Drawing in

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The Painter’s family (detail)

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Another detail of The Painter’s family

Some time before I or any of us had even heard of hyyge, I had a short summer visit to Norway where I went to the National Gallery and strongly enjoyed the National bend for painting lots of pictures of people having breakfast. It’s very easy art to live with, and I found it immensely comforting. I particularly like this one for early winter with the lamplight on the faces, and the mix of snow, books and porridge.

 

Blog of the week

Well, sort of. This is actually Tweets of the week, as Helen posts @LBFlyawayhome on the Ladybird Books.

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The illustrations range from the pretty,

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to the of-their-time (I was tickled at how much Charles II and his courtier have faced exactly out of a mid-century illustration of sober lawyers), to the unintentionally amusing

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and the completely barmy and opinionated:

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Geffrye

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The Geffrye Museum, one of the first places I discovered for myself in my gap year and now a frequent sight in the morning. The courtyard allows the light to fall in it, whatever time of year, but is especially beautiful when so lushly green in early summer.

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May 2017.

Apricots on the Nile

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1930s and 1940s Cairo, Alexandria and Paris mingle with elegance and sadness. I was reminded of it partly by Amy’s photos and partly by my latest book, Antonia Fraser’s memoir of wartime and post-war Oxford.

Heavens to Betsy

 

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Reminded by Beth Bonini’s cheerful Instagram feed of these delightful books (I’ve posted about their companion volumes here and here before), I think I’m getting ready for a re-read.

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Lots of commentators compare these books to Meet Me in St Louis, and as well as the period details (the hairstyles! the dresses! the slang! the excitement over a telephone!), what I love most is the inherent optimism – progress is always good, and friends and family remain stable whilst welcoming new developments – but also the complete acceptance that a job, writing, singing, making your own mind up, are all important to a girl and in no way conflicted with the rest of her being.

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I find it depressing that a modern book wouldn’t show this, or would have to make a big point about it. Written in the 50s about the 1900-1910s, Betsy, Emily and Carney are in fact far more progressive than any characters today.