I am almost ashamed to be writing. It has been so long since I last did that this is, frankly, embarrassing. I’ll have to save the rest of my England adventures for a special blog post or two (or three or four, with their own set of apologies)—now is not their time!
It was always my purpose, in beginning a blog, actually to blog. Regularly. And although I’ve failed so far, I’d like to try again. Recently someone counseled me to write for at least fifteen minutes a day—and this is my fifteen minutes, today.
And I’ve missed you. I have the sort of feeling you get when you write a wistful email to a faraway friend after months and months of silence, hoping to renew the conversation. The same anxious heart, too.
Why this blog still, you say? There are a few reasons. To be honest, titling it, “Adventures to England,” wasn’t as short-sighted as it may seem. Yes, I did want to chronicle England and everything that led up to England. But I also saw—see—England as my imagination space. So it was really “Adventures to All of the Things that I Think and Like to Talk About”…except that was too long, and the actual title had a pleasing sort of alliterative quality to it. The blog was never meant to end with England. And keeping it as it is also keeps me humble, reminding me that I’m never as on top of things as I would like.
Long(ish) preliminaries over, let’s talk about rain!
I don’t like it. That may seem like a conversation killer right away, but it’s true. I woke up, looked out the window, saw grey clouds and a sniffling mizzle, and sighed. All I want to do when it rains is curl up in an oversized armchair with a good book and a nice mug of tea. Admittedly, this sounds like a perfect afternoon (just throw in a few tasty treats), but what is one to do when something ominous called School exists?
All this to say, if a) it is raining and b) you have a free afternoon, a blanket, and a comfortable seat, preferably but not limited to an armchair, then listen closely.
Read P.G. Wodehouse. It’s that simple. Wodehouse (pronounced “Wood-house”) was a British novelist who has been compared, not unjustly, to Shakespeare. He wrote scores (literally) of novels and short stories that are, from beginning to end, a delight. His prose runs along merrily and takes you with it. If anybody can cheer you up, it’s Wodehouse. (And the P.G. stands for “Pelham Grenville”—which makes everything about a thousand times better. I wanted to name a future cat that, but my fiancé objects.)
The only way to do him justice is to give you a sample, so here are a few gems of his to wet your whistle:
Bertie~ “There are moments, Jeeves, when one asks oneself, ‘Do trousers matter?'” Jeeves~ “The mood will pass, sir.”
“Freddie experienced the sort of abysmal soul-sadness which afflicts one of Tolstoy’s Russian peasants when, after putting in a heavy day’s work strangling his father, beating his wife, and dropping the baby into the city’s reservoir, he turns to the cupboards, only to find the vodka bottle empty.”
“There is only one cure for grey hair. It was invented by a Frenchman. It is called the guillotine.”
“Whenever I get that sad, depressed feeling, I go out and kill a policeman.”
“I suppose half the time Shakespeare just shoved down anything that came into his head.”
“Intoxicated? The word did not express it by a mile. He was oiled, boiled, fried, plastered, whiffled, sozzled, and blotto.”
“Hell, it is well known, has no fury like a woman who wants her tea and can’t get it.”
“The fascination of shooting as a sport depends almost wholly on whether or not you are at the right or wrong end of the gun.”
“I am Psmith,” said the old Etonian reverently. “There is a preliminary P before the name. This, however, is silent. Like the tomb. Compare such words as ptarmigan, psalm, and phthisis.”
And there you have it! Go to the library, the bookstore, anywhere you can—and get something by Wodehouse. He won’t disappoint. There’s no one I’d rather have with me on a rainy day—not even sunshine!
(If you’re interested… here’s a fascinating article about him from First Things: http://www.firstthings.com/article/2008/06/002-god–bertie-wooster-4)
So, in true Wodehouse fashion, toodle-pip and all that!