Sunday, 23 February 2014

One thing leads to another

Firstly thank you for my birthday wishes. My week off didn't go quite to plan and I was laid low with this dreadful cold! Most of the things I had planned for the week didn't happen, but I did manage to catch up with both of the children, which was lovely.

Magnolia branch bought in from the garden - the buds have slowly opened .
Flowers from the garden



A change of plan gave me other opportunities instead - I enjoyed  looking through some of my books. My sister in law gave me the autobiography of Edith Holden for Christmas.  Many of you will know her as she wrote and illustrated the Edwardian Country Diary. I have always enjoyed looking at her diary with the wonderful words and illustrations and I inherited it from my Mother when she died.  It was fascinating reading about her story - Edith mainly lived  in the countryside around Birmingham,  but also spent lots of time in Scotland and Dartmoor.  Tragically she drowned while trying to reach some horse chesnut buds.

THE ENCHANTED APRIL (illustrated)


Do you read books electronically? After much deliberation I bought myself a Kindle towards the end of last year. I love books and always enjoy holding a book in my hand and visiting the library every few weeks. However, I always find it difficult to part with books and magazines. The Kindle, for me, was a good way to reduce the clutter in the house and be used alongside my usual reading.  Our the last few years we have digitalised our photographs too, saving them to the computer with a back up copy on a cloud drive. An unexpected benefit of the Kindle has been the easy access to enjoy all these photos again.




I was looking for a book to read on the train and came across this title. Has anyone read it or any other of Elizabeth's books? It was the picture that enticed me and the thought of escaping (if only though the story) to an Italian castle with a garden full of flowers. This a short description from the book.

"The wisteria was tumbling over itself in its excess of life, it's prodiatry of flowering: and where the pergola ended the sun blazed on scarlet geraniums, bushes of them, and nasturtiums in great heaps, and marigolds so brillant they seemed to be burning, and red and pink snapdragons, all outdoing each other in bright fierce colour. The ground behind these flaming things dropped in terraces to the sea,each terrace a little orchard, where among the olives grew vines on trellis, and fig trees, and peach trees and cherry trees."


Italy
In recent years Eliabeth von Arnim work has regain a resurgence of interest since one of her books was given to the servant Anna in Downton Abbey while Bates was in prison. Elizabeth was a hugely popular Edwardian author and wrote 21 books. I for one will definitely be reading more of them!

Italy

Having read this book it was wonderful to  pop over to visit Olympia from things and thoughts in Greece and see discover images of the beautiful spring flowers growing in her garden.

So we start another week luckily so far the storm forecast has not materialised today. There have been more landslips in the last week along the coast and when we visited the sea front at Exmouth it felt as if we were driving along the beach as so much sand had been blown on to the road!


At least the sun was shining!




Wishing you a good week.
Sarah x


53 comments:

  1. Dear Sarah,

    Sorry to hear you have been feeling unwell! Hope your health will improve the coming days. The book by Elizabeth von Arnim is beautiful. I enjoyed watching the film as well. It's one of my favourits! I would love to travel to a villa in Italy and relax, just like the four ladies :-)

    Have a lovely evening! Take care!

    Madelief x

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  2. Lovely seaside photos as always. We use our kindle for reading in bed at night and M takes it on the train to London or to hotels if working away. Like you, I love real books, but the kindle has its uses for sure x

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  3. Belated birthday wishes.

    Beautiful flowers and thank you for the heads up about a new author to me.

    I love the feel of books, but we read a lot on both the Nook and the iPad. It makes it easy to have books that do not take up space.

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  4. So sorry you weren't well and on your birthday no less! The books sound interesting. I have the Country diary but not actually got around to reading it yet (like many books, I save them up!!!)
    That is a lot of sand on the road- eek!x

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  5. I hope you're feeling better soon, Sarah. That looks like a lovely book. I haven't read anything by her yet but I will be looking for her books now. Hope you have a good week!

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  6. Happy birthday. Sounds lovely even though you were down with a cold. I have seen the movie The Enchanted April which I enjoyed but not the book. Lovely photos you share...always.

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  7. Belated Happy Birthday Sarah! I've been without a laptop for many weeks now and today I finally got it back from the technician! I've been reading your blog through bloglovin, but was unable to leave any comments. Sorry to hear you've been poorly! The weather has been dreadful and my thoughts and prayers go to all those who have suffered in the terrible floodings we have had. Fortunately we are well and dry. I shall try and find this book on ebay, perhaps I will be lucky. I too love reading and the idea of a book in the hand, but I do believe the Kindle has a purpose, especially if you read a lot! xx Happy week for you Sarah! x

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  8. I hope that your celebration was one to never forget sweet Sarah! Oh you out in Europe, I am living vicariously through you all! We are still in a deep chill up to our thighs in snow! But all is well; I have nothing to complain about! Lovely magnolias, already! Ours won't bud until early MAY! YES....May.

    Be well! Anita

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  9. Happy Birthday. Good you are on the mend. I loved your post! The Edwardian Lady has inspired me for years too. Those wonderful watercolors.....the whole idea of a diary, a nature diary....and with sketches too. Oh my! And Elizabeth von Arnim got me through last winter. I downloaded every book I could find of hers. Loved them all! She is brilliant. Our public library only has Enchanted April but I found the rest on Gutenberg Press I think. They are available as free downloads as are stacks of other out of print treasures.
    Happy Spring to you too!

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  10. I'm amazed how your magnolias are flowering. Ours is still tiny buds and will be a month or two yet I think. Looks beautiful down your way now the weather has calmed down a bit. Hope you had a great birthday!

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    1. The magnolia is only flowering because I bought it inside and so I have a bit of spring early. They are still tiny buds outside. Sarah x

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  11. Happy birthday, if somewhat belated! Hope the weather starts to ease off for you, you've had such a battering down there haven't you. Take care and I hope you're feeling tip top soon :) x

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  12. M has had that cold and don't we know it! So far I've managed to avoid it. Hope you're feeling better now. Thanks for the book tip - looks very interesting. A friend bought me a kindle when I broke my neck and back as I couldn't hold a book up. I found it invaluable but never use it now! Perhaps when we go on holiday.....xx

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  13. Hey Sarah,

    Here's hoping you feel better soon. It has been great to get out in the sunshine. The half term has been spent outside as much as possible, with a fair bit of gardening thrown in too. I have a copy of The Country Diary. I'd like to read her biography. One for the books to read list. I don't have a Kindle, and never thought about it in terms of de-cluttering. Food for thought.
    Have a great week,
    Leanne xx

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  14. I haven't read Enchanted April but it is one of my favourite films - try and see it if you can. Hope you are feeling better now - colds do make you feel rotten don't they. Lovely to see the flowers from the garden.

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  15. Oh Sarah, hope you feel better soon. I have just got into e-books and am loving it! But next time we go away anywhere it is going to be a godsend, especially as I can use the tablet for blogging and internet too. I think the storm must have got to us and stopped, it's been really wild here today. It's bad news that there have been more landslips on the coast. Keep warm and dry and get rid of that cold!

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  16. Wow, that's a lot of sand on the street. Beautiful pictures though, glad you had a nice time there, and that you managed to see the children. I do hope that you're feeling completely better very soon, and that you have a good week.

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  17. Happy belated Birthday Sarah...sounds like you had a lovely relaxing week even though you had a rotten cold...(what a time to get one)
    I love Elizabeth Holden books, I think I bought mine in the 80s, such a talented lady..so sad she died young
    Thea x

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  18. Hello there Sarah! Thank you for coming by! I hope that we do get a good melt because I don't want to get stuck again as I did this week! That snow is very heavy! XOXOXOX

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  19. I remember seeing Enchanted April on the TV a long time ago - you have tempted me into thinking about getting the DVD to remind myself about it. I think that I felt it rather reminded me of Room with a View also set in Italy.
    Sorry to learn that your cold lingered on all week - how annoying when you had a week off work.
    Bringing the Magnolia into the house has created a lovely early spring treat.

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    1. Both these films I have just noticed are on You Tube. Sarah x

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  20. Happy new week to you as well Sarah! The floods in England are so terrible. We saw the images here on TV. I hope you are better and the weather will start to get better as well. Let's all wish for a warm and dry Springtime, I know I do.
    Marian

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  21. I hope you feel much better soon Sarah.
    Oh to be able to collect flowers from the garden again ~
    I look forward to it so !

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  22. I do hope your feeling better now, looks like your garden is coming alive.

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  23. A wonderful Magnolia Foto, I have also some in my livingroom. The books of Elizabeth von Arnim are wonderful, you can read it!

    Sigrun

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  24. I hope you're feeling better by now Sarah. I remember watching The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady on TV many years ago and fell in love with it and a few years back I was delighted to have found a copy of her diary in a nearby charity shop. Recently I started listening to audio books (borrowed from our community library) while doing my chores around the house but have not yet succumbed to the kindle.

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  25. While I was celebrating my birthday Feb. 17th, I seem to have missed your last two posts and have just now caught up. I too, wish you a happy belated birthday, Sarah, and hope that you will feel completely well soon! Your photos are lovely, and I especially appreciate seeing your flowers. This last year I have been downloading books onto my iPad Kindle App and been enjoying reading in this format, and would love to read the books you described, I think. Thanks for bringing them to my attention! xx

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  26. Wishing you a happy week. Hope you feel much better and the storms keep away. I enjoy using a kindle too, it does help with the clutter as you say. But for 'special' books I'd still much rather have a paper copy! Juliex

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  27. Happy Birthday :) I've been one of the Kindle haters, but actually like you I've been thinking it would reduce clutter and also be good for taking away....not quite convinced yet, but maybe....

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  28. One of the things I'm loving about the advent of eReaders is the way they are encouraging the discovery of long forgotten books and authors whose books are out of copyright so cheap to reproduce. Eliabeth von Arnim is an author I read years ago and am happy to revisit :)

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  29. Oh Happy Belated Birthday Sarah!! Sorry you haven't been feeling great but nice that you got to see your children :-) My husbands reads all his books on his iPad and loves it. I like to have a 'real' book in my hand (not that that's happening much lately) but to be fair I haven't even tried an electronic version so who knows. I do like the sound of less clutter though. Nice to see some signs of spring slowly make their way to your part of the world. Have a lovely week! Mel x

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  30. I hope you are feeling better now. I enjoyed the Country Diary book, so I will keep an eye out for The Edwardian Lady. I have done exactly the same with my kindle in using it for novels. Pete says there are only so many books you can keep on a boat! Beautiful pictures xxx

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  31. Sarah, So sorry to hear that you were under the weather. : (
    Wishing you a Happy belated birthday too. I know just how you felt too. Thank goodness you are feeling better. Your garden is showing some beautiful colors.
    I have not invested in a kendel but maybe sometime down the near future. I love books and I enjoy visiting the bookstore and when I'm done, I will sit and enjoy a cup of coffee in the bookstores cafe.
    Have a wonderful week Sarah. : )
    Blessings to you.

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  32. Hope your cold is better (I mean, hope You are better from the cold)...why do people say that first part?! I had heard a lot of sand was on the roads in Exmouth - our daughter lives there and had said. If you happened to have seen a blond haired girl on the beach with an orange cocker spaniel, you would have spotted her, lol.

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  33. Hope you enjoyed your birthday Sarah. I've never read the Edwardian Lady but have seen various illustrations from time to time. I love Italy and Elizabeth von Armin's book looks appealing. I recently bought a Kindle and am currently reading from it. It's great for holidays.
    Patricia x

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  34. Lovely post, though sorry about your cold. My daughter had a Kindle which she loved & has given it to her brother as she has an I Pad mini with her books on now. (her brother gets all her hand me downs ! )

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  35. Beautiful tulip magnolia flower!! I have several trees but they won't bloom until around Easter. I love your seaside pictures! :-)

    Michael
    http://michaelswoodcraft.wordpress.com/2014/02/09/strawberry-topped-cheesecake/

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  36. I hope that your cold is all gone and that you are feeling better now. I haven't read any Elizabeth Von Armin books, but I have Elizabeth and her German Garden on my kindle waiting for me to get to it, so I will be interested to know what you think of this book. Hope that you enjoy it, I have to say the cover would have captured by imagination too! xx

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  37. I enjoyed Elizabeth and Her German Garden, The Solitary Summer, and The Adventures of Elizabeth in Rugen. They got me interested in finding out more about the author so I read her daughter's biography, Elizabeth of the German Garden. Fascinating woman!

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  38. Sorry you didn't get to do the things you wanted on your week off and your birthday-terrible timing to get such a cold. I haven't read any of Elizabeths books. Lovely to see flowers in the garden at last. Not sure I'll get Kindle, just don't need any more electronics in my life!

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  39. Hey Sarah, sorry if I've missed your birthday, and to hear that you've caught the cold. Hope you're feeling better?

    I enjoy having less clutter, like yourself, but have yet to make the switch to digital books.

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  40. Dear Sarah,

    I am so glad I took the time to catch up on a few fabourite blogs this morning! This post is wonderful! First, I do hope you are feeling better. Colds can be quite exhausting. Second, I LOVED my Edwardian Lady's Country Diary when I was a little girl. I recall her finger prints being on some pages. As for Elizabeth von Arnim, I have read three of her books, The Enchanted April being the first. I have passed it one to my mother and she fell for its undeniable charms too. I've even quoted a small passage from Elizabeth And Her German Garden in my thesis draft!

    Happy Tuesday to you, Sarah!

    Stephanie

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  41. I do not know of Elizabeths books. The passage you wrote --sounds so much like the discription of Amalfi or the hills of Positano.
    I bought a tablet. On the tablet there is an app for kindle.. so I downloaded it. There are some books free, and some we can buy.
    My first one to download was A Tale of Two Cities. thought I would revise Dickens again.
    I keep all my photo on my mac. with back up.
    Sorry that your cold didnt go away for your birthday Sarah. Hope you are feeling better now.
    You sure had some bright sun there. At least the nasty weather has stopped.
    I love magnolias. How I wish I could grow them here.
    lovely post.
    happy week Sarah,
    val xx x x

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  42. Hello Sarah, I hope you are on the mend from your bad cold. I have Not read any of Elizabeth's books.. I do read a lot of books and I am reading The Hamish Macbeth Mystery series at the moment. 8 books so far this year. I was amazed at seeing all the sand on the roads. I reckon the rain will wash it away soon.. The Magnolia Bloom looked so very beautiful to me. I would LOVE to see your UK in the Spring. Hugs Judy

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  43. Lovely photos of the flowers and the sea. I hope you're feeling much better now. I also believe that if I'm going to feel rotten with a cold, then I'll treat myself to reading lots without feeling guilty that I should be doing something else instead! I don't use my Kindle that much, but I find it perfect for taking away on holiday because it saves on space. I used to take so many books!

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  44. Happy Bday! I hope yo are feeling better, i have a cold too...we were in londen last week, we went by train. I love the flowers from your garden! I like to read real books but also read on the e-reader or tablet mostly when i am traveling.

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  45. Happy belated birthday dear Sarah and sorry you had a cold - hope you are feeling better now.
    I have not read any of Elizabeth's books and will look out for them - I have the Edwardian diary and love all the illustrations to go with the stories and poems. My husband reads his books on a kindle but I still read books, love the feel of the paper and holding them in my hands.
    Glad you have some sunshine there and hopefully you will have some lovely Spring days there soon.

    Enjoy the week
    hugs
    Carolyn

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  46. I hope you're feeling better now Sarah? I'm going to have a better look at the books you mention in this post later when I've finished work, they look very interesting. But I just wanted to say how your photo of Exmouth made me smile as it's pretty near the spot I enjoyed a cuppa with my dear Gran in October, she's been on my mind a lot just lately. x

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    1. I did think of you when we were down there and wondered where you had been with your Gran. Sarah x

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  47. Sorry to hear that your week didn't go as planned. I'm happy you found something to keep you busy while you were sick!

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  48. I love your new header photographs!

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  49. I read An Enchanted April after it was recommended on the "Year of Books" challenge on http://circleofpinetrees.com.

    I loved it and it the descriptions of the gardens lifted my 'end of winter' mood. I would like to see the film so thanks for the Youtube tip.

    Sorry for the late comment but I have just found your blog and am so 'enchanted' by your photos that I have gone back to the beginning of your blog to catch up. I live by the sea (the mediterranean) and you have inspired me to start taking more photos.

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    1. I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed " Enchanted April" too! I have read some more of Elizabeth's books but I haven't found them as good as this one! Thank you for your lovely comments as I have taken more photographs I love at things in a different way now. Having digital camera means it is so easy to experiment and take more pictures. Sometimes I drive my family mad with the camera! Hope you will pop by again. Sarah x

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