Monday, 19 October 2009

Of Combatting Colds

Apologies for the lack of posting, but I'm rather Under The Weather at present. Although I seem to be keeping the dreaded Swine Flu at bay, I have succumbed to a rather nasty cold. This has left me with a voice that comes and goes (and always comes at a rather lower pitch than usual), and an inclination to do little more than curl up with a cup of hot water with honey and lemon and a blanket. And a good book, of course: at the moment, I'm enjoying Barbara Pym's Excellent Women. This is the only the second Pym I've read; by fluke, my first was actually her first published novel -- Some Tame Gazelle -- and it turns out that Excellent Women is her second, as well as mine. I'm very pleased to have finally read some Pym, and will be posting some more about her once I'm more myself. In the meantime, if anyone has any recommendations for any particular Pym favourites, I'd love to hear them!

I've also been snuggling up beneath the bedclothes (hurray for wireless internet!) with my laptop to continue working my way through The Wire. I'm about half way through the final season now and already becoming sad at the thought that it's nearly all over. Alongside this I've been enjoying the fact that True Blood has just come to 4oD. I wouldn't normally say I'm one for vampire dramas, but I'd had it recommended by several friends, and I must admit I'm already gripped: it's a tad melodramatic perhaps (well, it is about vampires I suppose...), but it's funny, incredibly sexy, and totally addictive. Oh, and it has the best title sequence I've seen for a while (these are getting so good now -- the one to the divine Mad Men is another personal favourite).

Right, for now, I think I might just make myself another cup of tea, make sure the tissues are within reach, and retreat to my comfort reading again until I am feeling slightly more human myself! It is perhaps fortunate in such circumstances that I can say with Sir W (in his 1600 essay 'Of Fame') that as long as I can remember,

'my occupation hath been vehemently bookish'.


verity said...

I hope you feel better soon Sophie. I think Pym is a perfect accompanient to trying to make oneself feel better; I would recommend absolutely any of Pym.

Sophie said...

Thanks, Verity! I'll definitely be on the look out for some more Pym after this one :)

skirmishofwit said...

Hope you get over the cold soon! Bed and tea definitely the way to go ;) Glad you're enjoying True Blood as much as I did!

I just attended the Persephone Book Club in London tonight btw - lots of fun!

Sophie said...

Haha, yes, True Blood is good fun!

You must tell me all about the Persephone Book Club -- sounds great! I'm still sad about the Oxford one finishing before I even had a chance to attend a meeting :(

Bloomsbury Bell said...

Hope you get better soon! I must add Pym to my to be read pile as I have never read anything by her.
Having a cold is sometimes a good thing to make you catch up on rest, reading and of course TV! I never got in to the Wire but I know people rave about it - I am more into the Sopranos which I am working my way through.

Sophie said...

Bloomsbury Bell: Yes, well I definitely recommend Pym based on these first two! I think the covers are so cute, too.

I'm the opposite to you in that I've never seen The Sopranos, although I really want to. Maybe once I'm through with The Wire I can move on to that!

Merenia said...

Sophie, I've read nearly all the Barbara Pym novels since recently 'discovering' her. (Bought mainly off Amazon for 1p and then the whopping 7 pound postage to Australia! This was just before Virago started republishing them.) They have been utterly superb. Probably Some Tame Gazelle was the hardest to get into - they are not read for their racy plots obviously, and Some Tame Gazelle is almost plotless but has fabulous small village observations.
(Are you enjoying the details about Harriet's shoes?! Being the shoe lover you are.)

Anyway my recommendation for your next Barbara Pym is without a doubt "Crampton Hodnet". Set in North Oxford, in October!, containing hilarious accounts of The Bod, brilliant satire on academics, librarians, students, and an achingly good moment set in the British Museum. It was written for YOU! It's hilarious and gorgeous. It also introduces characters that carry over into "Jane and Prudence" and "Less Than Angels".

There is a Barbara Pym Society in the UK ( a google search will do it) and they meet yearly at St Hilda's College for a dinner as Barbara Pym was a graduate. (As you can see I am a little obsessed and have become rather 'train spotting' about her!)

I hope you feel better soon.

Sophie said...

Merenia, thank you so much for all your information about Pym! I have really enjoyed both 'Some Tame Gazelle' and 'Excellent Women', so I can't wait to try some more. 'Crampton Hodnet' sounds wonderful!! I'll be ordering it from Amazon straight away -- thanks for the recommendation. And yes, I did indeed appreciate all the details about shoes, haha! I must look into the Pym Society as well: thanks for the heads up. I can see how she could be the type of writer to really inspire a loyal following!

I am feeling a little better today after a day in bed, although still rather weak and woozy. I put Susan Hill to one side for now and read 'The Affair of the Thirty-Nine Cufflinks' inbetween naps as I felt I needed a proper comfort read, and it obliged very nicely!