March 7, 2010
What’s going on here? Blue sky completely covered over with white things. I’m not used to this. No rain or anything like that, but just a general cloudiness all round. Ho hum.
I have become a fan of Flavia de Luce! Flavia is the protagonist is Alan Bradley’s new novel The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. She’s immensely intelligent, witty, a budding scientist, innocent, naive, energetic and to top it off, one of the most determined sleuths to come along in a long time. Don’t let the fact that she’s only 11 years old put you off. She also happens to love poisons and makes a few of her own in an old chemical lab in the attic of the family’s home, Buckshaw, a multi-winged, sprawling old thing somewhere in England. I don’t remember if they locate Buckshaw in the novel, but I know there is a Buckshaw in, or around, Chorley in Lancashire.
Now, Lancashire is very important to me and to my family because that is where the paternal grandparents came from. And Chorley is important if for no other reason than Chorley Market where you can buy some of the best sweaters in the world for about £3 which is about 5 or 6 Canadian Dollars. I still have a couple from when I was there with the family in 1995.
Back to Flavia. Flavia will win you heart. She lives with her sisters Daphne and Ophelia and their reclusive Father (her Mother was killed in a climbing accident when Flavia was only one-year-old). One day, Flavia finds a dead body in the cucumber patch. To the normal person, this would be quite a traumatic experience, but as she says, ‘I wish I could say I was afraid, but I wasn’t. Quite the contrary. This was by far the most interesting thing that had ever happened to me in my entire life.’
What follows is a great read as Flavia goes about trying to discover the identity of the dead person and why he has ended up dead in her garden. Alan Bradley does a masterful job in finding the voice of an 11-year-old. While bumbling along and making lots of mistakes, she is at the same time extremely insightful and you know that this young lady is going to have a very successful career at whatever she decides to do. And I hope that Alan Bradley will give her a long career as an unofficial sleuth.
With this dreadful weather we’re having, there won’t be much work in the garden today so I am back to the renovations in room 8 which I have given myself a deadline of Sunday coming to have completed. So I’ve got casings to make, one door to rebuild, stained glass to put into the door, sealed glass unit to get for the door, hang the stained glass in the bay window, finish the moulding around the Jacuzzi, re-hang the door to the patio, and a couple more things that I am sure will make themselves obvious once I get to them. Makes for a busy week.