We had a lovely weekend in Cornwall, were extremely lucky with the weather, and even more lucky with the view from our hotel room (as one of my friends put it earlier, definitely a room with a view).
So that is why I probably didn't do as much reading as I would like - I was too busy staring out of the window watching the surfers. I did read my final Persephone of the week, The young pretenders by Edith Fowler. I quite enjoyed it. The preface was particularly interesting as it talked about the need for children's books to appeal to the adults who are reading them to the children; this book was certainly not an obviously child-centred book. It made me think about the sorts of books that my parents used to read with me, and certainly the ones that we enjoyed most were the ones with more adult content. The best bit about The young pretenders was the author's ability to convey the children's dialogue.
I also read The whole day through, by Patrick Gale, which was faintly enjoyable, but by no means as good as Pictures at an exhibition or The facts or life. I find Patrick Gale's books very variable - some of them are very gripping, but others just fail to inspire me. The concept of the book was clever, telling the story through the framework of a day - each of the chapter headings was a meal or drink - but I didn't find it one of his better titles.
I did have two book indiscretions over the weekend: essential Cornish reading.
The first is absolutely vital in order to answer the daily question of whether the tide is going in or out, and when it is low tide and when it is high tide. £1.30 bargain!
The second I saw in the window of the bookshop and thought looked rather fun. In actual fact it was slightly disappointing as it didn't cover any of the phrases that I'd most like to know how to say in Cornwall, such as "I'd like a flake in my ice cream" or "I think the pink surfboard is nicer than the red one" or "That seagull has eaten my pasty". Most disappointingly I didn't even find out how to say "I love you" to my boyfriend in Cornish, so if anyone can enlighten me, I would be very grateful. But I shall work on my Cornish and maybe when we go back in 8 weeks time I will be able to speak cryptically to my boyfriend!
In fact I would have bought more books - I saw a lovely book called Kilvert's Cornish Diary about an excursion around Cornwall in the 1870s, and I saw a lovely book about Daphne Du Maurier's books (of which I can't now remember the title) which was beautifully illustrated. Unfortunately my boyfriend forgot to get cash out before leaving, so I gave him ALL mine, and never got it back. The bookshop only took cash, and the cashpoint charged £1.60 for withdrawals... :( I did pick up a lovely book about Cornwall, which was recommended by The Rough Guide to Cornwall, from the library at lunchtime - it's intriguingly entitled "We bought an island".
I might have a look at that tonight for happy holiday memories, but I'm more likely to start on the sequel to the sequel of Miss Buncle's book which is called The two Mrs Abbotts. A post on that will follow no doubt!
Gold of the Great Steppe at the Fitzwilliam Museum
11 hours ago