The coldest morning of the year so far.

Hand knitted socks, Lotta tunic in Nani Iro and big cardigan.  Scarf.

Before I get started with today’s list I must tell you about the latest book I read:  ‘The Essex Serpent”.IMG_9186

My sister in law passed it to me because she didn’t get on with it so it languished in the never diminishing pile by my bed for almost a year.  I heard all the hype about it and that kind of put me off more than anything…


Silly me.

I just couldn’t put it down.  It shot up to the top ten books I’ve ever read without a backward glance.  Don’t ask me to give you my top ten list… I couldn’t, suffice to say this is brilliant.

A Victorian, slightly gothic, elegiac novel with great characters you actually get to know and a good story line with a beginning a middle and an end.  Recently widowed, eccentric Victorian lady moved to Essex looking for the mythical Essex Serpent.  Here she meets country country vicar.  It’s about science and religion, about women’s conditions, about medicine and superstitions, rich and poor… town and country… people… landscape…

If I want to be totally fussy there are a few ‘slow’ pages in the middle here and there… but still the language is beautiful and keeps your attention.  This is a book to savour and read slowly to really taste the words and let them dance in your head.  I don’t normally like descriptions of landscapes and hedgerows and trees I can’t picture in my mind because I don’t know any trees/plant/grasses… (oak? pine? willow?… ahem….), but Sarah Perry really makes you see the places she describes.  She’s brilliant at atmosphere and landscapes.

Seriously, indulge yourself and read it.  Take your time, get yourself a blanket, a big sofa and a large cup of tea.

You can thank me later.


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