R e l a x !

There's much to do: the house is still pretty messy from the Christmas bomb that went off here. The kids rooms need a complete makeover - I'm supposed to be getting quotes from painters and bidding for bunks on ebay and sorting stuff..and yet there's something about this time in January that screams:
 R E L A X !

I must admit, I'm not trying too hard to fight it.

Books from my Christmas pile keep calling me. I'll just read the publishing credits I tell myself, and then an hour later I'll look at my watch and realise that no one's eaten and it's way past a meal time, or there's washing to be hung out while the weather is fine...

I love the influx of new books into our home that this season brings. When we're staying on the South Coast we troop down to the local library and happily grab a large pile, which lasts us about three days before we go back for more. And my kids have caught the bug of scouring the coastal junk shops for old books. Jesse (eight year old) was thrilled to discover a selection of pristine vintage HARDY BOYS! Woohoo!
There's something about these 1970s editions that leave the modern day versions for dead! I'm instantly transported back to myself as a twelve year old reading similar copies.

In the end we had so many new/old books to take home with us that  major repacking of the car was required just to fit the kids back in! Lucky for them, we managed it.

My new Christmas literary stash covers a broad spectrum of subjects, from the literary to cookbook, decorating and general knowledge. Two new Australian titles, All That I Am by Anna Funder and The Street Sweeper by Elliot Perlman - both deal with Holocaust survivors/experiences/history/identity -received excellent reviews in 2011, so I'm hoping they live up to the hype. Am also looking forward to seeing how P.D. James has pulled off her murder mystery with Elizabeth Bennet and Colin Firth Mr Darcy, in Death Comes to Pemberley. I bought a copy of this for my sister-in-law who has just returned with her family from a fabulous holiday in the motherland (UK) where she retraced many of Colin Firth's Jane Austen's footsteps. My neice (now 18 years old) was obsessed with Mr Darcy when she was about four years old. Courtesy of the BBC videos, she could say "She is tolerable but not handsome enough to tempt me!" in a voice dripping with contempt, which from a four year old was quite something. Complete with a 'darcy costume' that included a riding crop that she rapped against her legs as she walked, Miranda later excelled at english. I fervently hope my children emulate their cousin in this way!

These wonderful new editions of Puffin Classics by Penguin are as gorgeous to display as they are wonderful to read. I have other versions, but have to admit to coveting as many of these as I can lay my hands on. (A big thanks to my lovely sister-in-law Jane for these two!) Displayed in my girls' room, I'll place them high enough to admire, but low enough for little hands to pull down and discover the literary gold they hold!

And with so much reading to do, what could be better than Jamie Oliver's 30 minute meals to get us through January? It's about all the time I'll be able to spare for cooking, so I'm pleased no one should suffer as a result of my divided priorities. Oh and there is a special treat I found in the sales that will assist in my reading/relaxing mode (cue groaning from Jonathan!):


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