Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Curling up with a Good Book ~~~ or ten ~~~

Gentle Reader ~~~ Winter {hopefully} must surely be exhausted.  Days spent in luxurious hibernation, snuggling under a comfy quilt, sitting by the fireside with a cup of tea, a slice of cake, and a good book while winter rages outside, are coming to a close for another year.  The sun, when not hiding behind clouds, is rising higher in the sky with each passing day.  The days are lengthening. This is the point where I'd like to say they are getting warmer, drier, and less windy. They are not. However, work is slowly being resumed in the Garden in the Shire ~~~ probably not as energetically as I should, but {forgive the moan} age is catching up with me and the garden, much as I enjoy puttering, seems bigger and more out of control than ever before.

The onions and garlic that I planted late last Autumn are progressing, albeit slowly, and will hopefully gather some growing momentum with the lengthening days.  I will write more on these in the coming days, for slowly this journal must return to the garden ~~~

I can only stand by and watch weeds grow for so long. I had enough of seeing how rapidly some are already growing, so I went out in a thick, damp sea fog, well wrapped up, and dug up by the root many Evening Primrose, Dandelions, and Borage before they become established and difficult. Oh! if only the onions would grow like the weeds have done ~~~ but that is asking too much, isn't it?  

It was so lovely out there, shrouded in the comforting grey fog ~ you may consider that strange, but I grew up by the sea, salt water is in my blood, and sea fog comes with the territory.  I enjoy time spent, alone, sitting in the still, early morning quiet of the house where only the tick tick tock of the mantel clock disturbs the heavy silence of a sea fog blanket outside ~ oh, how my heart years for the sound of the fog horn, long gone now. 

As a child, I would listen for the deep, echoing booms carried on the air, that muted sound that carried through the fog blankets that hid the coast and dangerous reefs that sit beneath the surface of the sea. There was something deeply comforting in the sound that warned sailors of the dangers ahead. 


Here are links to two of our local lighthouses ~~~

Smalls lighthouse paragraph three 

South Bishop lighthouse

I digress ~~~
Are you sitting down?  If not, find yourself a seat quickly ~~~ for I have mowed!  Up off your fainting couches ~~~ 
Yes, I have mowed!
I do not think I have ever mowed the lawn so early, but did so on the divinely sunny afternoon of February 17th. 

It felt so amazingly good after the near onset of Cabin Fever as the long, dark months of winter approach their end ~~~ although I do love those shorter days of winter, for it affords time to visit faraway lands; catch up with old friends; discover new recipes to try; take a glimpse into the lives of others; and go on many a grand adventure; all from the comfort of my own armchair ~~~ 

Sometimes, just sometimes, a book passes into your hands and something magical happens as it stops you in your tracks ~ time suddenly stands still; more than the usual joyful feelings that come with a new book begin to happen ~ as you carefully open the pages, the goosebumpy thrill of knowing that you are the very first person to peek inside this copy washes over you; you smell that indescribable new book smell that you love so deeply; sometimes, just sometimes, more than simply lovingly stroking and caressing the covers, turning the pages, and looking at the pictures, before you start to devour the magical words that are written just for you, you close it back up and hug it to your chest, because sometimes, just sometimes, you find a book that is so exceptionally special you begin to coo and wax lyrical over it ~~~ just sometimes ~~~ and then the adventures begin!



Such books are the books that, if they do not build empires in the greater scheme of things, certainly build empires in my heart ~~~ they are the very stuff that speaks so loudly to me, and here are some of those authors who have greatly influenced me, and who speak in the most gentle of ways the loudest of all to my heart ~~~

and here are some hints at the books I have enjoyed getting to know, and some old friends I've revisited, over the past winter months ~~~

I've held the hands of the March girls through their many joys and heartbreaking sorrows, and taken tea with them, and fallen in love with Jo once again ~ for when I was a child I wanted to be Jo March when I grew up, more than any other girl whose lives I shared ~~~

I've experienced the humiliation of red hair and the trials of an imperfect nose, and being called "carrots" by my future husband; sharing secrets with my best friend Diana as we sit by the Dryad's Bubble, or stroll, daydreaming, making plans for our perfect futures, along the White Way of Delight or by the Lake of Shining Waters ~~~

I've gazed, in pure amazement, up to the stars at night from my bed of sweet hay in a chalet perched high on the side of a steep Swiss mountain, while waiting for morning to come so I can run over the mountain with my friend Peter the goatherd as he takes the goats to pasture and I've known the horror of being estranged from the people I love, unable to reach out to them or return to my home in the Alps ~~~

Long afternoons spent wandering and exploring gardens in the company of a quintessentially English lady who loved her gardens and found such inspiration therein that she wrote and illustrated some of the most charming of all children's books ~~~



I discovered Pear Ci~dah {a traditional English drink made from pears, formerly known as Perry} as I toured the countryside of merry England in spring time with a Girlfriend who is a self~confessed Anglophile with a love of sheep ~~~



There was a very special visit to Martha's Vineyard with a tiny, adorably cute mouse named Eliza ~~~

Eavesdropped on an inspiring collective of creative souls and spirits that became one of the most legendary and influential groups of the twentieth century ~~~

Someone must have decided red was a very good colour to bind books with this season ~~~



I have read recipes, tried recipes {let's not go there today} and consumed copious amounts of hot tea in any number of varieties and flavours {winter is a good time to experiment with new flavours of tea} and some of my new favourites are made by Twinings, especially their fruity green teas, such as Apple and Pear, or my top winter time drink Gingerbread Green Tea ~~~

I love the new Twinings Tea advert, it is so happy ~~~ makes me smile each time I see it ~~~ too sweet not to share ~~~ it will make you smile too ~~~


I have fed birds on my feeders, and spent many a wistful hour just watching them flitting and feeding ~~~ I am sorting out my photographs to tell you all about them soon ~~~

~~~ there are books of one sort or another in every room in the cottage ~~~ and on a diverse variety of subjects as you could want to find anywhere ~~~ I love books, I just can't help myself ~~~ and there is always room for one more book ~~~



~~~I wonder where I'll be voyaging to next?~~~ 

What are your favourite books to visit time and again? Where are you off to on your next adventure? 


40 comments:

  1. Susan from Michigan4 March 2015 at 18:35

    I just discovered your blog and see we share many of the same favorite books. Susan Branch is a real favorite of mine. I also enjoyed the Twinings Tea commercial. Your blog is now in my favorites!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Welcome Susan ~ so lovely to see you! Thank you for your kind comments. I look forward to seeing you again!

      Delete
  2. Oh all of my favorites! How many boxes will it take me to move my precious books and cookbooks!
    Our yard is sooo soggy! Another storm on the way…I may run away!
    I need to read the Potter Gardening book you have. I will have to look for it.
    So I still am not sure what your secret was??? :-)
    Margot~~~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I meant those 5 powerful authors that you listed. I found the Potter garden book at Amazon. More planning for Spring!

      Delete
    2. Oh, Margot~stay safe and warm. Another great planning book for my planting is one that lists the plants of Tolkien's Middle Earth. I didn't even get started on my love of Tolkien! That is saved for a future thread. So pleased you found the Potter book.

      Delete
    3. Tolkien's Middle Earth! Those would be some LUSH plants from The Shire!!!
      Mary Ellen is getting more snow than me!
      They claim this will be the last big storm, but then April showers will come and it is muddy already!
      Margot~~~Seeking FL waves!

      Delete
  3. We have shelves crammed with paperback books and were running out if space until I started reading ebooks, I didn't think I would take to this way of reading but I have and have just spent a few minutes downloading my latest batcjhof books for a fraction of paper books costs and the best thing is that I don't have to find more space on my shelves or dust them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I confess, ebooks saved my life! I never thought I would succumb to a Kindle, but it was the only way I could allow myself to continue reading and buying books. Of course, there is always the library, but I feel the soul of a book and to give it back after three weeks is not for me. I even bought my reference books in college and ended up with a better collection than they had! My space is now released for the very special hardback books.

      Delete
  4. Winter is such a wonderful time to curl up with a cup of tea, a cozy quilt, and a stack of great books. We have LOTS of the same books in our stacks, Deb! I've been dreaming of Springtime in the garden, so I am enjoying Beatrix Potter's Gardening Life and Tasha Tudor's Garden again. So much gardening inspiration! Lovely post, complete with the sweetest commercial ever! Wishing you a great day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, sweet Dawn. Oh, isn't that just the sweetest commercial indeed? Just remember, those few books are the tip of a very big iceberg! I have plans to share more in future threads. ~~~Waving

      Delete
  5. Deb, we certainly share many loves and books are included. Many of your books are in my collection as well. I'm not one to reread books, except cookbooks. My cookbook collection is quite large and I had to take them downstairs. If I need them they are still available, but I have a small kitchen and cannot keep them all there. We regularly donate books to our local library. There is no way we can keep them all in our home.
    Oh I must tell you I love lighthouses and thank you for showing your beautiful lights.
    I cannot imagine being able to mow the lawn in February! Our grass is brown and will be for a while. With temps in the 50's today our lawn is a muddy mess! Hopefully Spring will come after our snow again tommorow! ♥

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Martha Ellen ~ I am not surprised to read you have a large collection of cook books! I confess I keep all my books, which is why I switched to a Kindle for paperback reading. I have only once given away books ~ when I became vegetarian and ditched the microwave I passed on a big collection of Microwave Cooking Library to the local Cat's Protection League.
      I do love lighthouses and used to regularly camp at the foot of Cape Hatteras! I loved the Outer Banks.
      Have faith ~ Spring will come soon!

      Delete
  6. Hi Deb. I don't think I've ever reread a fiction book, but I'll revisit all my "reference" books from time to time. I have books on my shelves that I've never read! I collect certain authors just to have their books, especially if they're illustrated children's books. But I also have lots of gardening and decorating books I look at from time to time. I love biographies about the authors I collect, especially.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Cathy ~ I have many, many more reference books in ratio to my fiction books. You will see some in the future, but I have my shelves organised by sections ~ they are brim full of gardening, art, fashion and textiles, Celtic and mythology, cooking, and more! There is a bookcase in every room at the cottage. Other than in desperation, and when I became vegetarian, I don't think I have ever got rid of a book. The movers go weak at the knees at the very sight!

      Delete
    2. Oh Deb! I too have more reference books than fiction (my fiction is Agatha Christie or some other mystery), and I do group my books in sections. I even thought of arranging them with the Dewey decimal classification. LOL
      Margot OX

      Delete
  7. Oh, it would be hard to say just a few favorites. I enjoy so many different books for as many different reasons. I just love books and reading. You described it perfectly...opening a new book for the first time.

    I still am shaking my head over the fact that you mowed! That just seems so crazy, but I would do it when the chance appeared, too.

    I have found that Winter is a great time to try new teas, too. Maybe because you can really slow down and enjoy it. I have surprised myself and found some lovely teas that just a few years ago I wouldn't have given a chance to at all. I must be "mellowing" out in my old age. :-)

    Thanks for another great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My Dear Friend! Stop shaking your head, I know you want to get out there too! Time was when I only drank 'Builder's Brew' and loathed it, but it was what everyone drank. Thankfully, times have changed and proper tea is back in fashion, treated with the respect it deserves, and with it has come the ever burgeoning varieties and flavours! Oh, to sit with you for a sweet hour or two in the garden and chat! ~~~Waving xo

      Delete
    2. Funny no one ever seems to want to sit and chat like our mothers did. Mankind needs time to just BE. I drink some lovely loose leaf teas and shops seem to be popping around town here.
      Margot~~~

      Delete
  8. okay I am depressed.......we cannot see the grass for snow...........love reading........

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just think of the delight when you see those first few fronds of green raising the heads above the parapet of snow!

      Delete
  9. Firstly gardening - glad to hear the onions and garlic that you planted late last Autumn are progressing.

    Secondly - February / March is a good time to curl up with a book. I do love looking around at what's available either in your local library or favourite bookshop.

    Having said that I love visiting and reading blogs too !

    All the best Jan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Reading blogs is a great way of dipping in and out when we haven't got the time to commit to a few chapters of a good book, or want to read a variety of subjects!

      Delete
  10. I just saw a book by Tolkien among your many, many books I am quite curious about: the fall of Arthur. We often forget he was a medievalist.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tolkien is seminal reading for me. I read it at least once ever year {LOTR} for the past forty years. I lived in Iceland, and that ramped up my interest in, and love of, Tolkien's works, taking it to a deeper and richer level than any other books I have read or studied. I confess, if I begin to discuss Tolkien, we will still be sitting here long after summer and autumn are passed!

      Delete
  11. I am sorry being a little late seeing your post, we have spent a lot of time in the garden getting so much done & I have not been on the laptop.
    I know a lot of those books, wonderful books. I really do love how you right & get your feelings down on paper so to speak. We love books here & have just found a new cupboard for some of them.
    Enjoy the rest of your day.
    Fondly Michelle

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Michelle, thank you so much for your very kind words! I am so happy when my musings are enjoyed by others.
      I think there is a small army of people who share the love of these particular books; classics that stand the test of time. Enjoy being out in the garden ~~~Deb

      Delete
  12. Hi, Deb ... your FB post made me curious, so I've just enjoyed catching up with you again! Hope you're back online with us. As for books, I've got most by Susan Branch, a couple by/about Tasha Tudor, several by Gladys Taber, as well as many by Mary Engelbreit ... to name a few. I'm not an avid reader, sadly, preferring these days to watch a movie-a-day ... usually on Netflix or DVD. I do have an inventory of books downloaded on my Kindle for reading at bedtime when the mood strikes. Although I've never really gardened for any length of time, I have a small collection of books on the subject and am drawn especially to herbs; I cringed a bit when you spoke of digging up 'weeds' - borage in particular (lol). Tea has recently become an interest for me, so I have a few books on that subject and am experimenting with more flavors; the video is quite cheerful. I suspect you and I and your readers would have lots in common to enjoy and discuss over a lovely tea party in your garden! Wishing you a happy and speedy arrival of Spring.

    Sharon in Alabama

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Sharon ~ I haven't been offline, just a few unresolved issues with my personal FB page and logging in. I am able to post only on my Garden page. Patiently waiting for the arrival of Spring {although meteorological Spring is here}
      Oh, how I remember when I first started to taste different teas! I am always looking for new ones to try, but keep coming back to my old favourites too.
      ~~~Deb

      Delete
  13. A lovely pile of books, winter is wonderful for curling up with them isn't it. I remember exactly imagining Heidi in her bed on the mountainside looking out at the stars. Such a memorable image. But you're right, it's time to get outside again. I'm never in control of the garden or the allotment. It's a mystery why the weeds always grow so much more strongly than the veggies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have the same thoughts ~ why do the weeds thrive, also the slugs ignore them and go straight for the veggies? Sometimes, I think I hear the weeds laughing behind my back.
      Heidi was one of my very first books to read and I still revisit from time to time, even all these years on.
      Thank you for stopping by!

      Delete
  14. Hello Dear!
    We are still deep under the heavy snow here in Western NY!!!
    Oh!! BOOKS BOOKS I LOVE LOVE BOOKS!! I have so very many as you, and they are stacked in the same manor all through the daily living spaces!! :-D smile !!! My Hubby threatens that the 2nd floor will cave in!! But I'd rather have books then TV, going to a beauty parlor or shopping for fancy clothes and such ... Hee!! I read many books over and over and there are too many to list but since we have the same taste for books you can only figure which ones! :-) Smile again!
    Sending warmth and many blessings, Linnie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I confess, Dear Linnie, that there are so many stacks now that I've had to put coasters on them ~ shame on me, but needs must!
      One time, our packers said there had been a "bit of a problem" ~ they'd packed all our books {stupidly all in the same crate} and the crate was 1,000 lbs over the shipping weight limit!
      ~~~Deb

      Delete
  15. Good morning, Deb! I love this blog post today! I soooo empathize with you concerning the weeds in the garden! They always seem to have the deepest roots, don't they?! Soon we will be seeing pics of your beautiful gardens in all their splendor. Books!!! I share the love (addiction? ) and cannot have enough! I love bringing out different books to add to my seasonal decor. I think that that is one of the things I love about winter....I feel it gives me "pdrmission" to sit curled up in a cozy quilt with a good book and a cup of tea and dream the day away. Hugs to you, sweet girl......Karen ♥

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Karen! How lovely to see you here. Thank you for stopping by. Weeds will always be the bane of any gardener's life, and sometimes I think it might be easier to just love them and accept them for what they are. I'm trying some new 'safe' weed killer soon, so will be giving a report on that.
      ~~~Deb xoxo

      Delete
    2. Just happened across this article and thought of your weeds: http://keepingbackyardbees.com/planting-herbs-attract-honey-bees/. And to quote Eeyore: "Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them." Wishing you gardening peace from across the pond...

      Delete
    3. And as my Great Grandfather said, even a rose is a weed if it is growing where you don't want it! {although I can't imagine any rose growing where it isn't wanted} Thanks for the link, will take a look ~~~

      Delete
  16. Catching up on my blog reading today and really enjoyed your posts! St. David's Day sounds like lots of fun, I loved those cupcakes and all the shop window pictures! I spent this week surrounded by my books as I was reorganizing my library. I love books too, I love looking at your stacks of books, some interesting titles I need to check out. :) That Twining's Tea Commercial was fun, thanks for sharing it! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I try to keep my books organised, but sometimes there are just too many on the go! Yes, the Twining's Tea ad is fun!

      Delete

Thank you for stopping by today ~ I love reading your comments