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!