The year’s at the spring

Spend some time yesterday evening trying to think of intelligent and inspiring answer to Woman’s Hour request for The One Piece of Advice You’d Give Your Daughter.  Actual advice to daughter to a) stop working b) watch Emma and c) marry Mr Knightley suggests that such an answer may be some way off.

Preparations for Horticultural Association AGM on Friday proceeding apace; scheduled speaker on Growing And Showing Daffodils now unable to attend, but friend manages to find last-minute replacement happy to speak about Poisonous Plants. Cannot avoid slight sense of déjà vu as begin to draft report on The Association’s Activities in 2014, but hope that AGM audience will find marked similarity to last year’s report reassuring rather than otherwise.

Return books to village library, unread and late; librarian as always kindly and understanding but conscience remains burdened as Problems With The New System preclude payment of 42p fine. Make last-ditch attempt to encourage sons’ reading with book marked Unsuitable For Younger Readers.

Universal agreement around village that today is A Lovely Day (Although That Wind Is Still A Bit Chilly); am confidently informed that the weekend will be Glorious.

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16 thoughts on “The year’s at the spring

  1. I guess if I had a daughter, the advice would have to be the same as my Mum gave me …… always wear clean knickers in case you get knocked down by a bus!! The best advice I ever gave my son was to brake, as he nearly ran into the back of a lorry when I had him out for driving practice before his test. All indications are that the weekend will indeed be Glorious!!

  2. Yes, Mrs Ford, re advice to a daughter re marrying Mr Knightly. So long as she doesn’t forget her vocation, despite material comfort, to write. Advice to a daughter (or to Mrs Ford). To write a novel “in which the most thorough knowledge of human nature, the happiest delineation of its varieties, the liveliest effusions of wit and humour, are conveyed to the world in the best-chosen language”. Write your novel, ok?

    • Well, that’s quite a challenge! Not sure that either of us will quite manage such heights, but have at least made a definite plan to re-read Northanger Abbey

  3. Marrying Mr Knightley sounds like a top plan, I wish someone had told me to do that. I got it all wrong. The poisonous plants talk sounds wonderful, it will be just like Midsomer Murders. I’ve heard that if you drink the water from a vase of lily of the valley it will kill you. Wonder if that’s true. Good to hear the weekend will be glorious, I shall look forward to it. CJ xx

    • I’m now wondering whether I need to warn Horticultural Association members not to Get Any Ideas! I will make sure to put your lily of the valley query to our speaker and will let you know what she says.

    • Sorry, I forgot to raise your lily of the valley query with our speaker last week but a quick Google suggests that it is indeed a poisonous plant so probably best not to drink vase water! The talk did contain rather more about murders than I was expecting, but went down very well – worryingly well? – with the audience….

  4. I love the opening description of the heroine and how she grew up a tomboy, rolling down hills with her brothers. It’s quite a poignant coming-of-age novel, really, and the first novel Austen finished writing. I can’t help thinking the description of childhood might be a little bit autobiographical. Claire Tomalin, in her superb ‘Life of Jane Austen’ seems to think so. There. I hope that’s raised the tone of my comments on your lovely blog. Bit of dissonance in my last one, the incongruity of quoting Jane Austen and undeleted expletives in the same sentence. Ah, well.

    • More than happy with a bit of dissonance, and anxious to maintain full commenter authenticity on Mrs Ford’s Diary – but wondered whether this meant you’d prefer Expletives Deleted (a la Angela Carter), so I have done a quick edit of your earlier comment – hope that’s ok. Thank you for all the Northanger Abbey inspiration – I’m getting really excited about re-reading it (I’m currently reading I Am Pilgrim, which is not quite the same).

  5. I’m not entirely sure about Mr Knightley, a bit old for her? – a bit weird an older bloke hanging around like that? – can’t help thinking Jane Fairfax might be in for a happier time. 🙂

    • I think I’m now at the stage where everyone seems quite young, Mr Knightley included, but take your point; perhaps he’d be better for me than my daughter….. I’m clearly going to have to re-read Emma now (after Northanger Abbey – this blog is definitely having a positive effect on my literary knowledge!).

    • I am something of an expert myself on this very subject, ever since staying in a holiday cottage where we thought the owner had thoughtfully left us a supply of onions…..It looks like we will have much to discuss tomorrow! Hope that your weekend weather is as good as promised – it’s another lovely day here.

  6. Same weather-related views here – identical, in fact! With the added: “You don’t know what to wear, do you?” for emphasis.

    Not having had a daughter, I can’t think of a single sensible piece of advice I would have offered; on the other hand, it didn’t matter in the least what advice was given to my son, because he didn’t listen to a word of it…..

    • Yes, I think we must now look forward to two months of tricky clothing decisions! I like to think that my children are secretly appreciating all the pearls of wisdom I generously offer them….

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