There was very little reading going on around here last month. My Year in Books choice for September was The One Hundred Year Old Man. It started off okay and was completely ridiculous but funny, once or twice in a laugh out loud way (embarassing when you are on the train) but it soon became so unbelievable and so tedious I struggled to keep going. It felt like a single not very good joke - this elderly man climbing out of a window on his 100th birthday and then getting into all sorts of escapades - that was being spun out over 387 pages... far too long and by the time I got to the end it had put me off picking up another book. I just didn't feel like reading anything. Silly ending too!
Then my friend Anne popped The Way We Wore - A Life in Clothes through the letterbox so I thought I might as well read that as anything else. It is an autobiography by Daphne Selfe the 87 year old supermodel who was one of the stars of Fabulous Fashionistas (I've suddenly spotted an age theme to my reading!). To be completely honest the writing wasn't that good and it was rather repetitive but it was interesting from a social history of dress point of view. And she did come acoss as a rather nice lady, if a little naive. At one point during early years she claims that they had to be frugal with their clothes as they were poor... and then almost in the next paragraph tells of sitting at the grand piano in the sitting room and how they could only afford one girl to help around the house!
Another reason for not reading so much this month has been the start of my new venture (Thank you for all the wonderful words of encouragement by the way)... which of course has required much research and reading of cookery books. This is my latest aquistion
Although I think that Patisserie Made Simple is a bit of a misnomer. Nothing simple about it!
When we passed through France on return from our holiday I took many photos of beautiful Patissiers and we sampled the gorgeous Laduree macarons which came in so many delightful colours and flavours
So it seemed like a good idea to perfect my own macaron skills especially as they are often seen decorating the tops of fancy cakes. I have made them before without too much trouble but the first batch I made following Ed Kimber's instructions in the book were useless being all soft and cracked... so they went in the bin. The second batch were marginally better and I managed to take the photo below before most of those went in the bin too! What they lacked in good looks, they made up for in taste but I came to the conclusion that mostly they are too much effort for what you get back in return... and I'm a girl who will happily while away an entire afternoon on fiddly twiddly baking. No more macarons for me... and then I saw these by Hazel from Procastibake and I've changed my mind. I know I will make these!
Another thing I have been reading is a playscript, as at the end of this month our drama group is putting on 'Allo, 'Allo. I never manage to read many other books when I have lines to learn. I confess I had never seen the TV programme until we got involved with this play and I'm not sure what I feel about it. It is so ridiculous and totally non PC but there are several laugh out loud moments so I'm sure it will be fun. I'm playing the part of Michelle, the resistance leader... Listen very carefully, I shall say zis only once...
And so to my choice of book for October... which is Emma by Alexander McCall Smith. I was almost a week into the month with nothing new to read, despite having many books on shelves and on lists that I would like to read, when Stewart brought this back for me from a recent trip up to Dundee. It is a retelling Jane Austen's classic (which I confess I have never read) and a gentle, easy read in the style of all his previous books. Nothing earth shattering, but enjoyable enough!