Monday, 3 January 2011

On the ninth (and tenth) day of Christmas I was reading...

On the ninth day of Christmas...

My flu was starting to go. Unfortunately K has now come down with a cold (definitely not flu at least), so I started to get extremely bored - partly because I was still not well enough to really do anything, but also because there wasn't anyone to not do anything with! I did some cleaning, I tidied out my cross stitch box, I made soup, I did some washing...and finally I sat down to read.

I started with The mystery of Mrs Blencarrow by Mrs Oliphant, which was my Persephone Secret Santa gift. I quite enjoyed it, although I may not have still had my reading mojo on and it wasn't one of my favourite Persephone books - the story was too obvious and perhaps not well developed enough. It has persuaded me that I really should pick up some of her Chronicles of Carlingford which I have lurking on my Virago Modern Classic pile - they have been languishing because they are so meaty, but I am wondering if she has more success as a saga writer than a novella writer. I think the interesting element of Mrs Blencarrow is not necessarily the plot, or even the domestic settings, but the moral issues which it covers which would have been quite controversial in the Victorian period when it was written (I can't really say more without providing a massive spoiler!) I have yet to see any people blogging about Mrs Blencarrow so I will be interested to see what people say!

I then got out my first VMC of the year, Bid me to live, in order to get on with my first New Year's resolution. I've even blogged about it on my VVV blog!

On the tenth day of Christmas
I had rather run out of Christmas books, so it was back to the TBR pile. I am in the middle of reading Goldengrove unleaving by Jill Paton Walsh which is set in Cornwall and a nice gentle read.

It is the last day of the holidays, so I made myself get up at 8am so that 6.35 am is not TOO much of a shock tomorrow (and yes, I know it will be). I managed to go for a swim, and met up with one of my friends, and that is pretty much it, although I have done a last bit of baking. I am actually quite looking forward to going back to work as the second half of the holidays has been such a disappointment with having been ill. It's going to be a hard term as the Spring term is always our busiest and I will be working Sundays from 16th. But I have lots to look forward to, and we need to get on and plan a break for my birthday!

Here is the baking that I did today, using up a slightly past-it orange, some remnants of coca to make these chocolate hearts sandwiched together with orange buttercream:

And some mincemeat puffs - using my very own danish pastry (more on this later):
I'm just about to go and put a pudding in the oven - it's a cross between eve's pudding, bakewell tart and mince pie with some cranberries thrown in for good measure (again, more on that later too!)

(PS: It was observed that it was a shame that I didn't do a December round up - I want to review my Christmas preparations at some point this week, and I might indeed do a round-up too, although there are two further days of Christmas left to post on!).


  1. Glad to hear you are feeling a bit better.

    And also that someone else sets their alarm the day before they go back to work just so it isn't a shock. Mine was therefore set at 0530 this morning ready in preparation. Not looking forward to it tomorrow I can tell you.

    Having been reading your blog, I am definitely going to look into some Persephone books as they always sound like such good read.

  2. I haven't done a round up either. I have a load of baking pictures to put up. I hope to round up December and the year too, as well as my Christmas reading. Aarggh! What a pants holiday all round.
    I got up at 8am too today, to get us ready for the 6.30am start tomorrow. Ho hum!

  3. Glad your feeling better, my own flu virus has just taken hold unfortunately.
    Bakewell tart deffo, been meaning to make one all week and I'd love to compare recipes.

  4. LE - I've often made bakewell tarts, but this was a bit different - I crossed all of those three recipes I made and came out with a really yummy GF pudding!

    Vivienne - this morning was surprisingly unpainful - I expect it'll hurt tomorrow.

    Jo - ouch - 5.30 is reeeeeeeeallly early.

  5. Have also read the Mrs Oliphant Persephone title now, and must admit it's not going to be one of my favourites. It left me with unanswered questions. Then went on to read my other Persephone Christmas present "The Winds of Heaven" by Monica Dickens which was much more my cup of tea.


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