… after a couple of days away from home and the computer …
A is for ANNA KATHERINE GREEN. The Leavenworth Case was my spin book for the Classics Club. I read it on the train, I liked it, and now I have to gather my thoughts so that I can write about it.
B is for BRIAR, who isn’t used to me going away, and I’m not used to leaving her, but she was very good and she very well looked after. And now she thinks she has to have extra playtime to catch up …C is for CARDIFF. I didn’t see much of it because I arrived after dark, went to a course the next day, and then I just had an hour or so to look around before my train home. But what I saw I liked.
D is for DICKENS – Monica Dickens. There’s something about the writing – clarity, empathy, and something else that I can’t quite put my finger on – that I love, and I read Mariana on the train too.
E is for ELIZABETH BOWEN. A little Penguin edition of her wartime short stories was the last book into my bag before I went away. I read a couple and I plan to read them all very soon.
F is for FINISHING LEONORA. I have too many knitting projects on the go, so I plan to finish mysecond sleeve and sew up Leonora, and then sew up another sweater that has been sitting around for ages before I start anything else. I really don’t like sewing up, but it has to be done!
G is for GREAT EXPECTATIONS. I thought I should re-read before I read Ronald Frame’s take on Miss Havisham. I did, and I loved it.
H is for HAVISHAM. I’m wary of prequels, sequels, and different spins on classic novels, but I wouldn’t resist the chance of meeting the young Catherine Havisham. And I’m pleased to be able to say the Ronald Frame got it just about right.
I is for IONA. This painting reminded me how much I would love to go back there one day.
J is for JULIA STONE and a very different take on this song in particular.
K is for THE KNITTER. Issue 55, which I picked up last week, has as many patterns I really want to knit as any knitting magazine ever.
L is for LYNDON WILDER. The Death of Lyndon Wilder and the Consequences Thereof by E A Dinely, is a lovely story of a governess in a country house, and I read it from cover to cover on the train coming home.
M is for MARAZION MARSHES. The Persephone Post has done a wonderful job, celebrating the work of Harold Harvey but I haven’t spotted this painting yet.
N is for NEW BOOKS. I only get to a branch of Waterstones once or twice a year, I knew I had a little time in between my course and my train home, and so I allowed myself a certain budget. I came out with two books by Stella Gibbons, two by Angela Thirkell, and two by W Somerset Maugham. I should have resisted the Thirkells, because I already have old Penguin editions, but the new VMCs were too lovely to resist.
O is for OPEN A BOOK THIS MINUTE and start reading. Don’t move until you’ve reached page fifty. Until you’ve buried your thoughts in print. Cover yourself with words. Wash yourself away. Dissolve… A quote from The Republic of Love by Carol Shields, which has been on the dining table waiting for me for a while now.
P is for PEBMARSH. When I read The Mystery of Miss Pebmarsh, one of the stories in Baroness Orczy’s the Old Man in the Corner, the name seemed terribly familiar. I realised that, years later, Agatha Christie used exactly the same name in The Clocks. And I wondered if maybe she had met The Man in the Corner too.
Q is for A QUIET LIFE by Beryl Bainbridge. It joins the Virago Modern Classics list next month, and now I’ve read it I have to say that it will sit there very nicely.
R is for REAL TIME INFORMATION. If you’re an accountant or a payroll person you’ll understand – and if you’re not you really don’t want to know!
S if for SARAH LOSH, who I knew nothing about before I read The Pinecone by Jenny Uglow, but now she is my heroine. I haven’t organised my thoughts yet, but Audrey can explain.
T is for TRAIN TRAVEL. I hadn’t been on a long train journey for ages, and it was lovely to have so much undisturbed reading time, to see the sea at Dawlish again, and to enjoy following a familiar route back home.
U is for UNDRENTIDE by the Mediaeval Baebes. The story and the song …
V is for VANITY FAIR. It was too big to take on the train, but I’m back with the readalong now.
W is for WINTERBLOOM by Martin Storey, on the cover of this months edition of the Knitter might just be the one to make me break my yarn diet.
X is for THE XX. This was filmed in just yards from where I am now.
Y is for THE YOUNG ARDIZZONE, still sitting in my library pile. I want to read it, but I know that when I finish I’ll have no excuse for not taking it back to the library.
Z is for ZZZZZZZ. Briar is sound asleep on her chair in the bay window …