This month I Read

This month I read The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. It's a short book, but an intense one.  The story of Esther in 1950's America teetering on the precipice of adulthood, but overwhelmed by life.  Fighting a battle; her desires and expectations vs societies expectations of a woman in that era.  The characters and situations are minutely observed, and beautifully written.  The analogy of a bell jar for depression, the lowering of the jar bringing on the deadening of the senses;  sight, sound, smell and joy.  Plath's own battle is written here, it feels overwhelming just reading it.  The feeling of being cut off from those around you, but watching as they carry on as normal, or their own version of normal.  The book made me want to read all about Sylvia Plath.  To understand her early life, her marriage to Ted Hughes, her literary successes, her children, Hughes then leaving her and Plath's final battle to the death.  Her own tragic ending is at odds with the more hopeful ending she wrote for Esther. The Bell Jar is a beautiful piece of writing. Have you read any good books lately?

*The photo above was taken in Rome, lovely window isn't it?

Some Flowers For You

For my birthday last week, a dear friend too far away sent me this autumnal display.  

Aren't these scarlett pom pom Dahlias beautiful? And bonus, bought from a car boot for the grand sum of £1, they lasted a whole week. Not an earwig in sight.

These geraniums are Italian, and don't they look it in their lovely terracotta trough?

These were wild flowers in the olympic park.  I heard they dead headed everything after the olympics, to rejuvenate them in time for the para olympics. I hope it worked.

and this shot is of the 'hot' bed at Cliveden.  They have deep, sloping, hot and cool coloured beds, either side of a large expanse of manicured lawn, in front of the house.

That's the end of my flowers for this year.

Feel Good Tuesday

This morning I put the kettle on, made my first cup of tea and turned on the computer.

My first email was something to melt the hardest of hearts, it was in response to a copy of Pride and Prejudice in my Etsy shop.  It read; "This is the girl I'm dating's favourite book.  She was born in 1989 and her birthday is coming up.  Can you confirm that it was published in 1989?  Also, do you have any idea what the shipping time would be the the New York area?" What a lucky girl.

Romance, a Brit winning the US Open and the successful end to an unforgettable, sporting summer. What greater feel good factors could there be?

*The above photo was taken this summer at Waddesdon Manor

A Roman Holiday

We managed to tear ourselves away from London between the olympics and the para olympics for a train trip to Italy.  We took the train from St Pancras to Zurich, then on to Milan through the Alps where we passed opaque glacial green lakes, trimmed with picturesque wooden chalets.  Next stop was Rome.  We visited the ancient sights and ate lots of gelati. Our last leg took us up into the hills where we enjoyed the sun and devoured a ton of fiction. 
  It has been the most amazing, memorable summer living so near London.  I hope you enjoyed yours, happy September.