On the cusp

As I write, May is about to turn into June – so the rain is steadily watering the garden and storms are forecast for Monday night – just the sort of summer weather so amusingly described by Angela Thirkell in her Barsetshire novels.

I am coming to the end of a marathon reading challenge – reading through Angela Thirkell’s books in chronological order – spurred on by an equally enthusiastic reader who is (I confess) a good five or six books ahead of me.

Thirkell’s descriptions of the dismal wartime summers, followed by equally dismal post-war austerity summers, set me thinking. I know that Thirkell loved hyperbole and caricature, but there was probably more than a element of truth in her descriptions. This set me thinking ‘why?’ Was it the massive detonation of bombs which affected the climate? Has anyone researched this subject? Just a thought.

Meanwhile, the days are growing ever longer and the longest day is less than a month away. Perhaps – just perhaps – true summer is on its way?

In the meantime, here are some pictures of my springtime garden – some of which were taken on a sunny day! IMG_3584 IMG_3181IMG_3583The two taken from the Canary-coloured caravan were taken just over 4 weekIMG_3179s apart.


About apthomas

I love books, reading, writing, baking, chocolate, painting, sewing, people and fairtrade - not necessarily in that order. I am a lazy gardener - who loves the garden, and a lazy housewife who likes the place to be warm and welcoming. I live in beautiful Somerset - but have had to leave the countryside at a little distance, having moved into town.
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4 Responses to On the cusp

  1. Anne Roy says:

    I am delighted to see someone else reading Thirkell. I have all the Barsetshire novels (many the Moyer Bell editions) as well as the Anthony Trollope Barsetshire ones which I heartily recommend.

    • apthomas says:

      She is rather like Marmite – people seem to love or loathe her. Personally, I am still laughing my way through her books and, at the same time, enjoying Trollope’s ‘Last Chronicle…’ on Radio 4. Wonderful!

  2. Terra says:

    I am just beginning my own quest of reading the Thirkell novels in order of publication. I have only read one “Wild Strawberries”, and will next go back to the first one, so you are way ahead of me. By chronological order, I assume you mean publication order. Re “The Chronicles of Narnia” and the everlasting debate about publication order vs chronological order.

    • apthomas says:

      You make a good point, Terra. I have been reading them in order of publication. On the whole, that chronology works for time passing in the books. There is the odd aberration – e.g. Demon in the House seems to stand outside the passing of time, and Christmas at High Rising is a compilation of stories from across Barsetshire. And of course there are the non-Barsetshire books as well.
      I have found tham variable – some ramble a bit (with a certain amount of repetition). You’ll either love them or loathe them. If the former, watch out – addiction is a possibility!

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