Maybe it’s just me (quite likely), or maybe it’s the spring time and the daffodils and the clear blue skies and the glorious sunshine. Maybe it’s watching aeroplanes do loop-the-loop as if they too are heralding spring, or maybe it’s because I am, at last, s l o w l y beginning to feel better (hurrah! thank you for your prayers – I know people have been praying for me and it’s an amazing gift – thank you). Anyway, whatever the reason, I have decided that I am celebrating all things Jane Austen. I have loved Jane Austen since I was 12 years old, which seems a l-o-n-g time ago as I hurtle towards middle age. Pride and Prejudice may have been the first ‘grown-up’ book that I ever read, in those BCF* days. My best friend Melanie and I used to dress up as 1800s ladies and pretend we were Jane and Elizabeth Bennett (funny how one always imagines oneself as one of the ladies, yet our ancestors were probably farm labourers or servants). Incidentally, there is a wonderful, but false, family story of my great great great (?) grandmother having been the daughter of a Lord Somebody who ran off with the gardener, my great great great grandfather. Life so imitates art that my mother reminds me of the – er – delightful Mrs Bennett. Mind you, my Frank is not so much a Mr. Darcy as a Colonel Brandon (very much so in fact). Lucky me, eh? 😉
To kick off Austen Fest I have been listening to the delightful (and free) Librivox audiobook of Persuasion (the text is also available online for nowt at Project Gutenberg). I have also been sewing and watching the oh-so-wonderful Kandukondein Kandukondein, which is the modern, Tamil version of Sense and Sensibility. If you have never seen Kandukondein Kandukondein you don’t know what you’re missing. It is a fabulous film, one of my personal all-time favourites, plus it stars the breathtakingly lovely Aishwarya Rai. So forgive me if I come over a trifle Mrs Darcy, but I’m indulging myself with an all-out Austen Fest for the rest of this week. Will you join me?
*BCF – Before Colin Firth