During my three hours in the car each day, to and from work, I've been listening to some audio versions of a literary classic - LM Montgomery's 'Anne of Green Gables'.
Then 'Anne of Avonlea'. Then 'Anne of the Island'. Swiftly followed by 'Anne's House of Dreams'. I'm now on 'Anne of Ingleside'. I think. Or it could be 'Rainbow Valley'. They're all pretty much the same.
I'm addicted. These books are the literary equivalent of snuggling under a soft, warm duvet in a twilit room with the rain beating on the window outside and an unwrapped Chocolate Orange in one's hand. Absolute bliss.
Whilst listening, I've been able to switch off from work, family, church, school and Slumming Girl diet demands. The stories are quite dated, and some of the language is a bit flowery. And I do admit to snorting my coffee when the narrator spoke of Anne and her friend looking after the baby for the afternoon 'in an orgy of girlish love making'.
Over the past few weeks, I've spent over forty hours of travel time with Anne and her chums and the manly, sexy Gilbert Blythe (sigh). I'm a sucker for these types of books. Before I was 10, I'd read all of Laura Ingalls Wilder's 'Little House' series. Even the lesser known 'The First Four Years' and 'Farmer Boy'. My hero is Jo from Louise May Alcott's 'Little Women' books. Or Katy from 'What Katy Did'. Or Caddie Woodlawn.
I yearn for their times of good old fashioned values and delicious sounding food. Plum duffs, molasses toffee, vanilla fudge, raspberry cordial, currant wine.
(Wonder how many 'syns' I'd have to note on my food diary for a plum duff......just checked Slumming Girl online syns count. 'Sorry, no record found.' I'm guessing it would come in at 500% of my daily allowance).
I'd get to grow my hair long (the obligatory plaits would sort out my old problem of looking like Dougal from the Magic Roundabout when my hair grows longer than a few inches). I'd run around barefoot. I'd eat maple syrup and snow. And apple cobbler (what?). And peppermint balls.
I'd be able to teach school after just a year of college and then could give up work and let a man look after me as soon as I got married. I'd wear a corset to give me my hour glass figure.
I'd go to church on Sundays. And would have no hoover. I'd have to walk everywhere. I wouldn't be able to spend quiet hours on the toilet after too much curry. There would be no curry.
I think I may have exhausted the genre of late nineteenth century North American literature for pre teenaged girls. Time to move on, grow up and get back to the present. I wonder if Nigella has written her autobiography yet?
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