My reading has been very slow so far this year. Here we are only about 20 days from the halfway point and I am only at 25 books. No doubt I will make up some time, but all the company we have had this spring has really kept me from reading. And even on our recent trip, I didn't get much reading done. Normally garden visits means that John goes around taking pictures while I sit in a pretty spot on a bench reading a book. But this time the gardens were all so beautiful and interesting, that I found myself almost as interested as John.
I did, however, recently finish The Flame Trees of Thika, Elspeth Huxley's novel/memoir of her childhood in Kenya before the outbreak of WWI. It really was a fantastic book and I think there were lots of sensitive, insightful observations about Kenya especially given the British colonial context in which Huxley lived.
I also finished A Game of Hide and Seek, my first Elizbeth Taylor novel. There was one patch where I didn't think too much of it, but overall I really enjoyed it. I think I may even want to read it a second time.
On our recent trip to the UK we were witness to Jubliee mania (we returned to the US the day of the flotilla) and all of the wonderful Jubilee memorabilia. There certainly was some tat, but I was surprised overall at the quality of the souvenirs. I think marketers have finally realized that good design can accompany jingoistic fervor. I could have really gone crazy buying stuff, but there was so much of it I think I felt a little overwhelmed by the choices and so kind of stayed away from most of it.
However, I do have two of these tea towels to giveaway by random drawing. Drawing is only open to those living OUTSIDE the UK. You people have had enough. Just leave me a comment and let me know you want one.
Food Consumed in 8 Days in the UK
This list is not inclusive of everyting I ate, merely a recap of the my quest to eat some UK favorites, or in some cases try things for the first time.
Fruit scones with jam and clotted cream: 8
Slices of Victoria Sponge: 6
It was really two slices and then an entire cake I purshased from M&S.
Full English Breakfasts: 4
Slices of Melrose and Morgan Jubilee Battenberg: 2
Thanks Miranda and Donna
Fish pies: 2
Mini pork pies: 1
Cornish pasties: 1
Black pudding: 1
Mmmm. Didn't Eddy make fun of Saffy for drinking Appletiser instead of alcohol
Scotch eggs: 0
I can't believe I missed out this time. I always seemed to be full when I saw them.
Something I shouldn't have to miss
I saw this picture of Emma Thompson as the Queen in an advert before we left England. Some dramatization of the night in the 1980s that Michael Fagan made his way into the Queen's bedroom. I think it aired last week. I wonder if it will make it across the pond?