Friday, 30 September 2011

The Month of September

Started with a gentle introduction back into school.
A Friday mooch around Borough Market.
Taking The Blessings out for the day to a Kentish Country Fair.
Discovering The Painted Lady for nails. I shall return. They're small, they're friendly, they have a good selection of OPI and Essie and they offer you wine on a Friday night.
A wonderful wonderful evening at Any Other Party. All the women there were so warm, fun and thoughtful.
My mother arrived with boxes of letters from the past for me to sort through and store now we're somewhere larger. What to keep? What to throw?
A first, and by no means last visit to Eltham Palace. This was for an Art Deco fair. Oh I should have bought the beautiful wooden bookcase...
Celebrating a friend's 40th at Gauthier in a private dining room. The company was as gorgeous as our surroundings.
Buying furniture - quite a bit of it.
You've read about it before - meeting up with my old colleagues at The Electric for Porn Star Martinis. These meet ups are so precious. We've all gone our separate ways. But there is a tie that I don't think anything can break.
Drinks at Electricity Showrooms in Hoxton. How strange that over ten years ago I looked at a flat in this area, how would life have been different if I'd chosen that path?
Meeting up with dear friends to supposedly watch Spinal Tap. I've still to see it all the way through but it was great fun to meet up.
Trying to fit too much into one day. Ordering a carpet, visiting an open studio in New Cross to buy a painting and then back in time for a friend to come to lunch. Such glorious weather we sat sipping our gin and tonics outside.

Baking - lots of apple dishes from our apple tree. Apple and almond pudding, apple crumble. Salted caramel macarons - they tasted wonderful but they would have been marched off GBBO on looks. A Lemon Drizzle cake with an extra spoonful or two or lemon curd woven through it. A delicious Nigella Onion Supper Pie - devoured in front of GBBO. Finally bought the new Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days. Now what to bake?

Finished Persuasion. But you already knew that. South Riding by Winifred Holtby. It started off being interesting read a novel where the author has such hopes for the role of the local authority to change lives when we're in the midst of such local authority cutbacks. And then it became truly emotional and absorbing.

And just for the record on the 30th September I wore white linen shorts, a t-shirt and sandals to work!

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Purple Evenings

..."a month of vintage September weather; travelling in easy stages through autumnal landscapes which seemed to be moistly wrapped in fruit-skins....There were purple evenings, juicy as grapes, the thin moon cutting a cloud like a knife..." Laurie Lee As I walked out one midsummer morning

Ours has most definately been a vintage September. The first in our new home, enjoying the apples from our tree. Even managing to sit outside some days.

How has your September been?

Monday, 26 September 2011

Later Love

And the final passage linking my thoughts to Persuasion. As Anne and Wentworth walk together ' There they returned again into the past, more exquisitely happy, perhaps, in their re-union, than when it had been first projected; more tender, more tried, more fixed in a knowledge of each other's character, truth, and attachment;' Jane Austen Persuasion

Reminds me of this passage. I may wish I'd met Warmth earlier but this reminds me of all the additional thoughts and experiences we bring to our relationship.

'How is it that poets have said so many fine things about our first love, so few about our later love? Are their first poems their best? Or are not those the best which come from fuller thought, their larger experience, their deeper-rooted affections?' George Eliot Adam Bede

As you know I have so enjoyed this Persuasion read along. Reading by myself and then reading all your thoughts. Thank you Rachel for initiating and organising this event. What was your favourite part of the readalong?


Friday, 23 September 2011

Princes Welcome

This passage reminds me of Anne at the concert, trying to catch Wentworth's eyes, annoyed at having to speak to Elliot and then the next day when she is overheard by Wentworth speaking to Captain Harville and he writes that letter.

'You've got to be responsible for your own happiness - you can't expect it to come flopping through the door like a parcel... People sit at home thinking Some Day My Prince Will Come. But that's no good unless you've got a sign up saying 'Princes Welcome'. Julian Barnes Talking it Over

And it works both ways in having a sign 'Princesses Welcome'
'for now I could at least put myself in the way of happiness... I could do something.' Jane Austen Persuasion

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Polite and Cheery

Oh Anne and all the time she spends with her sister Mary, the lovely Mrs Smith. Surely she must have thought this sometimes? I know I did.

'I help little old ladies across the road. I'm polite and cheery... I don't leave litter. I give to charities. I don't lay music too loud. When mail is misdelivered, I promptly repost it... When I'm tired of clothes I take them clean and neatly folded to a charity shop... I give blood... I eat carefully... I'm told I'm attractive. I'm told I'm good company. I don't want to be rich. I don't want to be famous. I don't want to rule the country. I'm twenty-six and all I want, please is someone I can love.' Tibor Fischer The Collector Collector


Tuesday, 20 September 2011

You pierce my soul

Whilst rereading Persuasion I was reminded of favourite quotes from other books about waiting for love to arrive. Here follows a week of passages prompted by Persuasion. I've already posted some over the time of this blog. They're in the 'Threads of Thinking' cloud under 'desiring love', 'waiting' or 'painful love' if you were interested in reading more.

Monday, 19 September 2011

A Response to Persuasion

Rachel suggested a read along of Persuasion. After having read the final word I felt compelled to write her a letter, and I shall use this as my first post, of possibly many, regarding Persuasion.

Dear Dear Rachel,

Oh thank you for suggesting a Persuasion read along. I've just finished it and felt compelled to write my thoughts down in a letter to you. I write this on the train to work on my first morning of term at 7.30am.
Persuasion has thrilled, delighted, touched, inspired and moved me. This read along will stay with me forever. I didn't want the story to end. I wanted it to all be about Anne and Wentworth and became impatient to return to their story.
I first read Persuasion as a gift from Warmth, within the first year of being together. I think I must have been so caught up with being in a strong relationship that I missed so much of the story and emotions.
Now I read. I remember. I reflect. I am so pleased to have fallen in love with Anne and Wentworth now. Whilst waiting for my ship to sail in, in the middle of 'a little fever of admiration', with a troubled heart, I would have read and re read . Whilst waiting for the 'phone to ring or when it was dawning that another small relationship coming to an end. "Should I have been different? If I had changed my ways would the 'we' of that moment succeeded?" Maybe Anne would have encouraged me to not doubt being the constant 'me' that makes up Rachel.
Jane Austen writes so knowingly about the thrill and turmoil of attraction. Yes it is like 'a thousand feelings rushed on Anne.' Reflections on having met up with a previous boyfriend ring true 'she smiled over the many anxious feelings she had wasted on the subject.' When Mr Elliott notices Anne as she's out walking, and how Wentworth notices Anne is noticed and Anne notices Wentworth notices she's noticed. The cheeky joy and expectation that such occasions would bring.
The sensation when you can sense that something is changing, perhaps the attraction is mutual? 'All the over-powering, blinding, bewildering, first effects of strong surprise were over with her. Still, however, she had enough to feel! It was agitation, pain, pleasure, a something between delight and misery.'
Reading about the concert in the octogon room was also delight and misery for me. The guilt of rearranging meeting a dear friend for the hope of meeting that someone. Oh how well I recognised trying to catch a glimmer of a glance 'It seemed as if she had been one moment too late; and as long as she dared observe, he did not look again.' Or the anxiety of being seen speaking to someone else.
Oh That Letter that leads to these final emotions.

'and grew steadfast and fearless, in the thankfulness of her enjoyment... and always the knowledge of his being there!'

So now, just incase you hadn't guessed, if asked for my favourite Austen I shall now whole heartedly, with immense pride and without any persuasion say 'Yes - Persuasion.'

Thank you. I spend today in the glow of Anne and Wentworth thanking God for Warmth and praying for your Wentworth.

With love to you,

Rachel Anne (yes I share her middle name.)

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Quiet Days

September 15th. - This is the month of quiet days, crimson creepers, and blackberries; of mellow afternoons in the ripening garden; of tea under acacias instead of too shady beeches; of wood fires in the library in chilly evenings. Elizabeth von Arnim Elizabeth and her German Garden

How will you be spending these September days and evenings?

Monday, 12 September 2011

A Spotless Abode

Warmth and I have lived in small flats before. He is much tidier than me. I'm quite happy with piles. I'd smiled when I read this passage during Persephone Reading Weekend and now as we find the path of decor styles and levels of tidiness it chimes true.

This comes in Round about a Pound a week under the chapter 'People'

It is a fact that a woman the law of whose being is cleanliness and order at all costs may, to a slovenly man, make a most tiresome wife. Her little home may be shining and spotless... at the cost of her vitality and temper.
But a steady woman who is not as tidy as her husband might wish her has many ways of producing a semblance of order which makes for peace.... better for the man's sake, the children's sake, and the woman's sake, a dingy room where peace and quiet are than a spotless abode where no love is.'
Maud Pember Reeves


How does it work itself out in your abode?

Friday, 9 September 2011

Charming Little Notes

We've been left a beautiful very old stamp with our address on, it looks a little like letterpress when used. I spent a delightful few afternoons using it to make our change of address cards. Scribbling small messages, or for friends far away writing letters to enclose in them. So when I read this it made me smile.

"My dear little Jane, everyone is born with a vocation, and yours is to write charming little notes." Mary Ann shaffer & Annie Barrows The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

Having lived in a flat for all my London years I'd forgotten how exciting I find the thud of letters through the letter box... It's bringing back memories of Twin and I racing for the
front door as soon as we saw and heard the post van turn up.

Have you received any charming little notes recently?

little notes

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Late Summer Rain

I really enjoy reading short stories on holiday. Not normally a 'more than one book on the go at a time' woman short stories give a break from the main book, a change when able to read for extended leisurely periods of time. I remember reading Katherine Mansfield at school and have wanted to read more of her. A beautiful birthday gift meant here was my opportunity.

There were some days like this..
'It had been raining all the morning, later summer rain, warm, heavy, quick, and now the sky was clear, except for a long tail of little clouds, like ducklings, sailing over the forest.' Mr & Mrs Dove (in Something childish but very natural by Katherine Mansfield

Monday, 5 September 2011

Not the first woman

As I didn't post last month I thought this week would be a catch up of a quote from each of the books read in August. It took a long time, partly through the break of Paris in July but I finally finished it.

'She was not the first woman, nor the last, to resent watching men with considerably less talent than herself enjoy far greater and challenging opportunities.' Amanda Foreman Georgiana Duchess of Devonshire.

Friday, 2 September 2011

and a chaise longue

Our new house started to feel like home as soon as we unpacked the boxes of books. They are in no particular order, and we already need more book space.

'Thus: of windows, there were two. Both of them faced south, and were high off the floor... Between the two windows was a fourth shelf - the shelf for English and French books. Against the left-hand window was an office-type desk, flanked by a small table for the portable typewriter on one side, and on the other by a fifth bookshelf, this one for Italian literature, classic and modern, and for translations: mainly from Russian - Pushkin, Gogol, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Chekov. On the floor, a large Persian carpet, and at the centre of the room, which was long but rather narrow, three armchairs and a chaise longue to stretch out on while reading.'The Garden of the Finzi-Continis Giorgio Bassani

Hope you get a moment to laze and read this weekend.