It has been a strange, insular kind of week, with the countryside blanketed in snow, and lots of deadlines, so I've been at my desk all the time. Just time to cook a meal, and then both boys are revising for exams (one rather reluctantly), my husband is working in London so he's home late, and the house has been very quiet. If I haven't been helping/nagging youngest, I've been curled up in a chair reading. One childhood book that I go back to a lot is The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge. I remember exactly when I first read it, aged about ten, and how captivated I was by the feisty heroine, Maria Merryweather, and her tame white hare, Serena, and dog Wiggins. It is just the most enchanting book, set in a West Country village. I found this copy in a second hand bookshop last week, and althought it is shabby, it has the same cover as the one I remember from my childhood.
The descriptions of food in this book are just amazing. How about this for supper? "There was home made crusty bread, hot onion soup, delicious rabbit stew, baked apples in a silver dish, honey, butter the colour of marigolds, a big blue jug of warm mulled claret and hot roasted chestnuts folded in a napkin."
Or tea? "The table was covered with a checked red and white tablecloth that matched the counterpane, and upon it was set a blue dish full of apples, a yellow jug of milk, a purple plate on which were piled buttered scones, two green plates and two mugs to match."
This started me thinking and I got out my paints last night to recreate some of the scenes using quotes from the book...
And another one:
If you need some escapism, or something light to wile away the snow days, I recommend this sweet book. The descriptions of the West Country are beautiful, too. You'll dream of being in Devon on a sunny summer's day.