Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Beautiful Visit

I am taking a day to myself today and enjoying great music and a book that I recently discovered. It started with an Audio CD to escape the morning traffic doldrums and has turned out to be the most delightful surprise. Written in 1950 by English author Elizabeth Jane Howard, 'The Beautiful Visit' is offering some of the most engaging passages that I have read in some time. After a search around the local libraries I was finally able to obtain a copy of the book. I particulary like the following passage, it conjures up so many memories.  It reminds me of a visit we made to a wonderful old hotel in the country last year.
'We walked back through the arch, pushed open the green front door, and were in a large hall. I shall never forget the smell of that house.  Logs, lavender and damp, the old scent of a house that has been full of flowers for so many eras that the very pollen and flower pots stay behind intangibly enchanting ~ candles and drapes ~ weak aged taffeta stretched on the chairs ~ drops of sherry left in fragile shallow glasses ~ nectarines and strawberries ~ the warm earthy confidential odour of enormous books and butterfly smell of the pages, a combination of leather and moth ~ dense glassy mahogany ripe with polishing and the sun ~ guns and old coats ~ smooth dead fur on the glaring sentimental deers' heads ~ beeswax, brown sugar, and smoke ~ it smelled of everything I first remember seeing there, and I shall never forget it.'

Images taken by me
Abberley, Worcestershire, UK

5 comments:

  1. What a lovely post, Jeanne. I think that some soothing music and a good book is just what you need after your daughter going back to New Zealand.
    I love the passage from the book and it has made me want to read it.....and the follow on of the hotel was brilliant.
    Have a lovely week. XXXX

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  2. It sounds lovely - let me know how you like it. You know I am always looking for a good book! Also, do you get Google Books in the UK? Here any book that is now in the public domain is available for free on-line. It may help when looking for an older book. Some e-readers, like the Sony, accept google books.
    Best,
    Stephanie

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  3. How lovely.. think I may find a copy and enjoy that very much... thank you for sharing...

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  4. Jeanne - that's so evocative - I love her writing - still haven't got hold of this particular book but definitely planning to....love the lavender header by the way....Susie x

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  5. I haven't read this book but I remember reading EJH's "Something in Disguise" years ago and loving it - I think we need a book review please! Leigh

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Can I just say....that I so enjoy what YOU have to say. If you would like to write to me directly, I would love to hear from you... jeannecollageoflife@gmail.com

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