Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Feeling very feeble, but all is well otherwise. I finished the first sleeve of the EPS, although I haven’t yet threaded the underarm stitches on waste yarn, nor moved the whole thing onto another needle to free up the short circular for next time.

And Andrew and Andrea are here! When they hadn’t turned up by mid-afternoon, I thought I had my Tuesdays wrong. Maybe I could get that second sleeve started this evening while watching the beginning.

Helen came over and walked me round the garden. Rachel rang up and told me about her birthday, which sounds good fun. They had a sizzler in London, which is the weather she likes (not so here). They were about to round things off with Pimms in the garden with various of her children. She is going to have an on-line cookery lesson soon and learn to make pakora.


Sybille Bedford was an aristocratic German, born in 1911. Her impeccably English name comes from a marriage of convenience made in the ‘30’s to earn a British passport. Her mother was Jewish and Europe was becoming uncomfortable.

During her peripatetic childhood she must have learned to speak English, French and Italian as well as German. She went to school in England, and her writing career was entirely in English. (I learn all this from Wikipedia.)

“A Legacy” is something of a fictionalised autobiography. It starts with a first-person child-character describing life with her father. One assumes – at least I did – that the novel will move forward in time, and the child will grow up, but not so. It goes back, to the father’s youth.  The original character doesn’t get born until quite late in the book.

It’s very interesting, I mean to read it again soon.

India Knight, by the way, finished her ten-favourite-books list in the most recent Sunday Times. Her No. 1 is “Belle du Seigneur” by Albert Cohen. I’ve never heard of it, or him. It’s enormously long and translated from the French. I’m grateful for the introduction to Sybille Bedford, but not tempted to try this one.

The trouble with "Mr Scarborough's Family" is that too high a proportion of the characters (including Mr Scarborough himself) are not very nice.


  1. I've not read "Mr Scarborough" but I am tempted by the basic plot premise. How does that play in a Victorian novel?

  2. Now I must see if I can find Legacy. I did find this in the Guardian via google: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2011/mar/13/sybille-bedford-legacy-centenary

  3. Anonymous3:45 PM

    I just checked my local library's holdings and found that Sybille Bedford published a memoir entitled "Quicksand" in 2005. The library doesn't yet have "Legacy", but the memoir sounds well worth reading too.
    -- Gretchen (aka stashdragon)

    1. Anonymous3:47 PM

      Oops. That should be "Quicksands", plural.
      -- G (aka s)

  4. I have "Jigsaw" - the follow up to A Legacy on kindle. It is described as a biographical novel, and covers the period after the author goes to live with her mother in France. I really enjoyed it.

  5. Quicksands is such an excellent name for a biography. So much to unpack in that word. I'd want to read it just to discover more about the person who could use the word to describe her life.