Where Have I Been?

I have been far more absent from here than I have meant to be for the past few days. And the fault lays entirely at the feet of Elizabeth Kostova, for writing the rather brilliant ‘The Historian’. At just over 700 pages long, it has completely enthralled me. How could it not? The story starts with a young girl finding a stack of papers and an old book in her fathers library- and much of the story is tied up with books and libraries and papers. Oh it is glorious! Now I hope you won’t think badly of it if I tell you it is also about Dracula, but not at all in a pointy teeth and cape kind of way. It is not a horror story, but quite eery in places. Last night I had to finish it, and I stayed up till gone eleven, reading by the light of a candle held in my new pink chamber stick.

The chamber stick is one of my Friday purchases- I had the day off as did Mum, so we went into town together which was lovely. I bought the chamber stick and a little pretty paper sachet trimmed with gold ribbon that smells heavenly of roses, (to go in my underwear drawer) and also a dress to be Godmother in in a few months time. It is fifties style, cream with black toile de jouy print on it, and a full skirt. I think it needs one of those little hairclips which are an abundance of froth and feathers to finish it off.

Saturday I had to work, but greatly enjoyed lunch time- we had an Italian market in the town centre. I had the most amazing apricot gelate, and bought a bar of rose and geranium soap. I do adore Italian accents!

Sunday was brunch club, this time in Great Dunmow. I could not resist wearing my new dress. This time the theme was kept a surprise until we got there- and it was so much fun! An American Diner theme, with a menu, and red napkins on the table, and one of those great straw dispensers. It was a fabulous afternoon, although I drank far too much wine and the most delicous drink- chocolate soya milk and (rather a large, I fear) dash of whisky.

Monday saw lovely Carl and I take what he likes to call ‘a constitutional’- a lovely long walk into town through the parks. I knitted on my latest dishcloth- a square cloth with a garter stitch boarder, and a teapot against a stocking stitch background. I also drank lots of hot tea, did some sudoku, and read more of The Historian.

While I was knitting and drinking tea yesterday, I discovered Come Dine With Me was on Channel 4. Now please don’t laugh, but oh how I love that show! If you have not seen it, a group of five contestants take it in turns to host a dinner party for the other contestants, and then afterwards in private, each contestant gives the dinner party a score out of ten. At the end of the week, the highest score wins. Oh how I love entertaining and dinner parties! I love watching what other people are planning, seeing their ideas, sparking my own. I found it odd last night that the contestant had no music playing at all when the guests were arriving. Not that you want music pounding out, but a group of people sitting in a strangers lounge- surely a little something in the background would have eased it all a little?

I must confess, sad as it is, I do love to plan dinner parties and menus. When I finally live in a house with a dining room (or at least a proper dining table!) I shall be so ready! My dear friend Lisa who visits most Monday evenings is similarly enamoured with entertaining and food and so on, so it is nice to have someone to bounce ideas off of. I have always wanted to serve pumpkin soup out of a pumpkin- perhaps with home made bread. Then maybe pumpkin risotto to follow, with pumpkin pie for dessert!

So that is my week so far. I am also currently anxiously awaiting in the post Simple Abundance on cd from amazon; also a free pashmina that I sent off for from Comfort; and strangely, a jacket potato and butter from lurpak…

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