The birds are busy. Long-tailed tits bob among the coppiced chestnuts, greenfinches fly out of the top of the tulip tree, and by the farm, starlings murmur while pretending to be leaves in the now leafless poplars.
Dutch E's new dog Bram, who looks like he is wearing eye-liner, still barks at Tom when he comes in after our yoga session, but then slips round and licks his hand twice when he thinks no one's noticing, and later on a walk he lies down on the path to have him scratch his ribs. We're having him to stay later this month, so are trying to make friends, but he's easier with women than men.
Listening to Cousin Bette (or 'Cousin Betty' as it's called there) on Librivox. So far: the seedy, exploitative old perfumier, the threadbare curtains, the mention of Rastignac, and the bargain over the yellow cashmere shawl. Librivox is such a worthy idea and potentially great resource, but unfortunately many of the readers are so unskilled as to be almost impossible to listen to. Elizabeth Klett, who does all the Jane Austen canon and many more, is a professional and very good indeed, but sadly she's exceptional. Also, many of the foreign works translated have fairly dismal old versions, since the translation has to be out of copyright as well. The reading of Cousin Betty is OK.