My Blog List

Thursday, 17 January 2013

A touch of magic

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.

13 comments:

  1. It looks good, I'm just reading Cider with Rosie by Laurie Lee, I first read it for my English o level, I'm loving it, his descriptions of childhood are perfect! :) x

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think we crave comfort books, as well as comfort food at this time of year. Susan Hill's The Magic Apple Tree, a country year, is another lovely read. Cider with Rosie is lovely too.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Your paintings are beautiful, i haven't read the book, but it looks charming, I have the magic apple tree, such a comfort read x

    ReplyDelete
  4. My childhood favourite was Heidi. I too found it in a charity shop recently. Your paintings are lovely.
    P.x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Patricia...I liked Heidi too.

      Delete
  5. I haven't come across that book before. Love your paintings, they are gorgeous and its a great idea to use quotes from the book.
    Liz @ Shortbread & Ginger

    ReplyDelete
  6. It is one of my all-time favourite books and the food descriptions always make me feel hungry! Adventure, villains, feisty hero and heroine, brave animals and just a touch of the supernatural and otherworldly - what more can you ask for?
    I need to go and re-read it again now!
    Your paintings are lovely.
    Best wishes
    Ellie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Ellie. I am glad I am not the only one who loves the food descriptions!

      Delete
    2. Lovely paintings Fiona, and wonderful food descriptions. X

      Delete
  7. Those paintings are beautiful - they would make lovely cards. Elizabeth Goudge is one of my favourite writers and I have quite a collection of her novels but haven't read The Little White Horse since I was a child. Hope the revision is going well. Karen x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Karen,
      Yes, she wrote a lot of novels for adults, too. I am sure I have some on my bookshelves, I'll have to hunt them out.

      Delete
  8. Hello:
    How wonderful to have discovered your marvellously eclectic and interesting blog which features so very many of the things in life which appeal to us immensely. And, of course, in this post we are filled with admiration for your wonderfully fresh illustrations for 'The Little White Horse'. But all that food to be bought, prepared and cooked! It makes us dizzy to think about it.

    We have signed as Followers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello, thank you so much for following, I really enjoy your comments on The Custards blog so I am very pleased to find you here too.
      Quite a lot of food mentioned there, I agree, but then Maria Merryweather has Marmaduke Scarlet, master craftsman in the kitchen. Sadly, there is no Marmaduke in my house, just me.

      Delete

About Me

My Photo
I'm a freelance journalist living in a village in East Northamptonshire with my husband and youngest son. I love visiting car boot sales, auctions and markets and writing about my inexpensive finds, and also some small craft projects and my attempts at watercolour painting and patchworking. I'm the editor of a local magazine, so I find out about loads of interesting things that are happening in my community, some of which I share here, too.