Life, photos but not the universe

Pox and Pemberley

Last wednesday, the gorgeous grandbaby officially had  a viral rash, however the next morning, the vastly increased quantity of pink spots made it almost certainly chickenpox.  She didn’t seem to mind though.  The spots didn’t seem to itch a lot (yet) and certainly in no way affected her high spirits and general enthusiasm for food, toddling at high speed, conversation and books.

I stayed the night (because we had our approximately monthly book group meeting in the evening) and was awoken at five am (along with the neighbours I should think) by night-time unhappiness.  I think this was soon sorted out but it did mean that when nap time came along in the afternoon, I was more than merely ready for it.  She seemed perfectly content to chortle and sing and practice shouting babble words in her pram, though not at all inclined to sleep, so I left her to it for three quarters of an hour.  What a good natured little person she is.

Anyone remember “The Wide Sargasso Sea” by Jean Rhys?  I never realised that it was the early story of Rochester’s wife from Jane Eyre but I enjoyed  it a lot.  Our book choice this month was “Death Comes to Pemberley” by PD James, which is a murder mystery in the setting of Pride and Prejudice, some years after the conclusion of Jane Austen’s novel.  I’ve never been an Austen devotee and haven’t read P&P since I was a teenager.  I didn’t like it much then but I thought I should re-read it and was pleasantly surprised.  Then I read Ms James’ book and was not.  And that was the verdict of us all four  (we’re a very select group).

Miss Austen offers wit, sparkle and irony together with penetrating social observation.  Ms James has atmosphere and foreboding and um, well, a somewhat gothic and complicated murder mystery.  Not a happy marriage.

I was surprised at the number of fanfiction novels there are, based on Austen novels, and mildly tempted by a Joan Aiken attempt – she, after all, has wit and sparkle – but the reviews put me off.  It seems that Miss Austen is inimitable.

We’ve had a couple of nice evenings and I went birdwatching across the road.  There was a blackbird in the hazel stand and a hunting kite and then a whole family of kites roosting.  Nice.

February 20, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. Good to get chickenpox out of the way in the winter – heat makes the rash far worse, and more itchy. They all seem to get it really young nowadays. Precocity extends even to poxes.

    I read “The Wide Sargasso Sea” years ago, thought it was very good. I did know before reading it that it was about Mrs Rochester … Bertha? Can’t remember. Someone gave me “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” a year or two back, which was entertaining but peculiar.

    Comment by Z | February 20, 2012 | Reply

  2. I have read none of the classics and it probably shows but I did see a wren in the garden this morning.

    Comment by rosie | February 20, 2012 | Reply

  3. I did most of my reading before the age of 15.

    Our tame Robin popped by today.

    Comment by Rog | February 20, 2012 | Reply

  4. Poxy precocity Z! Brilliant. I shall tell Mrs Middle how lucky they are to get the pox in winter – Mr Middle hasn’t had it so it’s a bit worrying. Man flu is one thing but I suspect man pox is quite another. (at least it isn’t mumps)

    I would never have guessed rosie but then I only read them under protest at the time. I saw a wren this evening too, down by the river.

    Biggles Rog? No you must be much too young for him. Our goldfinches are back. It’s probably because we refilled the niger seed pot.

    Comment by letouttoplay | February 20, 2012 | Reply

  5. Ohhh…chicken pox is a good thing to get over with outta the gate! Leastwise that’s the rumor–but who knows what’s true!

    I’ll hope for no poxes for Mr. Middle….that….would suck.

    I’ve got a series of Austen books that aren’t yet read. I believe I read them in my teens–but I can’t recall a single one of ’em. *sigh* I probably wasn’t really paying attention, huh? GO figure….I was a little terror before I became a big terror.

    Comment by Mel | February 24, 2012 | Reply

  6. I read some in my teens too Mel. Probably a mistake. Though I knew people who loved them even then. Much cleverer than me obviously : )

    Comment by letouttoplay | February 25, 2012 | Reply

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