Sunday, 12 January 2014

First Flower of 2014

A bit of sun in Levenshulme yesterday, and it was a relief to see the year's first flower, straining its way out of the window box.

Yesterday was given over to a leisurely visit to Cheadle Hulme - Jeremy at the garden centre, me looking at the second hand books and Charity shops. I invested in yet another Alice - this one from the Eighties and illustrated by Anthony Browne. I was just reminding myself last week that I need to reread Alice - and a new artist seems a good way to revisit this favourite of all books.

Best cafe in Cheadle - and one of my favourites in the whole city - is the Big Bite, which is homely and cheap with its comfy booths and colossal Breakfast Barms oozing fried egg and scorched bacon and proper frothy coffee, too (as opposed to the ubiquitous too-milky lattes) - and here I sat with a cheese toastie, thoroughly enjoying 'The Gipsy in the Parlour' - Margery Sharp's tartly funny novel from 1953, all about Victorian sisters-in-law and monstrous cuckoos-in-the-nest. Sharp is now famous mostly for her series of children's books about 'The Rescuers' (and justly so: it's a wonderful series of books.) But her novels for grown-ups are fabulous and wickedly funny. She always makes us love her adventuresome villainesses. (Thanks to Nick @ Pile of Leaves for finding this one for me, as a Christmas surprise. Sharp's books can be quite hard to come by.)

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