Monday, July 5, 2010

Summer At Last

Only one sad little green tomato so far.

Summer has decided that maybe she will drop in on the cool, grey Pacific Northwest after all. Last weekend, which happened to be the date of the party we threw to celebrate our nuptials last December, was, despite my fears, clear, bright, and perfect. Warm, but not too warm, and not a cloud in the sky. We even got to enjoy the full moon, which happens about three times a year. 

More jam was made this Independence Day, apricot this time. A kilo of apricots yielded only three full jars of jam, with a little left over to enjoy on the batch of blueberry scones I made. Remember, kids, don't drink and bake: I had to throw out the dry ingredients for the scones when I realized I had put in 2 ½ Tablespoons—not teaspoons—of baking powder. Luckily I realized my error before monster scones exploded in my oven.

If given a word association test, my reply to "summer" would be "reading." That was my #1 summer activity during all my school years. My family had a summer home on an island off the coast of South Carolina, a quiet place with few things to do apart from swimming, walking on the beach, and reading. I wish I still had that much leisure, but the long days do allow for many pleasant hours of reading in the garden. I was absolutely horrified to learn that my stepson, who will be in 5th grade next fall, has NO summer reading assigned. Another casualty of education budget cuts. My husband has given him the copy of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes that his father gave to him when he was a boy.  Holmes and Watson should prove entertaining summer companions for him--and if he is like us, lifelong friends.

The UK cover is so much better, of course.

Recent reads include Paula Byrne's excellent Mad World: Evelyn Waugh and the Secrets of Brideshead. I'm now eager to re-read Brideshead Revisited. Waugh and his friends (especially Nancy Mitford) just fascinate me. Most people now don't put in the effort to be witty and entertaining.  I suppose not everyone has it impressed on them from childhood that it is one's duty to be amusing. Of course, we were also taught common courtesy and proper etiquette, but that is a rant for another day.

For now, I shall retire to the Cocktail Corner with a Pimms Cup and a good book. I've just started Fifth Avenue, 5 A. M. : Audrey Hepburn, Breakfast at Tiffany's, and the Dawn of the Modern Woman. It promises to be quite interesting.

What is on your summer reading list?

1 comment:

  1. Twice in the same day I came across recommendations for Mad House. I have a million things to do and can't begin anything until i finish the blasted book. Thanks for the recommendation i am enjoying it immensely.