June 27th, 2006


Summer: for or against?

I'm still reading back to back O Douglas but only in bed, which makes it slow going. The current effort, Jane's Parlour, I'm getting on with less well than the others. It deals with a more upper class set and the main character is a woman who has five children yet whose sole domestic chore is to speak to Cook in the morning. She is praised for not finding her quiet life boring but when you read a description of a typical well-filled day (author's view), it sounds like a holiday.

I would guess that every one of O Douglas's books contains at least six references to 'a good fire'. Also, many of her characters express a preference for autumn and winter over summer. Surprising, you may think, when they live in Scotland. I do understand this though, as autumn is my favourite season. When other people are sunk in gloom at the end of summer, I get a perked up, everything-starting-again feeling. There's many good things about summer: Test cricket, Wimbledon and going out first thing in the morning to pick a pound of strawberries, some lettuce and a bunch of sweet peas to name just a few. The garden is starting to get a heavy, July-ish look about it which means it will soon be time to read Emma again. I don't know why, I just always do reread it at this time of year.

Here's a rather dark little picture of me picking strawberries.

Unrecognisable, heh, heh. Of course, if I'd known I was going to have my photo taken, I would have put on a big shady hat, carried a trug and done some flower snipping; 'a nice, ladylike occupation'.