— But you will be ready to say, what was your hope in doing this? — What did you look forward to? — To any thing, every thing — to time, chance, circumstances, slow effects, sudden bursts, perserverance and weariness ... Every possibility of good was before me, and the first of blessings secured ... — from Emma, by Jane Austen (1775-1817)
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December 31, 2012

While we're waiting for Season 3...



...couldn't this almost be Downton Abbey, 20 seasons from now? :)

      'Tea's in the kitchen,' Cressida said. "I hope you won't mind.' It did not matter. she had long ago decided, whether her visitors minded the kitchen or not. But one went on asking them, just the same, one of those pointless questions that were supposed to denote good manners. Still, there was even less point in looking or sounding rude.
      'The kitchen!' Miss Ambleside echoed. 'How quaint and amusing, Cressida dear.'
      'How odd, you mean, Cressida thought. But she said, 'It's easier, you see, and most people seem to bear it pretty well.'
      The kitchen was entered by Miss Ambleside. She stood just inside the door, waiting, Cressida guessed, to see what she could smell. Actually the most noticeable smell in the room came from a large bowl of carnations on the window-sill, over which a light breeze was blowing. The rest of the party appeared in due course and introductions were made. Miss Ambleside, her society manner very well in hand, turned to her neighbor at the large, scrubbed deal table.
      'I find this most original,' she said. 'Somehow one never visualises meals in one's kitchen.'
      'I'm all for it myself,' Madge Rimmington-Clarke said heartily, 'Food's hotter, y'know, and seems to be more of it.'
      'Well, yes, perhaps,' Miss Ambleside compromised with 'but I feel one would miss all one's nice things so terribly.'
      'Nice things are all right if there's someone to clean 'em,' Madge went on. 'I can't stand polishin' tables myself.'
      'I rather like polishingm' Mary Handley said, 'but it's carrying trays of ullage I loathe. Here you can at least drop things straightinto the sink.'
      'Yes,' Mrs. Yates broke in, glad of a conversation she could for once really take part in. 'Yes, I do think washing-up is so much less nasty if you don't have piles of dirty things arriving on a tray. I mean a tidy stack in the sink is so different somehow.'
      'And I like my second helpin' hot,' Madge continued, 'which they aren't in most dinin'-rooms, unless you have the servants runnin' backwards and forwards all the time, and that's so fidgeting' for 'em, poor dears, and generally hellish noisy as well. Their shoes squeak and they do so breathe! ...
      'Well, I don't want to sound snobbish,' Mary Handley said, 'but through no fault of my own, I was brought up by an uncle with a footman behind every chair. I once poured my soup into the flower bowl just to see if that would shake the butler. It didn't! After that I got so jittery I couldn't eat without looking behind me first!'
      'Well, it's nice to know.' Madge said, 'that the upper classes suffer too.'
      'Speaking as a cook,' Cressida said, 'I can only tell you that meals in the kitchen make a difference of eight hundred and thirty-five hours a year! At least something like that. I did work it out once.'
      'Well,' Miss Ambleside said, a little breathlessly,'I must say you all have quite unanswerable reasons, but I don't know, I'm sure. I'm too old, I expect, for all these new ideas.' She contrived to convey disapproval of kitchens in spite of what anyone might say. ...
      'But,' Tori continued, turning to Miss Ambleside with what would have been a bow from the waist had he not been seated, 'I must agree with you when you speak of beautiful furniture. Who does not enjoy food upon shining tables with glass full of light and silver - Ah!' he expanded his shoulders and waved his thin hands lavishly, 'the sensation to the fingers of a well-polished silver spoon!'
      Miss Ambleside beamed. A nice little man, she decided. She had not caught his name but must remember to find out.

from A House in the Country, by Jocelyn Playfair
 
 


Happy new year, everyone!
 

{pretty kitchen found here}


 

2 comments:

Darlene said...

I love it when books sound this good and they just so happen to be sitting on my shelf. Lovely...

Through illicit means I have already watched series three and the Christmas special, Audrey. Get your tissues ready.

Marie said...

Happy New Year Audrey! :) <3

Thank you for visiting!

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