We have a seasonal lake at the other end of the village and it’s been dry for months – in fact it’s been so dry that I’m not sure how the toads, who migrate in huge numbers to breed there, managed this spring. This week, though, after days of non-stop rain, it was in danger of flowing over the road and into the fields opposite. This doesn’t usually happen until February. The clocks have been put back, Hallowe’en and November 5th has been enjoyed (somewhat damply) and the long, lingering summer is, it seems, finally over.
But even as the dark, cold nights close in, I have my first primrose in flower. Don’t they know they’re not supposed show themselves until March? Just wait until I move them out of their cosy pots and into the open ground; then they’ll be sorry!
Catching up with Bookworm on the Net this week, I was reminded of author Pamela Frankau, whose theatre-based books I greatly enjoyed back in the 60s. She also wrote a memoir entitled "Pen to Paper" – no longer in print -- which was the first book I read in which a writer described “the process” of writing. There were no “how-to” books available back then and I devoured it, borrowing it from the library many times. PF was republished by Virago back in the 80s, but she seems to have slipped below the radar again. It may be that she wouldn’t appeal to the generation that took Bridget Jones to their bosom, but her characters linger in the memory, along with those of Monica Dickens and Daphne du Maurier, (pictured right) who I first read at about the same time. Of the three, only du Maurier remains popular but that, I suspect, is because so many of her books and short stories have been filmed.
As an experiment this month, I’m going to phone in a list of titles at my local bookstore, rather than taking the easier option of ordering in from Amazon, or the “treat” of driving fifteen miles to browse at my nearest “chain”. The local shop is very small and doesn’t stock Mills & Boon; I’ll be interested to see if they can obtain single copies of the books I want to buy.
Top of the book shopping list this month, is "In the Arms of the Sheikh" the latest from Sophie Weston It’s been a while since there’s been a new Sophie Weston and you’ll find not only an excerpt on her website, but the story of her struggle with this particular book.
Finally, from the Oxford “Love Quotations”,
“…love is like a precious plant …you’ve got to keep watering it…” (John Lennon)