We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.
What really knocks me out is a book that, when you're all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn't happen much, though.
Two of my favourite bloggers have had excellent books published recently; one, Counting Steps by Mark Charlton, I have already written about and the second From the House of Edward, Essays by Pamela Terry, arrived in the post a few weeks ago from the USA, a signed copy, beautifully wrapped in my favourite wrapping which happens to be plain brown paper. First of all this book, I was really pleased to see, was just the right size, it fits in the palm easily, only everso slightly smaller than the average book nowadays; this is always a plus point with me. Secondly, it is a thing of beauty, both in its layout and in its exquisite understated illustrations - it is strewn throughout with four leaf clovers and every book has its own four leaf clover bookmark (and dear Edward is on that too). (When I first looked at the bookmark I thought they were shamrocks!).
I have delayed writing a ‘review’ of the book, not I hasten to add because I have an ounce of hesitation in recommending it to you but because I am enjoying just 'savouring' a book that is so special. I keep it by my bedside and like to read a small section last thing at night before I go to sleep as Pamela’s words are so soothing and strangely healing. Within it are many essays of myth, magic, celebrations of the seasons, of literature and art, sensual delights, scenes from her life, poems, quotations, much much more and her own beautiful prose which is poetry in itself.
If I had the power to I would prescribe this book to anyone who suffers when the Black Dog comes calling, or to anybody at all on those poorly days, fluey days, weepy days, boring days, cold days etc but also the happy and definitely high days and holidays – there is so much within both to cheer and to inspire.
Today I am curled up by the Rayburn, fleeced and scarved around my throat, feeling a little under the weather. I have the dog and the cat at my feet who are also enjoying the warmth of the fire. Pamela’s words take me to her land and to many places, many seasons. I am dipping into the book, it is the best way to experience it I feel, rather than reading it straight through. I am currently in December. Some essays I remember from her fine blog, some are new to me. Some lines I yearn to copy out for you, some essays too but you will just have to buy the book - why not put it in your letter to Santa?
I was just one of the people who told Pamela that she should get her writing published in book form so I am thrilled that she has done so and I can’t wait for her next one. She is one of life’s true ‘sweet hearts’, a gifted writer who sees all that is magical and beautiful in the world and creates it for us, so poetically, in her writings. An artist in the true sense in that her heart touches others.
I wish I lived near to her as our interests are so similar and I am sure we would be friends but her bloghttp://fromthehouseofedward.blogspot.co.uk/ is unlike mine in that it is pleasantly rant-free and wholly positive and I follow it religiously. Please keep writing Pamela.
From the House of Edward is my ‘book of the year’.
(And Edward is a sweetie too).
Bye for now,