The previous five days or so I spent reading The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series – the recently discovered books about mysteries involving a young governess and her three wolfish pupils.
Surfing the net on Penelope Lively and Penelope Mortimer, I stumbled on Penelope Lumley, the aforementioned governess, so I read a dozen blog reviews to see who she was, what it was all about and how it was received. I got excited since the books seemed to be the source of great fun. Unable to contain myself (even though there were more important things to do) I set on a mission to find every one of the four (so far) published titles. And, once found, they were not allowed to sit on the to-read list.
I read. Obsessively. And almost overdid it.
Once again, I was very close to clogging my brain. Or so it felt… Rescheduling long-time-appointed tasks (a blog post, replying to comments, writing letters to the potential employers etc.) to a permanent tomorrow, I read whenever I had five minutes to spare, an hour or a couple of hours of free time. No matter the mood, the sleepiness, the tiredness (I fell asleep more than once after a few sentences only) I watched my hand reaching the laptop… I was like an addict – knowing that what I was doing wasn’t good but lacking the will to do something about it. I just grabbed for more.
If it wasn’t for Cather, exempli gratia, I could have rightly assumed I can no longer read like a normal person.
Still, the series were fun; although not nearly as much as Harry Potter or The Moomins… One of the particular sources of enjoyment were Agatha Swanburne’s (the founder of the Swanburne School for Poor Bright Females, to which Penelope owns her good education) sage sayings:
‘When things are looking up, there’s no point in looking elsewhere.’
‘It is easier to change one’s boots than to change one’s mind, but it is far easier to change one’s mind about whether or not to wear boots than it is to change the weather.’
‘Patience can untangle the knottiest shoelace, but so can a pair of scissors.’
‘Trust whom you like, but rely on yourself.’
‘If both of your shoes are shined, your best foot will always be forward.’
‘Doing one’s best is never cause for regret.’