Monday, October 1, 2012

An Exquisite Piece of Jewelry

Here is a 'jewel' from Beverley Nichols's Laughter on the Stairs tucked into a chapter on bird song:

The first time I found a jay's feather, which is made of turquoise blue silk embroidered with grey and black pearls, it had alighted on a clump of deep blue Canterbury bells. It was early morning; the dew was still heavy; and the tiny drops sparkled over the blue of the feather and the blue of the petals. The effect was of some exquisite piece of jeweller's work, dropped overnight by an elegant but absent-minded fairy.

Doesn't that just make you swoon?

I am now finished with Laughter and am scooting through the final book in the trilogy, Sunlight on the Lawn. It is now seven years since Mr. Nichols moved into Merry Hall. Oldfield the aged gardener has retired, the house is pretty well furnished, and the gardens complete. Well, complete until Mr. Nichols goes on a quest for a 'nice balustrade'. Who knew that the purchase of the N.B. (as he refers to the sixty feet of stone) would turn into a Folie de Grandeur. Ah, but there in lies the tale.

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