Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Books, Bedding, and Bouquets...

Summer reading...
I love having a stack of books ready and waiting for summer holidays.

Reading has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember...
The summer of 1960 we moved to Oak Bay and the first friend I met was Diane.

Her family lived up the block from us and we hit it off right from the start...
they resided in a charming heritage home tucked away, it was actually hidden from the street, surrounded by a lovely large garden.

We spent many lazy sunny afternoons playing in her garden that first summer.

I learned how to read at Monterey School using the Dick and Jane readers and became interested in other books. The Anne of Green Gables series, Trixie Beldon, The Famous Five series, Island of the Blue Dolphins, The Box Car Children were among my favourites...

After playing outdoors all morning,
we would retire to read in her cozy bedroom nestled under the eaves.

We started reading novels voraciously...attending a library club one summer at the Public Library. Our mother's permitted us to take the bus downtown...Victoria was a small town and much safer in those days. We read so many books that summer and collected a stamp for each book we read...the program was called "Circus McGircus."

In our preteen years, we started listening to music and developed crushes on the Beatles. We owned a TV and her family did not, so she came to our house to watch The Beatles on Ed Sullivan...a lot of screaming ensued, and my parents were not amused!

We would peruse the Beatle fan magazines that her English aunt would send in the post...I had a huge crush on Paul McCartney, and if my memory serves, I think she liked John Lennon.
We even wrote fan mail to Paul and John at The Beatles Fan Club!

As we grew older our taste in reading changed and Diane and I went our different ways...she now lives back east and I stayed in town,
we are now "FaceBook friends."

The love of reading was fostered early in our lives and continues to be strong.
Fostering the love of reading is important and one needs to start early....
reading regularly to babies and children is the best way I know of to get them into the habit...and there are so many great kids books available!

Lands' End had a 50 % off sale on one item on the 4th of July.
I jumped at the chance and ordered some linen bedding 
linen sheets have been on my list for several years.

Bunny is test driving them...
These are the flax colour and soon I plan to buy a linen duvet cover.

Love love love this bouquet!
 Thorn and Thistle put this beautiful bouquet together for our darling daughter's elopement photo shoot.

NYDJ skinny jeans
London Fog polka dot trench coat
Sperry espadrilles

I arranged to meet a friend for lunch this week.
We met at a popular Victoria institution...
Pagliacci's on Broad Street.

You need to be there early or wait in line until a table is available.
They are well known for their pasta and focaccia bread.

After lunch we perused Russell Books
then parted ways 
as I was totally immersed in searching the shelves for more books!

The newlyweds will be home soon...
looking forward to seeing all the pictures taken by Kim Kaylyn Photography.

What books are you reading this summer?
Any titles worth sharing?

~ Be Well and Be Kind ~


  1. I am also an avid reader - always have been. My parents were readers and I always remember my Nana having a stack of books next to her bed that she worked her way through weekly - so I come by it honestly!
    A colleague loaned me The Nest but I've just started. I've been working my way through the Louise Penny series - just love them. I also read "15 Dogs" - the GG winner - loved it, especially as it all takes place in my neighbourhood. I'm almost finished "A Crack in the Edge of the World" - a non-fiction book about the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake - plus "H is for Hawk" is in the pile. I keep saying that I'm going to use the library more but I love books and just can't resist a trip to the bookstore!

    1. Margie I really appreciate your book suggestions...I love the Louise Penny mystery series and am waiting for her new novel...Mr. HB read 15 Dogs as he borrowed it from a co-worker....I am hopeful that The Nest is a good not know anything about H is the Hawk but will investigate that title...thank you!

  2. I too loved reading, still do. Can easily get lost in a good book. I remember a teacher saying about me that I would read anything, including bus tickets! My great teen passion was The Beatles, Paul being my favourite too - I actually got to kiss Paul when he visited Australia 20 years ago (I'm still smiling about it!). We visited your beautiful city a month ago when passing on a cruise to Alaska, only got to drive around in a bus but did get to see the amazing Butchart Gardens. We visited once before but missed the gardens that time.

    1. Ooh a kiss from Paul...I am seriously envious!
      Happy to hear that you visited our city and Butchart Gardens is a beautiful garden...there are so many other great gardens too....Royal Roads, Abkhazi, Government House to name a few. Cruise ships come in every week bringing thousands of travellers to our city and we love to drive down to the dock and look at the enormous ocean liners!

  3. What a delicious and diverse post today, thank you for all that!
    Yes, I'm a reader although I was slow to learn to read as a child, but once onto Famous Five books there was no stopping me. My favourite Enid Blyton books, though, were Six Cousins at Mistletoe Farm and Six Cousins Again, which was really a social statement about town mouse/country mouse, town children going to stay with their country cousins and the corners being knocked off both lots of cousins, learning from each other. I also loved the Lorna Hill ballet books, starting with A Dream of Sadler's Wells. A gorgeous series and, a few years ago, I read the first five in the series again - after the first five, quality begins to suffer, but the first five are still very good reads. Another book I loved as a young teenager was Frances Fullerton Neilson's Look to the New Moon, an American teenage novel set in Georgian and in Maine. I was also a great reader of children's encyclopaedias!
    Right now I'm reading one non-fiction and one fiction book. The non-fiction is The Long Weekend, the English Country House between the wars, but historian, Adrian Tinniswood and the fiction is Kathleen Tessaro's latest novel, Rare Object.
    Margaret P

    1. Your recollections of reading books feels similar to my experience...the country mouse cousins books sound like fun too.
      Oh exciting I did not know Kathleen Tessaro had a new book out!! I really have enjoyed her other books...that one is going on my list! Thank you!

    2. Oh I'll have to look for that "The Long Weekend" - I just finished a book about a series of 5 British Housekeepers in the great houses from about 1820 through to the current age - all non-fiction. Boy did they have tough lives, nothing glamorous at all!

    3. Margie, I've read the book on housekeepers, too. Excellent, wasn't it? One was the mother of writer, H G Wells, was she not?
      The Long Weekend is a good read but the book is physically heavy although it's not really a large book. Also, while I love the writing I do feel that there could've been a few more illustrations (photographs), especially when some readers mightn't be familiar with some of the properties mentioned. I am about half way through the book and up the stage of the advent of the interior decorator, people such as Nancy Lancaster and Syrie Maugham, and it wasn't all doom and gloom with houses being pulled down because the owners could not longer afford their upkeep. Some people were seriously wealthy and had new properties built, or had add-ons, such as the Courthaulds at Eltham Palace, Art Deco appended to an historic castle. I do recommend it is you are interested in the English Country House between the two world wars.
      Hostess: yes, the Kathleen Tessaro is good, but there are a few little errors which don't sit comfortably with pedantic me! She mentions a 'comprehensive' school in Ireland, but I don't think there would've been these in the 1930s. Also she refers to a baby buggy, when again in the 1930s I think this would've been called a perambulator (or pram) or even bassinet. As for Immigrate when she means emigrate, that really grates! But the story is good, so I shall forgive these small errors!
      Margaret P
      Margaret P

    4. Oh dear her editor must have missed those errors...yes a pram for sure...definitely not a buggy!

  4. Sorry, I meant in "Georgia" not "Georgian"!
    Margaret P

  5. I'm reading Anne Enright's "The Gathering" which is set in Dublin. I'm visiting Ireland in September so I have a theme right now. I just finished Colm Toibin's "Norah Webster" which is also set in Ireland. Lisette's List (Provence) is on my iPad but I'll save that for travel and I have to read an Anita Shreve book "The Last Time They Met" for book club the first week of August. I am also waiting for another Louise Penny. I think that I will read the latest "Maisie
    Dobbs" mystery. Set in London, they are sort of "Nancy Drew for older girls".
    I was just commenting yesterday on the Materfamilias Reads blog about early library habits.
    It was a different time because children were able to move freely about the community
    without an adult. Mum must have signed for my card but I went alone to the library.

    We had a lot of my mother's girlhood books at home so I read all the L.M. Montgomery
    books and there was even a series of Heidi books. I still like to get my work done in the morning and to read in the afternoon.

    Your linen sheets will be lovely. I cleaned my linen closet and will have to buy a new pair of
    winter sheets but we really like a cozy flannel. I have too much bedding and too many table runners so I have to be a bit frugal.

    The bouquet is beautiful. I'm sure that you must be dying to visit with your daughter and to see the photos. It looks like a beautiful day today so I will take an early walk before French
    class. Paul was my favourite in the day as well.

    1. Your book suggestions are so wonderful...I think every book you mention I enjoy. The Maisie Dobbs was suggested by a friend just the other day...
      The weather is sunny and warm here this afternoon and I took my tea and book out to the front porch to read after I did my chores...such a lovely indulgence in the afternoon. Your road trip to Washington with your dog sounded like fun and your dog won a trophy too...well done!

    2. I am also a big fan of the Maisie Hobbs books - they are excellent - also not sure if anyone has read Alexander McCall-Smith's "Sunday Philosophy Club" series but I think they are wonderful. Most people are familiar with the No 1 Ladies Detective Agency series but the stories featuring Isabel Dalhousie are my favourites. They take place in Edinburgh (where I was born) so perhaps that is why I am so partial to them - they are lovely, a mystery yes, but gentle and very thoughtful - they are a favourite Sunday afternoon read.

    3. You've guessed it! I'm also fan of Maisie Dobbs! I still have the previous book to read, though, as well as the new one to order! A treat in store!
      Margaret P

  6. Love your blog !
    I'm reading "The little Paris Bookshop" by Nina George about a "literary apothecary" who dispenses books for the hardships of life from his barge on the Seine. If you liked The Elegance of the Hedgehog, you will love it !

    1. Hi Deb...
      I loved both those books and I have a preference for books written about Paris and France. Have you read The Paris Wife?

    2. I just had to order The Little Paris Bookshop, it sounds just my cup of Earl Grey!
      Margaret P

  7. Congratulations to your daughter and her new husband Leslie. A wonderful time for you all.
    I've really enjoyed reading about you and your friend when you were younger. It's wonderful that you have such history together many great memories!
    Thanks also for the book recommendations. I haven't been reading much lately as we're travelling and I've developed an eye condition that's making reading and writing more difficult than usual. Hopefully it'll settle before too long though.
    Hope this special week is going well for you!

    1. Hi Rosie,
      Oh I hope your eye issue remedies itself quite quickly...I understand about not reading when away exploring new places......where in the world are you visiting?

    2. I'm actually in Canada but in the East. In Toronto at the moment. Having visited Quebec, Montreal and Ottawa.Really enjoying myself in your lovely country!

    3. Sounds like a lovely holiday...happy that you are enjoying Canada!

  8. If you enjoy Elin Hilderbrand's novels, I would also recommend her other books, The Castaways and The Rumor. Another light summer read that I enjoyed is A Paris Apartment by Michelle Gable. I just finished The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (amazing) and am about to embark on reading Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow. I am always open to learning about what others enjoy.

    1. Thank you for those book suggestions...I will look for them next time I am in the book shop. Happy Reading!

  9. I love to read and some of my happiest memories are all the times I spent reading to my children from babyhood on. I am such an advocate for the importance of reading to children - it makes such a huge difference in their lives; in developing their vocabulary, in furthering their understanding of grammar and spelling, and in developing a lifelong love of reading and learning. The books I have recently been reading are ones that you recommended. Thanks for all your wonderful recommendations. I did just start Hamilton by Ron Chernow - very interesting.

    1. Our first grade teacher read to us every day...she introduced me to the Noddy series and I read the same books to my children when they were young...when I worked in the school library my favourite job was reading to the students...I had my favourite books and loved to share them.
      The used bookshop in the Cook Street Village sadly is closing...I will miss popping in on my walks...thankfully we have our wee local lending library across the street which seems to be incredibly popular with the residents as there is a high turnover of books.

  10. Hi there
    I definitely recommend 'H is For Hawk'. It's fabulous. Not a novel but riveting and very revealing. Do give it a try

  11. It's interesting to read that though separated by a few thousand miles, I was doing the same things as you as a young girl. I tried to live out the Enid Blyton adventures in school holidays, in my mind mostly. I also loved The Bobsey Twin series, though no one I've mentioned them to over here seems to have read them. Did I imagine them?! I received Misty of Chincotegue as a school prize and lost myself in that. Sorry about any bad name spelling, many years separate me and those books.

    1. I read the Bobbsey Twins too...and my sister was horse crazy...she had the Misty book and there were others written by the same author if I remember sister still rides, teaches riding and makes chaps...she has a horse, barn, and a riding ring. Books inspire us in so many ways.

  12. Pagliaccis, can't go to Victoria without eating there.