt also cooked a lot of typical Bengali delicacies over the month. My sister cooked what is called Dry mutton and my aunt cooked Egg Devils, which are very different from the Scottish version and made out of eggs and potatoes stuffing and deep fried. ( Yes, once in a while its ok! ) So the eating this month was especially GOOD!

The month was busy and there was of course constant illness to deal with; but despite all the sickness and all the petty annoyances as I near my 1 year anniversary since the diagnosis and surgery, I can say from the very bottom of my heart, that I am supremely grateful to have made it here! And I leave you with these July thoughts –

This is the place that I love the best,
A little brown house, like a ground-bird's nest,
Hid among grasses, and vines, and trees,
Summer retreat of the birds and bees.

The tenderest light that ever was seen
Sifts through the vine-made window screen--
Sifts and quivers, and flits and falls
On home-made carpets and gray-hung walls.

All through June the west wind free
The breath of clover brings to me.
All through the languid July day
I catch the scent of new-mown hay.

The morning-glories and scarlet vine
Over the doorway twist and twine;
And every day, when the house is still,
The humming-bird comes to the window-sill.

In the cunningest chamber under the sun
I sink to sleep when the day is done;
And am waked at morn, in my snow-white bed,
By a singing bird on the roof o'erhead.

Better than treasures brought from Rome,
Are the living pictures I see at home--
My aged father, with frosted hair,
And mother's face, like a painting rare.

Far from the city's dust and heat,
I get but sounds and odors sweet.
Who can wonder I love to stay,
Week after week, here hidden away,
In this sly nook that I love the best--
This little brown house like a ground-bird's nest?

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

9 thoughts on “June End Notes

  1. June seems to have been a very busy and productive month for you, although I’m sorry to hear about your two weeks of sickness. I’m glad you enjoyed The Appeal – I loved Janice Hallett’s other book, The Twyford Code, so I’m looking forward to reading that one.

  2. Oh aam panna sounds wonderful! Love all the photos and your smiles! you’ve made it through a really hard year and still manage to do so much. I hope as time goes on, the sickness from chemo and the other medicines lessons.

  3. I cannot believe it is a year already! Your courage and posiitvity continues to inspire the rest of us.

    I have the same copy of the Saki short stories to look forward to one day. I loved The Book Thief so much when I first read it 20-odd years ago, I’m scared to reread it in case it doesn’t live up to my memory…although you seem to be saying that it will and it does!

    1. Thank You so much for the kind words and for always cheering me on! I love Saki ….he is my favourite short story author and his books have been oxygen when down and out since I was 15. Book Thief was good again, but I totally get you ….some reads we do not want to tamper with too much!

  4. I am so glad you’re healthy as well and I’m happy to see you enjoying life! I’ve had a few days away that were marvellous despite the rather wet and coolish summer that we are having. I was able to go kayaking and play some golf. Weeee!!

    Any time you want to share recipes, please feel free! 😉

    And books ….?? You are branching out in all directions. I’m still reading classics although probably ones which are not as taxing on the brain. I’m not sure I like it but that’s what’s happening.

    Take care, my friend!!

    1. You are having an adventurous summer !! You go Cleo….live it up!! Yes I am trying to read whatever I can hold my interest and concentration….brain fog is very much an issue. Reading not too taxing books is a very good idea!

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