84 Charing Cross Road

If you haven't read this great book by Helene Hanff (true story) , do.

A well read, autodidactic (word of the day!) American lady who longs to visit Britain during the war years she develops an airmail friendship with a man (and his family) who worked in the iconic bookshop - Marks & Co, at 84 Charing Cross Road, London. Made into a film starring Anne Bancroft and Anthony Hopkins in the 80's.
Helene got her wish - eventually. This book was responsible for my searching out the works of 'Q' - Arthur Quiller Couch.

Below is my treasury pick on Etsy - this is where you pick pictures of items other people are selling to illustrate your theme.

Not for any reason, just to share the images.

Keep Calm and Carry On - The Real Deal

The above oil painting is from a book, Women's Institute by Cicely McCall. The painting is entitled Evacuee Play centre. It shows children playing, and women taking care of the children in what looks like a village hall, decked out with gaily coloured bunting. The book is a snapshot of women's social history during WWII, a mothers story is one of the least published aspects of life during this period. It details the efforts women in the UK were making to support the war effort. Now I've been to Trafalgar Square and seen those metal Giants on their plinths - Generals, Colonels, Majors and Tommys. But I have never seen something erected to honour the women who took to the fields with shovels, took in other families children for years, set up communal village kitchens and foraged wool from hedgerows to knit socks and gloves for the troops. This book honours those women, it is their monument.

Reading about the efforts of these doughty women made me wonder, we've bought the Keep Calm poster, but if we had to, could we carry on as well as the women who went before?

Click on the photo below to see the book;

Saturday Night

I watched Nigella Lawson's new show this week. In it she confessed that she no longer feels the need to be out gadding every Saturday night, whereas in the past a Saturday night spent at home was an apocalyptic event on a par with walking around the office with your dress tucked in your knickers.

I have to say I agree with her. It's lovely to spend time with friends letting your hair down, it is also lovely to have the chance to stay in and relax. If I have the luxury of a weekend night at home, I will spend it with my comfy clothes on, a glass of wine and a guilty pleasure - usually tv (and in the Autumn it's always Strictly Come Dancing), but sometimes book, bath or blog.

Sunday morning will be a pleasant and relaxing affair, involving newspapers, good coffee and Desert Island Discs. Something to be savoured, instead of indulging a sleep deprived hangover. Cheers!

The book above is in my Etsy shop now;