Wednesday, 30 November 2011

The Month of November

It started with The Ofsted Telephone Call. So the first week was lost with school.
As a Friday end of Ofsted treat I bought this lovely perfume bottle. Mooched in Selfridges and then met a friend for supper at The Waterloo Bar and Kitchen.
Saturday a day of epic sleeping. Sunday a gentle mooch around Greenwich.
Thankfully we had a day off for Eid on the Monday. Meeting a dear friend for lunch at Peter Jones. I'd quite like to work a four day week.
Meeting my dear dear old colleagues at Royal Festival Hall Bar for drinks and more importantly catch up and friendship.
Supper with Warmth's old school friends at Browns.
A day trip to Margate to visit Turner Contemporary. Lunch in the cafe. Stunning sea views. A mooch around old town in the shops and then tea and teacakes at The MadHatters Tea Place. It was truly mad.
Book Club meet and discuss of Snowdrops and the chance to walk and admire Fortnum & Mason Christmas windows.
A coffee meet at The Albion with Anna. It turned into a little bit of a Carol Ann Duffy appreciation society.
Purchasing a new beret and scarf. Both grey with tiny flecks of silver in them. My take on the glitter theme this season.
A Friday evening shop in Liberty's and Paperchase - getting our Christmas card pieces together for a weekend of making.
An evening with Warmth's eldest brother and wife. Wandering the streets of Hither Green for Lee Open Studio. How lovely to mooch knowing that if we had seen something we do have a litttle 'need' to buy. Alas all our favourite prints and paintings had already been sold. The evening finished with a warming curry.
Starting to find a church to call home in our new area.
An afternoon wrapping up the garden for winter.
Meeting a dear friend for an early supper along Bermondsey Street and eating at Zucca.
A Friday evening cinema trip to see The Help.
A perfect Saturday. First stop to The Book Club for Patchwork Harmony's Merry Magpie Christmas Boutique. Should have been buying gifts for others. Alas two things for me, a lovely tote and bird trays for my dressing table. Then I hopped on the bus and stopping off at Bea's of Bloomsbury for a coffee before meeting a friend for a trip along Lambs Conduit Street, a pop into Ben Penreath, Something and of course Persephone for Persephone Secret Santa. We had a lovely chat about PSS too. Then finally onto Cockpit Arts where it felt a little like one gift for others, one gift for me. After all that we needed cocktails and food. Hurrah for The Zetter and Morito.
A very festive Sunday. Coffee from a Starbucks red cup, a Pret turkey sandwich, Christmas shopping in John Lewis and then an Advent Carol service.
The month ended with this.
An delicious orange, plum and almond cake from River Cafe made easy. I had said that November was a no entertaining month and it shows in the cooking.
Books read The Ladies of Lyndon by Margaret Kennedy. That's all I've read in November? I am finding it a alow book. Has anyone else read it?
Wow it's been a long month. How was your November?

Monday, 28 November 2011

Tufted Bundles

There's now a small monthly Farmer's Market in where we live. Not quite as amazing as this sounds but still....

'The stalls were piled high with scarlet tomatoes, clear green lettuces, tufted bundles of white whiskered crimson radishes. Sacks of new potatoes squatted low on the cobbles... cottage women offered for sale long sticks of bright pink rhubarb and bunches of forget-me-nots or wallflowers.' Winifred Holtby South Riding


Friday, 25 November 2011

Used to being adored

I'd had The Third Miss Symon's noted down to read for a long time but found The Rector's Daughter first. When reading The Rector's Daughter I loved it and knew I'd found a special book that would stay with me and I should definately like to re read again. Having finished The Third Miss Symon's I'm reflecting on the two stories.

As it's finally going to be the weekend tomorrow and one of the many lovely parts to the weekend is a leisurely breakfast this line seems fun. I hope it brings a smile to your Friday breakfast in the hopeful knowledge of maybe a lie in tomorrow.

'She was as used to being adored as having her breakfast.' F.M. Mayor The Rector's Daughter. 1

(Just in case you haven't read this book this passage doesn't refer to The Rector's Daughter.)
Wishing you a lovely weekend when it arrives.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Wash you ashore

Reflecting on the previous post being a young woman waiting for love and continuing to mull on the emotions and stories remembered through sorting letters from the years. I'm thinking quite a lot about memories.

'He knew that memory was as uncertain in its behaviour as the sea; it could wash you ashore on any old forgotten beach;' Rose Tremain The beauty of the dawn shift in The darkness of Wallis Simpson

Thankfully I've now been washed back to the present shore.


Monday, 21 November 2011

The Magic Season

I finally managed to find a second hand copy of The Third Miss Symon's. There are two pages that a previous reader has turned down. Both of them mention Jane Eyre. (I'm intrigued why?) At the same time I read two really good posts on the Brontes. All this is really making me want to re read it in 2012.

'...Henrietta discovered that heroines after the sixteenth birthday are likely to be pestered with adorers. The heroines, it is true, were exquisitely beautiful, which, Henrietta knew she was not, but from a study of "Jane Eyre" and "Vilette" in the holidays, Charlotte Bronte was forbidden at school owing to an excess of passion, Henrietta realised that the plain may be adored too, so she had a modest hope that when the magic season of young ladyhood arrived, a Prince Charming would come and fall in love with her.' F.M. Mayor The Third Miss Symons

Do the books we read when 'the magic season of young ladyhood arrives' help or hinder us?

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Certain Moments

In amongst all these letters are quotes and poems sent to me, mainly from mum. A quote in a card sent from Twin when nursing a broken heart in 2001.

'For a while she [Mrs Morel] could not control her consciousness; mechanically she went over the last scene, then over it again, certain phrases, certain moments coming each time like a brand red hot down on her soul; and each time she enacted again the past hour, each time the brand came down at the same points, till the mark was burnt in, and the pain burnt in, and at last she came to herself.' D.H. Lawrence Sons and Lovers

Monday, 14 November 2011

A proper letter

Last time I saw mum she raved about this book. She lent me her copy. I loved it so much I now want my own. At the same time mum also made sure all the letters I've been storing at home are now here with us. I am currently trying to go through over 20years of letters. Wish me luck as I try to decide which to throw and which to keep. So, as well as loving this passage it also seemed relevant. Thinking about all the different papers used to write these many letters.

"Nonetheless, as she read them over and over, she forgot for a moment where she was and she could picture her mother in the kitchen taking her Basildon Bond notepad and her envelopes and setting out to write a proper letter with nothing crossed out. Rose, she thought, might have gone into the dining room to write on paper she had taken home from work, using a longer, more elegant white envelope than her mother had. " Colm Toibin Brooklyn

Have you read Brooklyn? If you have what did you feel/think? If you haven't please do and then write about it so I can think about it more.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Seed of goodness

'But for war to be won without a winner, to be lost without a loser, how is this to be understood? How, except it be clearly seen who is the enemy? Who is the worst enemy all men must fight till the victory without a vanquished be won? To ask that little question is to see the answer. The worst enemy every man must fight is himself! ...It comes to a question,'....'of whether there is enough of what we are calling kindness left in the hearts of men to triumph at last and for always over brutality, greed, cruelty. ...And yet in every man is there this seed of goodness, in every man the free will to choose what he will be, what he will do. Not once, but a thousand times win or lose the war against himself.' Jocelyn Playfair A House in the Country


Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Just another Autumn day

We haven't had any poetry for a while, I think we can just about still call it autumn and there's a lot going on in our world so here is

Just another Autumn day by Roger McGough

In Parliament, the Minister
for Mists and Mellow Fruitfulness
announces, that owing to
inflation and rising costs
there will be no Autumn
next year. September, October
and November are to be
cancelled, and the Government
to bring in the nine-month year instead.
Thus we will all live longer.

Emergency measures are to be
introduced to combat outbreaks
of well-being, and feelings
of elation inspired by the season.
Breathtaking sunsets will be
restricted to alternate Fridays
and gentle dusks prohibited.
Fallen leaves will be outlawed
and persons found in possession
of conkers, imprisoned without trial.
Thus we will all work harder.

The announcement caused little reaction.
People either way don't really care
No time have they to stand and stare
Looking for work or slaving away
Just another Autumn day.


How will our world be next autumn?