Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Autumn Hydrangea

Autumn is definitely setting in. We've had some chilly, blustery, rainy weather the past several days. This hydrangea down the street is just about played out, going dusky and brown-flowered.

This is what it looked like earlier in the summer -- in early July, to be precise. Quite a difference!

Yesterday I looked for Pat the Balcony Spider and our caterpillar and couldn't find either one. The wind was especially intense on the balcony over the weekend. Maybe they've moved on to warmer locales, though where that would be I'm not sure. A hole in the dirt of a flowerpot? Who knows?

I'm glad I have a comfy apartment from which to view this weather. There's nothing better than lying on the couch in the afternoon reading "Mapp and Lucia" with the wind and rain lashing outside. Especially after tromping around in the rain, as I did yesterday morning, running errands.

"Mapp and Lucia" is a great book, by the way. Written by E. F. Benson and first published in 1935, it's about two very proper British women who become village rivals. It's full of terrific sentences like, "He was almost sorry he had sent her that wonderful Brocklebank letter, for she had been in a very tight place, especially when Miss Mapp had actually seen her stripped and skipping in the garden as a cure for influenza; and had he not, by his stroke of genius, come to her rescue, her reputation here might have suffered an irretrievable eclipse, and they might all have gone back to Riseholme together." There are other books in the series, and I'm going to seek them out, because this is a hoot.


  1. Oh! How funny you should mention Mapp & Lucia. Your post sent me flying over to my bookcase! I love Lucia! I have a huge book that contains "Make Way for Lucia" which I never did get all the way through.

    I think I got started by seeing a PBS series years ago and went looking for the books.

    Make Way for Lucia contains: Queen Lucia, Lucia in London, Miss Mapp, The Male Impersonator, Mapp and Lucia, The Worshipful Lucia and Trouble for Lucia. My bookmark shows I made it right up to Mapp & Lucia.

    I need to read them again. I'm so glad you reminded me. Looks like most of the them are available on Amazon (at least Amazon stateside).

    Maybe Pat's life cycle has been spent. It's better not to know what happened to him if he doesn't show back up. Remember Charlotte's demise?

  2. On second thought, I am pretty certain that I read Mapp & Lucia first as a stand alone book and liked it so much I got the collection. ;)

  3. Oh my! Sounds like a lovely series!
    Your spider...well, she has probably laid her eggs and gone on to the great Spider Heaven. I think they only live for the one season. I could be wrong.

  4. Lynne: Yes! There was a series on TV, probably originally by the BBC. That's how I knew of Mapp & Lucia -- my friend Christopher used to talk about the tv show all the time. I've never seen it, but when I saw the book I knew to grab it. You must have the whole series! As for Pat, I think I read that these spiders live for two years, though where they go during the winter is a mystery to me.

    Ms. Moon: "Lovely" is what Mapp and Lucia would call it, I'm sure. :) As I mentioned above, I think the spider might hang around this winter, but I'm not sure.

  5. Pat is probably just hunkered down- Jimmy Spider disappears in the winter into a tiny crack in the ceiling- who knows what he has behind there- probably a spider's palace in the rafters. There are no flies, unless he has his own dead mouse up there. Spiders are so smart, I wouldn't be surprised.
    Never heard of the series but now will be on the look out- who could resist sentences like that!

  6. I definitely need to check out the series. I REALLY hope my library has the audio versions. Sounds like just the kind of thing I like to listen to.

  7. I've never heard of this book, but that quote is hilarious! I am so grateful to read good, good language like that, the kind of old-fashioned, mannered writing that gives me solace --