Good companions

Monday morning walk with friend; discuss Parish News, alliums and largely unsuccessful attempts to interest teenage children in Family Outings at half-term. Discover that will both be on holiday in more or less same place at more or less same time in August and provisionally arrange to meet for Beach Picnic. Feel duty bound to reveal advice in newly-acquired guide book that chosen place should at all costs be avoided in July and August, but we agree not to let this worry us.

How To Be A Heroine and current discussions about English Literature syllabus prompt me to dig out own reading diary, laboriously recording all books read from early teens to twenties, in order to discover The Books That Shaped Me. Memories of dusty classics and Penguin paperbacks and sporadic waves of enthusiasm for particular authors come flooding back;  I was apparently shaped by improbable mixture of Anthony Trollope, P G Wodehouse and early Margaret Drabble.

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