Monday, 13 January 2014


Books have always been a favourite part of my life.
These days I enjoy being a member of a Reading Group – it used to be Wendy Robertson’s excellent Room-to-Write one; now it is the U3A group.  Today we considered the work of Rumer Godden who wrote more than 60 novels and published the last one just a few years before her death at the age of 90. She wrote for both adults and children and her descriptions of the countries in them were a delight to read. My choice was “Pippa’s Passage” about the Midlands Cities Ballet Troupe visiting Venice to begin a season of dancing in Italy. It was published in 1994.

When I was a little girl every Saturday was a boring day spent at the home of two Aunties, but a big bookcase under the stairs meant I could while away the hours by reading. The book I liked best was “The Wide, Wide World” – I’ve no idea who wrote it but years later, after the house had been broken up and the books destroyed, I looked for it at car-boot sales and second-hand shops but without success until last year I visited the Bygones museum in St Marychurch near Torquay. There in a reconstructed child’s bedroom a book was lying casually on top of a cot.  Sure enough it was “The Wide, Wide World” but it was impossible to handle it or even read the author’s name.  Nevertheless I was happy to see it.