Sunday, March 03, 2019

The answer to the question about how to sign up for the Lenten meditations we have been talking about (based on Rumer Godden’s “In This House of Brede”) is to send an email to asking to be included. I have done so, and have been rewarded with a brief, encouraging message of welcome.

Otherwise, there is distressingly little to report. No walk, no exercise, not even any knitting. I went to an early Mass with my niece C., as often these days, and then Helen and her boys and James’ and Cathy’s daughter Rachel came round for a take-away Greek sandwich lunch. Rachel is in her penultimate year at Leeds University reading Chinese and hoping for a career somewhere or other in Chinese art.

It was great to see her. She’s turning out rather well. Our conversation ranged from Brad Leone to Japanese knitting patterns.


Kirsten, I don’t have “The Annotated Alice”, although I don’t know quite why not. One of the very interesting things about re-reading Alice in Wonderland (I’ve finished it) was pondering the things I didn’t understand when I was a child, or took as examples of how things were done differently in England – such as when Alice hears the gardener at the White Rabbit’s house telling his master that he is digging for apples.

And I clearly remember supposing that the notice “This model 10/6” in the Mad Hatter’s hat, was a manifestation of his eccentricity. A modern English child might suppose the same. And, although I remembered some of the curriculum in the Mock Turtle’s school, I had forgotten the old crab who taught Laughing and Grief. I’m sure I didn’t “get” that one.

“Anne of Green Gables” has arrived, and I’ve started it. I wonder if I’ve ever read it before. While I was wandering among the prodigious number of books “in the cloud” for my Kindle iPad app, looking for “House of Brede”, I found a biography of Evelyn Waugh by Philip Eade. I’m a t’riffic fan of Waugh’s and have read a fair amount about him as well as by. I feel quite sure I’ve never read this one. How on earth did it get into the cloud unread?  


  1. Between reading list & family, it sounds like quite a full day to me!! And you say you have nothing to report . . . . hahahaha

  2. =Tamar11:15 PM

    I didn't get all of it as a kid, but reread it later and understood more of the puns. The Annotated Alice was a great help as well. Wikipedia has an article about "The Mouse's Tale" that explains the quadruple pun and the other punning form that was in the handwritten manuscript.

  3. My mother read us Alice when we were young, when I was Older she would talk about how funny it was and Laughing and Grief was one I remember her talking about.

  4. Hey, at least you went to Mass:)! I have been so bad...

  5. Anonymous10:47 AM

    Now that you put it that way...I will have to re-read Alice. You've made me curious about what I missed:). Chloe

  6. Anonymous1:36 PM

    It is sounding like the next project will be a Polliwog -

  7. I lost count of the number of times I recited "Will you walk a little faster, said the whiting to the snail" to get the little ones to go a bit faster. And then when they got older they were rather snarky about people hero-worshipping "reeling, writhing and fainting in coils"

  8. oh alice and anne .... both wonderful books to dip back into. I still have all the real AGG books... read them many times from about 9 years old. and then the Canadian dramatization with Megan Fellows (later a friend of my director sister) was inspired and rather wonderful. the same sister and I and my mother spent a few weeks touring Nova Scotia and PEI including of course a tribute to the LMM house and the hotel and many other island spots that appeared in the books. a once in a lifetime trip and well remembered.

    In This House of Brede- dont think i have ever read it. It was on the bookshelves in my parents library (really the middle room of the house lined with bookshelves) and i can still recall the book jacket and remember wondering what it was about. I did see the dramatization with Diana Rigg (Masterpiece Theatre? ) many many years ago. [review from the NYT]
    No streaming version but Amazon has a US copy for almost $60 (no thanks). It seems to have appeared on TCM at some point.