Thursday, 7 October 2010

Good reasons to...

...prop your eyes open with match sticks.

I'm tired today. Sandpaper-skinned, hollowed-eyed, dry-mouthed tired. These horrifying symptoms and my yet more horrifying appearance are of course due to a binge. Not, as you might be forgiven for thinking, an alcoholic binge but a reading frenzy. The sort of reading frenzy prompted by raging premenstrual hormones combined with a stressful week at work. I'm sure I'm not alone in finding that my credit cards leaps more readily from my purse when I'm feeling particularly hormonal. My menstrual cycle is most definitely Amazon's friend (and best customer).

The binge started early this week, after a weekend shopping frenzy. Somewhere after tucking up my toddler, making the lunches, finishing off some work and er... morning, I devoted myself to feasting on one of the few Eloisa James' Your Wicked Ways I hadn't yet read (delicious). I fitted in a couple of hours sleep somewhere along the way. Wednesday should therefore have an early night, but after photographing an Spa event, I found myself longing for the succour of a comfort read. I duly plunged into Anya Seaton's Avalon .

The recollection of Avalon was prompted by a sisterly discussion the wake of India Knight's blog post about comfort reads. The parallel's between India's list and our formative reading matter were sufficiently close to make us wonder if she had in fact, secretly grown up in the same house as the six of us. It's a great list. But it overlooks Avalon, which we concluded was a terrible oversight. Having remembered it, it behoved me to re-read it, so here I am doing so.

My other indulgence of this week or - as I like to think of it - investment, was in a small library of 18th and 19th century fashion plates. The postman was good enough to bring me a lovely copy of Vyvyan Holland's Hand Coloured Fashion Plates 1770-1899 which has some wonderful primary source visuals. But just in case I ever needed a handbag sized alternatively (the Glamour Magazine, to Holland's Vogue), I also got a teeny tiny copy of Lesley Gordon's A Gallery of Fashion, which has the advantage of being printed in colour throughout. I am now waiting with baited breath for the arrival of Stella Blum's book about Ackermann's costume plates. It will be pelisses a go go in my household, though if I start sauntering forth with ostrich feathers in my hair I will know it has all gone Too Far.

The consumption of all this reading matter is rather challenging. Somehow it has to fit in between two jobs and a daily hour or so's writing. Something has to go.

And for now?

That would be sleep.

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