An A to Z for a Summer Day


A is for ALIAS GRACE. I was planning a re-read before the television series, I was sure I had a copy but LibraryThing told me I didn’t. I have a library copy for now but I suspect I will need to buy a copy to keep.

B is for A BOOK AT BEDTIME. It was lovely to hear Rachel Joyce reading her own abridgement of ‘The Music Shop.’

C is for COLOUR-WORK. I’ve really improved by technique knitting Franziska. I can’t do the two-handed thing that many people recommend, but holding two yarns over two different fingers is working well for me.

D is for DOCTOR THORNE – my next Trollope!

E is for ELIZABETH TAYLOR. The Virago Book Club has finally picked I book that I have, that I haven’t read and that I want to read – In a Summer Season by Elizabeth Taylor.

F is for FRANZISKA – growing slowly and steadily.

G is for GRIEF – it comes in waves,

H is for HOME IMPROVEMENTS. We’re waiting for scaffolding to go up and works to begin on our roof.

I is for IT’S GONE. I’ve been hacked more than once, so the email address I used for my old home on the internet is no more.

J is for JETTISONING a bag of books and a bag of clothes I hadn’t worn in a long time at a charity shop last Saturday.

K is for KNITTING ALONG. After two blankets – which wouldn’t have worked in our house and, though they were beautiful, I know I wouldn’t have enjoyed knitting – Marie Wallin’s Fair Isle Club is knitting a garment. I couldn’t resist signing up.

L is for LOVE HENRY JAMES. A wonderful season of programmes on Radio 4 has inspired me to do some reading and re-reading.

 M is for MIND THE GAP. We put the dog blanket that we brought home from my mother’s nursing home down next to Briar’s chair. She seems happy to have it there, and it holds the curtains back a little so she can see out.

N is for NAKED FLAGPOLES. The promenade flags have been taken down but the (removable flagpoles) have been left behind. Strange, especially at the height of the visitor season …

O is for O’FARRELL. There was a wonderful piece about Maggie O’Farrell and her soon to be published memoir in The Guardian yesterday.

P is for PATRICIA WENTWORTH. ‘The Chinese Shawl will be my next Miss Silver mystery, and it’s one of the few that I own.

Q is for QUEEN’S PLAY – my next Dunnett!

R is for ROWAN. The new autumn/winter magazine is the best for some time. It feels like a return to old-school Rowan values; there are two things I want to knit right now and lots of other interesting possibilities.

S is for SUNFLOWERS. I’m so pleased that I spotted Sunflowers Live

“In 1888–9 Vincent van Gogh produced one of the most famous series of paintings in the world – seven glorious variations of the ‘Sunflowers’. Today, five of these masterpieces hang in five art museums around the world, and are being united virtually in a world-first Facebook Live relay this August.”

T is for THIRKELL. The Man of the House often spots VMCs I already own in charity shops but this week he found one I didn’t have – ‘Northbridge Rectory’ by Angela Thirkell.

U is for UNCHAINED MELODY by Lykke Li – I love this!

V is for VICTORY. The current birthday-to-birthday Scrabble tournament ends next Saturday and – unless we Up the rate of play considerably – I have a winning lead.

W is for WAR AND PEACE. Reading five or six chapters a day and plucking a quotation from each chapter has proved to be the perfect way to read for me. I’m nearly half way through now.

X is for EXHIBITION. I couldn’t place John Armstrong – subject of this autumn’s exhibition at Penlee House – but when I looked him up I recognised one of his paintings from the cover of a Virago Modern Classic by Margaret Atwood.

Y is for YOU AND I by Tori y Moi – another new addition to the soundtrack of my life.

Z is for ZOLA – an author I still have to fit into my 100 Years of Books project.

23 thoughts on “An A to Z for a Summer Day

  1. Doctor Thorne is my favorite Trollope so far, I love that your man scouts Angela Thirkells for you, and I’m glad I’m not the only one who uses Library Thing to avoid buying books that I already own. Lovely A to Z as usual…and I’m listening to the lovely Unchained Melody as I write this!

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    1. I can’t quite pick a favourite Trollope, but I have high hopes for Doctor Thorne after reading the first few chapters. I joined LibraryThing to keep track of books when they were in storage and it was the first step of the journey that led me here.

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  2. A lovely selection as ever, Jane. I wasn’t aware of Sunflowers Live, so thank you for the heads up. What an interesting idea – I shall have to see if I can join in tomorrow night!

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  3. I really enjoyed Doctor Thorne – and you’ve reminded me I need to do another Trollope soon (if not because I really want to do Mrs Oliphant and I need to not do these at the same time!). What a shame about the flags on the promenade, I hope they’re back when we get there!

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    1. I’m hoping to work my way through the rest of the Barsetshire books this year and start the Carlingford books next year. I’m not sure if the flags will be back but we have floral baskets on the lampposts for the first time this year, and as we’re having a rather gloomy August maybe the good weather is waiting for you.

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      1. I’m not sure I’ll get Barsetshire finished this year but I might do – I’ll look out for your posts about them! I think I’ll do Mrs O next year then return to Carlingford after those as I now have two of the Mrs Os on my physical shelves.

        The floral baskets sound nice. I’ll have a good chance to check all the coastal stuff all the way around as I need to run 13 miles on the Sunday we’re here as part of my marathon preparations. All the way round to Mousehole, wheeee down the hill, round to Marazion and back – very different from my usual suburban jaunts!

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      2. The flags are back! The Man of the House asked, and it seems that because the flags are bigger this year they are getting more wear and tear and have to be taken away for repair every so often. That sounds like a lovely run, and I wish you luck going up Newlyn Hill on the way back.

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  4. A lovely A-Z Jane – one day I will embark upon Trollope. You’re right about the grief coming in waves – I lost my father just over two years ago, and I mostly think I’m ok now but then it hits me unexpectedly. Time dulls and deadens it, but I don’t think it ever entirely goes away. Take care of yourself. x

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    1. I think you’re right. We get used to living the gap that bereavement leaves but it never really goes away. It’s more than twenty years since my father died, but I’ve really felt the loss lately, maybe because I had to worry about my mother back then and I don’t now.

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  5. Another lovely A-Z post! Well done for getting halfway through War and Peace – it’s good that you’ve found a method that is working for you. Doctor Thorne was one of my favourites from the Barsetshire series and I’m pleased you’re planning to continue with Queens’ Play too. 🙂

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  6. Ohh I can’t wait to see what happens when you finally discover Zola 🙂

    Also delighted to read above that Northbridge Rectory is one of the better Thirkells as that is the one I have!

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