Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween and Hargreaves


Isn't Dean's pumpkin cool? We just put it up in the front window. We're not expecting many trick or treaters (it's the UK...they've been a bit slow on the Halloween uptake), but I insist on having treats and decorations!

On to other things...a most productive day including bulb planting and Christmas baking (for the freezer). On the continuing subject of my family rocks, my mother makes things grow from nothing and knows how to plant anything at any time. I don't. Argh. (Other things she can do that I did NOT inherit: sewing things that require spatial awareness and striking up conversations with total strangers).

And as I mentioned at some point, I won Frank Baker's Miss Hargreaves in a giveaway on Simon's blog. He's reviewed it, as have many others, but I'll say again that the book is a quick read and especially sweet. 'Droll' may be a bit of an old-fashioned word, but it suits.

Norman and Henry are on holiday in Northern Ireland and are trying to get into the village church. When the vicar proves dull and rather un-encouraging, they invent Miss Constance Hargreaves - an old woman they claim as a common acquaintance (Surely you know Miss Hargreaves?). Their little joke continues as they invent her cockatoo, her lap dog, and her bathtub. For kicks, they write to her at her hotel and invite her to visit.

The 'Spur of the Moment' (I appreciated the books judicious use of capital letters), however, is a dangerous thing, and Miss Hargreaves herself arrives to see Norman shortly after his return from holiday. He can't get rid of her without turning the whole town against him, but she just won't go away...

Thanks very much to Simon for the book, and I recommend it for a quick read or a Christmas present!

4 comments:

alg said...

Noting that among your favorite things are Sunny Sunday Mornings...Anna Grace and I both love Wallace Stevens' Sunday Morning, which I recommend to you, although we prefer different verses mores: for her:

Complacencies of the ...

For me:

I am content, she says, when wakened birds, before they fly, test the reality of misty fields with their sweet questionings. But when the birds are gone, and the warm fields return no more, where then is Paradise ?

So I would often call Anna Grace on Sunday mornings, late, when she was in her garden, that strange lovely garden in San Diego, she with coffee, cigarette, and maybe whiskey, and just talk. alg

StuckInABook said...

Glad you enjoyed it!

alg said...

Portland....San Diego....Los Angeles...Tokyo....Yokosuka...Busan(Korea)...back to Japan...past Iwo Jima....Guam....through The Solomons and past Guadalcanal...Noumea (New Caledonia)...Sydney, then Cairns (Australia)...Port Kalang & Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)...Singapore....and now, on to Da Nang (Vietnam)...and then...back to Japan...and back to the States.....

Anonymous said...

Hmm that's quiet interessting but actually i have a hard time figuring it... wonder what others have to say..