… to swing by Bootville, in the mid-afternoon, when school’s out early, the late winter sun is setting the back garden aglow, and the sweet scent of jasmine is wafting across the grass, don’t knock at the front door. Come down the side, and through the gate – we’re in the garden!
kick off your shoes … it’s okay, the dog hasn’t chewed a pair in years. She’s so grown up now :-)
we’ve saved you a chocolate and raspberry sponge from Aviv’s!
pull up a corner on the picnic blanket – we’re reading a lovely new picture book (yes, we still love and buy picture books!). It’s all about what happens when you decide to throw caution to the wind and dare to do something a bit different. With fabulous pictures. And it’s Japanese. And it’s by Mitsumasa Anno – what a gift to the world he is!
Fu will come bounding up every few moments to tell you all about a yummy stick she’s just found or an evil pigeon with dastardly plans she was brave enough to chase off. To protect us, of course. She’s not afraid of evil and dastardly pigeons. It’s her job.
Abby’s writing a new story – currently planning out all the characters and locations – so she’ll probably ask you to contribute a name or an occupation – the crazier the better.
Perhaps you’d like to pull out whatever it is you love to do – bit of knitting, a good book, some stitching. If you’ve come empty handed you’re welcome to play with my new Pride and Prejudice paper dolls. But I reserve the right to pop them all out. You can put the stands on – they’re a bit tricksy.
Aren’t they gorgeous! And Fu didn’t steal a single one. I told you she’s getting grown up at last.
Then, whilst Abby gets down to the nitty-gritty of her tale, I might sneak a peak into my new novel. You don’t mind do you. I had to buy it. As you can see, it’s called “We are all completely beside ourselves”. This is one of my favourite phrases! I use it ALL the time. I am regularly completely beside myself – usually with delight, anticipation, or anxiety. My response to Abby’s tales of school is usually “Goodness, the teacher must have been beside herself”. When Mum tells me what the extended family are up to, I reckon they’re completely beside themselves as well. Even my patients’ families are beside themselves – well of course they are. As for the patients – they’re usually too sick to be beside themselves.
See – I had to have it. And it’s by Karen Joy Fowler – I was completely beside myself with delight when I read her “Jane Austen Bookclub” especially when the only guy in the club suggested they read the Master and Commander books. Practically leapt out of bed I was so beside myself at that point :-) “Yes, yes, yes!” I shrieked to Julian, “Of course the Master and Commander books are utterly perfect for the Jane Austen fan. Karen Joy Fowler and I are kindred spirits!”
“Uh-uh,” he replied. He very rarely gets beside himself, completely or not.
And when the sun tips just that bit far to the west, and the air becomes colder and damp, we’ll traipse back inside and have a nice cup of tea. You can choose which Moomin cup you’d like. If you really want to endear yourself, I’ll let you unpick the remaining 12 windows in my patchwork house that need their curtains hung, whilst I “hang” said curtains. It will be a lovely afternoon, I promise.
You just have to remember, if it’s mid afternoon and the late winter sun is out and the jasmine’s flowering – we’ll be out the back.