Few people, I’m assuming, have shelves of books in their kitchen; not cookery books although there are a few almost perfect coffee table cum food porn items authored by the sensually curved Ms Lawson if one were to turn ones head right (slowly so as not to put yer neck out with surprise!). I wonder if I am alone in only fleetingly (feigning) expressing interest in such books; I suspect not. In truth I have little interest in culinary matters; it always seems to be an inverse relationship between the amount of time spent ‘creating’ in the kitchen and the taste. By the time I’ve finished cooking I’m no longer hungry or have lost interest – perhaps cooking for one doesn’t hold sufficient interest, at least not for me!
Whilst waiting for the kettle to boil I looked up and the titles of the books on the shelf above the window caught my eye. Last weekend my friend shared her husband with me; when I say shared I mean his handyman skills, those involving a toolbox. OK I think I’ll stop there as I can sense some of you pausing metaphorically at the door of Ms Summer’s Emporium! Deep breath ladies back to the matter in hand; to the lighting in the kitchen. See not nearly as exciting is it! Sometime ago the bulbs had gone one by one in the ceiling light; to complicate matter the bulbs exploded for some unknown reason leaving the base stuck in the fitting. When the last one (of three) went I resolved to replace the fitting altogether – so when the Wizard – (I can hardly refer to said generous friend’s husband as a Fairy now can I! Curious don’t you think, when a fabulous female offers assistance one can refer to them as a magic fairy…) – was due I purchased a new fitting on line from John Lewis.
As I browsed the website for a suitable light fitting I hated myself for succumbing so easily and so young to the warm comforting bosom of John Lewis! It happened gradually, so gradually I didn’t notice it happening, but its true good customer service does make a difference! And heaven knows the staff are patient – a close female relative who shall remain nameless recently purchased a mini ipad from JL and when she had problems setting it up the tablet the JL staff spent an hour on the phone apparently trying to assist before giving in and saying that Madam needed to speak to Apple! That’s what I call going the extra mile – saved me the pain for which I am personally tremendously grateful (and sorry darling I do mean this! – But of course I’m still there for you as you develop a loving relationship with the little darling! Honest I will even when we’re in Mauritius – oops there’s the kitty wriggling out of the tote baggie!)
So the new light fitting duly arrived closely followed by the Wizard who bless him tried to make it work but the previous owner of the house had used SO much electric cable the new fitting simply couldn’t accommodate it all. But the Wizard was not about to give in and cleaned the old fitting, removed the remnants of the old bulbs and put it back up. Talk about let there be light – you could see, clearly, for the first time in months hence the gilt titles of the old books on the shelf catching my eye!
I confess I must have purchased these books on a trip to Hay-On-Wye when my interest was more in the way they looked rather than the contents. Well at least in part that’s true but this time I was intrigued; who wouldn’t by The Ethics of Dust by John Ruskin especially when dedicated to the Little Housewives! And who apologies to their readers these days??
Or Essays on Fallacy by Andrew McPhail addressed to women, theologians and professors who all apparently have something in common! And especially with contents including the American Woman and the Psychology of the Suffragette.
The implicit misogyny is apparently blatant and SO incredibly arrogant. Somehow I anticipate directing the steam from the kettle at these tomes in an attempt to somehow cleanse them! Ruskin draws me more than McPhail partly due to the Oxford College connection; one wonders quite how much the Dons have evolved since Ruskin’s days..
However I am intrigued by the Jean Cocteau one as on a first brief flick through it looks interesting; one feels dedicating time to reading this one might actually reveal a story that throw light on the man who wrote Les Enfants Terribles a tale that has always fascinated me for some unfathomable reason! The cover’s winged horse jumping over the world so symbolic and the flyleaf tells the book’s story – how did it find its way to Hay?