Thursday, 31 March 2011
Monday, 28 March 2011
Do you have any pretty views of blossom near you?
Friday, 25 March 2011
'Yes,' he replied, 'absolutely sans mademoiselle; for I am to take mademoiselle to the moon, and there I shall seek a cave in one of the white valleys among the volcano-tops, and mademoiselle shall live with me there, and only me.
'She shall have nothing to eat: you will starve her,' observed Adele.
'I shall gather manna for her morning and night: the plains and hillsides in the moon are bleached with manna, Adele.'
'She will want to warm herself: what shall she do for fire?'
'Fire rises out of the lunar mountains: when she is cold I will carry her up to a peak, and lay her down on the edge of a crater.'
'Oh qu'elle y sera mal - peu comfortable! and her clothes, they will wear out: how can she get new ones?'
Mr Rochester professed to be puzzled. 'Hem!' said he. '...How would a white or pink cloud answer for a gown, do you think? And one could cut a pretty enough scarf out of a rainbow.' Charlotte Bronte Jane Eyre
I'm now itching for a re read, before the film comes out in the UK.
Wednesday, 23 March 2011
What I did pick out were the great exclamations made by Mrs Jennings
"Oh! Colonel," said she, with her usual noisy cheerfulness, "I am monstrous glad to see you."
or thoughts by Marianne
'...and she was wildly urgent to be gone."
Their brother Mr John Dashwood
"She has borne it all with the fortitude of an angel!"
Miss Steele, her third 'la!' in one page
"La! if you have not got your best spotted muslin on!"
And then Miss Austen slams in a passage like this....
"We think now" -said Mr. Dashwood, after a short pause, "of Robert's marrying Miss Morton."
Elinor, smiling at the grave and decisive importance of her brother's tome. calmly replied,
"The lady, I suppose, has no choice in the affair."
"Choice! -how do you mean?"-
"I only mean, that I suppose from your manner of speaking, it must be the same to Miss Morton whether she marry Edward or Robert."
And to my twenty first century mind that truly is monstrous.
Monday, 21 March 2011
Vermeer van Delft
Thursday, 17 March 2011
"Cressida Chance, alone in the kitchen, slammed the oven door, filled a kettle and put it on the boiling-plate of the stove, scattered cups and saucers and plates on the big table at one side of the room and fetched bread and butter and homey from the larder."
"The kettle began to sing on the cooker but memory would not be stopped."
"It is my experience,"... "that in the kitchen you make friends; in the drawing-room you make conversation."
it's mary ruffle
"If a kitchen is not homely it has lost its soul!"
Discussing women and cooking
"Hard? No!" he exclaimed brightly. 'It is a question of fashion only! When cooking shall become the fashion, of more effect than a new hat or a new shade of lipstick, then there will not be so many who hate it!'
Monday, 14 March 2011
My first jolt was when house hunting last week. We're thinking are they big enough for us and maybe more if we were to grow as a family? Yet how many people lived in these same terraced houses? How large were the families? How many families - perhaps two to what were then two up two down. When they were built were the property developers aware of the cramped conditions people would endure? If the government had played a more central role would larger houses have been built? Would they have limited the sub letting?
"But, when all is said and done, these reforms could do very little as long as most of the present buildings exist at all, or as long as a family of eight persons can only afford two, or at most three, small rooms to live in. The rent is too dear; the houses are too old or too badly built, or both; the streets are too narrow; the rooms are too small; and there are far too many people to sleep in them."
Many of our blogs, my conversations with friends and family about cooking. I love having the time to sit and read cook books to decide what to cook or bake, yet as Maud Pember Reeves notes
"So much has to be done each day. The Lambeth woman has no joy in cooking for its own sake."
These are the women who enable the Jocelyn Playfairs to write the books we read. These women still have hopes, dreams, intelligence yet no time or space or materials to share them. Our female authors may feel trapped - how more so do these women feel. Can there be differing levels of feeling trapped and if so does it make any difference?
"All these women, with perhaps, the exception of Mrs K., seemed to have lost any spark or humour or desire for different surroundings. The same surroundings with a little more money... and a little less to do, was about the best their imaginations could grasp. Mrs K. liked being read to... It roused her imagination in a way which was astonishing. She questioned, she believed, she accepted."
There is so much to say about this book but I'll finish by saying read it and keep this quote in your mind as you read it.
Friday, 11 March 2011
'First signs of spring. Thaw. The sleepy air smells of buttered pancakes and vodka as at shrovetide. A sleepy, oily sun blinking in the forest, sleepy pines blinking their needles like eyelashes, oily puddles shining at noon. The countryside yawns, stretches turns over and goes back to sleep.' Boris Pasternak Dr. Zhivago
Hope you enjoy the first signs of spring this weekend.
Wednesday, 9 March 2011
"Everyone speaks of the test of war, which takes many different forms. For women there is the test of courage, to go with men into danger, bear hardship and discomfort, to work all days in factories, to be tired and perhaps afraid. But for me I think that to stay at home, to be unnoticed, to do the same things, to be bored, to be tired by work which no one sees, to live in the same way that you have always lived, with only the difference that it is upon you that all the work will now fall, there, I think, is the most severe test of all." Jocelyn Playfair A House in the Country
Tuesday, 8 March 2011
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I'm not cute or built to suit a fashion model's size
But when I start to tell them,
They think I'm telling lies.
It's in the reach of my arms,
the span of my hips,
The stride of my step,
The curl of my lips.
I'm a woman
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,
It's the fire in my eyes,
And the flash of my teeth,
The swing in my waist,
And the joy in my feet.
I'm a woman
It's in the arch of my back,
The sun in my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I'm a woman
Now you understand
Just why my head's not bowed.
I don't shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing
It ought to make you proud.
It's in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
'Cause I'm a woman
jump balloons, wind
Wishing you a phenomenal day x
Friday, 4 March 2011
Last time we saw GreyGran we sat and held her hand for an hour. Each of us with one of our hands in hers, sometimes she stroked our hands, sometimes we stroked hers. Words don't come easily any more so holding hands said more than any words could possibly have said.
"I hold her hand in mine, I hold her heart in mine." Charles Dickens David Copperfield
it's mary ruffle
Yes, as we held each other's hands. We held each other's hearts too.
Thursday, 3 March 2011
A quotation about how we change through life seems appropriate today.
..."there is no such thing as a coherent human personality. When you are forty you have no cell in your body that you had at eighteen. It was the same, he said, with your character. Memory is the only thing that binds you to earlier selves; for the rest, you become an entirely different being every decade or so, sloughing off the old persona, renewing and moving on. You are not who you were, he told her, nor who you will be." Sebastian Faulks Charlotte Gray
we heart it
Happy Birthday Henry x