Wednesday, 2 September 2009

How a little ray of sunshine lifted my mood and a bit of retro this and that.

As someone who is no stranger to depression and who used to counsel women with depression brought on by low self esteem, I know the difference between feeling a bit low and being depressed, and today I am feeling a bit low. Or I was, until a ray of metaphorical sunshine came my way. It came via Alex at pinkfeatherparadise.blogspot.com and her recent giveaway, consisting of lots of lovely handmade goodies. I never win anything, but put my name forward and as she said, everything happens for a reason (something I firmly believe in) and I read the message from her today, on my blue day, saying I had WON!! It may seem such a little thing, but it has really lifted my mood. I won't bore you with the whys and wherefores of The Mood. Suffice to say that some childhood habits are hard to leave behind it seems, for I used to build up my hopes and expectations out of all proportion to reality sometimes, and was always let down. Like a pin stuck in a balloon, the hopes and optimism would leave me, I would be left deflated and empty and sort of sad. The Mood will pass, in time. Thankfully I don't often feel this low and empty. And if truth be told, the reason for my feeling this way is silly and would cause some to raise eyebrows quizzically and wonder at my sanity... much like I do myself sometimes. It should have been a cause to rejoice and sigh with relief, but other options had presented themselves which I sort of built my hopes upon, now they are being shelved for the sake of being wise, acting wisely and grown up and sensibly. For now, I hope. Maybe they will be realised in the not too distant future, those dreams and expectations and hopes of mine. But thank you Alex... and Jamie, who drew my name out of the hat - such an intuitive child don't you think?
I like retro stuff... and think these book covers fall into that category. Those of you who know me, will know that books form an integral part of my life, and many of the books from the forties and fifties in our collection, have been bought as much for their wonderful jackets as for the content. The contents have all been read though, black and white photographs evoking a sense of the romantic to travel books as well as nostalgia for a more gentle, slower and less stressful life. In the ENGLAND'S PLEASANCE book for example, there is a photograph taken in Derbyshire of a popular walking trail near Raven's Tor, and there is only one couple walking, whereas often these days a similar photograph would show many groups of walkers. There is a photograph taken in Ramsbury in Wiltshire, on what was obviously a sunny summer's day, showing thatched cottages lining the street, overhanging eaves giving some shade to the upper rooms from the glare of the black and white sun, and a mother pushing a large cumbersome pram, a toddler by her side. Are those thatched houses still there? Would a similar scene today show people hurrying by, ears plugged with music cutting them off from the rest of the world and prohibiting conversation (is that the idea?), mothers pushing these ugly three wheeled contraptions instead of the stately Silver Cross prams of this bygone era shown in the book?
And THE ENGLISH INN, what a lovely notion that is, where it still exists. We have heard that there are hundreds of pubs going out of business in the recession, so the days of an Inn in most villages are long gone - though most of the inns in this book seem to be on a rather grand scale, no little village inn with it's skittles alley, sawdust on the floor in these photographs.

I am not a fan of Dennis Wheatley, though his KA OF GIFFORD HILLARY was one of the first grown up books I read in my teens, and to this day I haven't a clue what a KA is or was, and nor can I remember what the book was about! I do remember the Mazo de la Roche books though.


My mother was a great fan of this series of books about a plantation called JALNA, and again, these were amongst the first adult books I read, along with Georgette Heyer and Elizabeth Goudge. Later I read Nevil Shute's 'A Town Like Alice', and John Braine's 'Room at the Top' as well as the above title.
H. E.Bates's stories of the Larkin family are well-known of course, and this book, 'When the Green Woods Laugh' (taken from William Blake's Laughing Song) is the third and final book about Pop Larkin and his lively, colourful lot, following on from 'The Darling Buds of May' and 'A Breath of French Air'. This one is set in the long, hot summer of 1959... when I was almost eight, and amongst life's greatest pleasures for me were taking my dolls for walks in their pram in the Marine Gardens, paddling in the edge of the sea across the road from where we lived, watching the marionettes show and eating an ice cream. Would it have had sprinkles on I wonder?



Because obviously this has!! I know that a 'proper' English trifle doesn't have them. Nor does it have jelly apparently, so this is very common possibly, and no, it didn't come out of a packet with BIRD'S written on it! It has sherry-soaked sponge fingers in the bottom, a thick layer of fresh raspberries and peaches covered in raspberry jelly, then a layer of custard, finally cream and of course, SPRINKLES. It may not be posh or proper, but boy was it good or what? My husband has a way of telling if it is a particularly good one or not, and it is all to do with the sucking, wobbly noise made by the jelly when you remove the first spoonful. If it doesn't make the right sort of sucking, squishy, squelchy sound, then he gets a look of abject disappointment - after all, he only gets trifle a couple of times a year, maybe three at most, so like me, builds up his hopes and expectations from the time the sponge fingers go in the bowl. I am pleased to say his hopes are rarely dashed.
And finally... is this a bit retro do you think? A crocheted cushion just finished, two sides of it, this can be the front...

and this the back...


or it could be the other way around of course. But I am grateful to Vanessa (doyoumindifiknit) for reminding me about the pleasures of crocheting little squares, which had been long forgotten. Then I sort of got hooked on it, and made a couple of things, this is the one I kept.
Thank you for dropping by again.. feel free to leave comments, but only if they are positive, for despite the lifting of the mood, I am still feeling just a tad fragile in The Mood department!







19 comments:

Mark said...

I like the jacket design of England's Pleasance by SPB Mais (why all the initials?) It would go nicely with my Morris Minor.

I like also the way the lanscapes are drawn in these sorts of jackets - they remind me of Stanley Spencer's ladscapes which are less well knwon than his religous paintings, but are excellent and time evokative.

Being let down - pet hate of mine too.

Mark

Pondside said...

I love those old books too. The Jalna series is set in Ontario, not far from where we once lived and where our son now lives. I used to drive down some of the back roads in the townships and wonder which old house was the inspiration for Jalna.

pinkfairygran said...

Mark... it's annoying when people let you down, especially if you are the sort of person who goes out of your way Not to let others down. And Pondside, how wonderful that someone else has heard of the Jalna books!! So few have.

ChrisH said...

I hope the Mood has well and truly lifted. Thanks for sharing your book jackets - I enjoyed seeing them (rather envious of the H E Bates!).

Quilting Cat said...

What a lovely reminder of the Jalna books, my Mother had them at home, I wonder what happened to them. Hope the mood lifts, I never understand why down days just suddenly appear. Love the crochet squares cover.

TIGGYWINKLE said...

PFG, Always enjoy your blog. I loved the Jalna books too. We seem to love the same type of book.Creative people tend to be very sensitive, and take things so much to heart. It will pass. Build yourself a comfort corner as in my recent blog. I love mine for blue days!The weather hasn't helped this year, but at least we know Autumn will be Autumn, and can look forward to the pleasures it brings.

TIGGYWINKLE said...

Forgot to say,Alexandra Stoddard is American, and lives in Stonington Conn. Her books 2nd hand are great value on Amazon.

Calico Kate said...

Sorry to hear you are feeling blue though perhaps a little bit bouyed up by the prize.
Ah the Jalan series, loved them. I don't think I had any of the hardbacks but my paperbacks were alwas second hand and rather ancient too. & I love the jackets on your other photos too. Very nostalgic.
Love the new cushion PFG both ways round!
CKx

Celtic Heart said...

Well done you, winning the draw! Such delightful and nostalgic book covers you show us, and your talents truly have no end with that cushion! Begs to be hugged. Hope you feel better too.

Mrs Jones said...

Those retro book covers are particularly fab - I'd be very seriously tempted to frame the first four, either all together or individually, and hang them up.

Putting on my archaeologist's hat for a second, in Ancient Egypt, it was considered that a soul had five parts, each of which responsible for a different aspect of the person. The 'Ib' was the heart and the most important. It was weighed after death by the goddess Ma'at. The 'Sheut' was the shadow, without which a person could not exist. The 'Ren' was the person's name, given at birth, which would live for as long as it was spoken. The 'Ba' is the individual personality and perhaps the closest to a Judeo-Christian concept of a soul. Finally, the 'Ka' (as in "...of Gifford Hillary") was the life force itself which left the body physically at death.

Gaston Studio said...

Visiting from Authorblog... congrats on POTD mention!

Great idea from one of your commenters, to frame the book covers.

pinkfairygran said...

Wish I knew what authorblog was, and POTD, as mentioned by Gaston Studio.... am flummoxed.

Sandi McBride said...

The Citadel was my first grown up book to read followed by Gone With the Wind...Mr Wheatley was read as well (though I always suspected he was a she...)congratulations on winning your gift and also for POTD nomination...now you really shouldn't be blue!
Sandi

pinkfairygran said...

Just to say I know what authorblog is now, and POTD.

Alix said...

Just popped in to congratulate you on your POTD mention at authorblog. See? Two amazing wins happened for you! The clouds should certainly be lifting now!

Enjoy your honor!

Brian Miller said...

congrats on the POTD mention...big smiles.

Jenny said...

Glad you are on the up again. I was feeling a bit down myself and like you just had a giveaway parcel. It restores your faith in human nature to know there are such kind generous people out there, certainly stopped me feeling sorry for myself.

gaohui said...

As soon as the chilly winds Abercrombie Polos initially start to blow every year as autumn sets in; people go to their closets Abercrombie Polos and pull out their sweaters dog coats and ed hardy Hats jackets to ensure that they are comfortable as the temperature drops. Your Ed Hardy Sale dog deserves this equal treatment so when you pull out yours, do Ed Hardy Sale remember to pull out your dog's warm dog clothes as well.If the night is chilly, but Ed Hardy Swimwear not quite freezing, even something as Ed Hardy Swimwear simple as a warm dog sweater will help you to keep your dog warm.

Unknown said...

Finally at 16:55 UTC the MR-2 lifted off. Computers reported one minute after launch, the flight path angle was at least one degree too high and rising. At two minutes, the computers predicted a 17 g (167 m/s²) acceleration. At 2 minutes 17 seconds into the flight, the liquid oxygen supply was depleted.
banner stands

Switches, gigabit switch