I am devouring anything I can find on the shelves
by Molly Keane.
At the moment it is Treasure Hunt.
My Virago Modern Classic edition has an introduction
by Dirk Bogarde who says,
'If you are presently holding your very first copy of a novel
by Molly Keane, then you are indeed blessed.
You are, of course, unaware at this moment that
you are standing on the threshold of untold delights and splendours,
quite apart from all the glorious fun that waits you.'
An emergency exit from real life,
via glorious literary fun is exactly what is required at present.
Here is a barking mad Anglo-Irish household trying,
ineffectually,to come to terms with the reality of their
They are having difficulty finding any acceptable ways to economise,
but agree reluctantly to take in rich English paying guests.
I have just come across this wonderful portrait.
'Delightedly, Consuelo paused in the doorway.
For all her size and height she seemed as light as air.
She wore a dark cyclamen coloured jersey, big and soft,
her tiny bird's head was tied in a man's purple silk handkerchief.
She looked as rich and sweet as a very well-grown bed of violets -
Princess of Wales - grown on lots of leaf mould and old manure.
She carried a basket and a walking stick
and radiated aristocratic country activity.
As she advanced into her drawing room, wet hazel thickets,
the district nurse, the music of hounds,
your own grapes and peaches with the bloom warm on their skins,
wood fires, subscriptions to the Church and
The Times Library came with her, intangible and undeniable.'
Every day I wonder what will advance into the drawing room with you.
Blue and white china?
A lively menagerie?
A new wood floor?
Birds at a feeder?
A Barbie Doll leg?
A dictionary and thesaurus?
An embroidery hoop?
A Maori poem?