This week I finally finished one of the Christmas themed books I’d started reading during the season itself. What to read next? Rosamund Lupton’s “Sister”, as yet unread, beckoned. So did David Gibbins’ “Crusader Gold”. (I may have mentioned it before, but I read a wide variety of genres, all depending on my mood.) And talking mood, as it turned out, neither book fitted my present mood. Having started them, I will of course pick them up again… perhaps tomorrow, or the day after, or several days from now… all dependent on my mood.
I longed for something cosier. Perhaps it is because it is still very much winter, and the desire to snuggle up with a book – on the sofa or in bed, with a mug of tea or coffee at hand, or in the evening perhaps a glass of Rose wine – that I sought out something cosy. The only problem being that I had already read most of the books qualifying as “cosy”. Then my eye fell on a collection of books which I started collecting years ago…
Miss Read (her penname) was a prolific writer, whose first book was published in the mid 1950’s. And I chose one of hers, because I knew that within the pages of this (40 years old) paperback, I’d find a story about the old fashioned English village life I sought, and was suitable to my mood. And I am not disappointed! “Winter in Thrush Green” was first published in 1961… yes, it is old fashioned in a gentle and at times humorous manner… but the characters are brilliant, and I am already smitten. Longing to find out what will happen next.
One of the many tests doing the rounds on Facebook, declared me an “old fashioned romantic”. That “test” and that book, set me thinking…
There are aspects of life as we know it now, that I wholeheartedly embrace, and frankly couldn’t and wouldn’t be without. There simply is no comparison between banging out a book on an olde worlde typewriter and doing the same on a computer. As for doing research… ah, that’s easy peasy nowadays. As pleasant as it may have been and perhaps still can be, one does not need to live virtually next door to a library, to get the information one seeks. One can live in the middle of nowhere or Dartmoor nowadays, with only a few wild ponies and sheep as nearest neighbours, and still have the world at one’s fingertips thanks to the internet and google. In that regard, I am most definitely not old fashioned.
I suppose I must be considered old fashioned by many, as I just don’t understand peoples’ obsession with their mobile phones… unless you run a business, of course. But do you need to shop and chat with your mother or friend, and share it with every Tom, Dick and Harriet near you? Can’t it just wait till you get home? Do you constantly need to send and receive inane texts? I often wonder if people nowadays are born with a phone attached to their heads. Besides the importance of being able to be reached for business, I consider a mobile phone an essential item for emergencies, especially if you are on the road a lot. But beyond that? It continues to puzzle me. So, in that regard I suppose, I am most definitely old fashioned. I hasten to add, that I have a landline, and not a mobile.
I know for a fact that it isn’t my age, because as far back as I can remember, I have always been drawn to that which I describe as “cosy”, and which I find in books by Miss Read, Rebecca Shaw, M.C. Beaton, Rebecca Tope, Simon Brett… hmmm, all British authors. Except for Miss Read, the others are contemporary authors, who despite their stories being set nowadays, bring the quintessential English/British village and its inhabitants to life. Contemporary, up-to-the-minute, current… yet with that dash of “old fashioned-ness” which makes it enter the realms of cosiness.
So, am I old fashioned? Yes, I suppose I am in many ways. But then, I’ve always been.