Miss Pym and a Friend

Miss Pym and a Friend

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas, Pym, and Housework

Merry Christmas to Everyone; it has taken an eternity to get to this day. I always use it as measurement of what happened the year before.

So many people gone, and it is hard not to be nostaligic and elegiac.

Of course, cleaning is part of hte holidays. We have to clean to put up the decorations, for company, before and after cooking, to take down the decoartions, to shovel where needed.

I have decided just how much I hate housework now that it falls exclusively in my realm, and I'm so bad at it.

Years ago, when I had my small, charming apartments, full of my collections, and things I loved, I studied an hour or two, then dusted or cooked. I went for a walk, and came back and cleaned myh over. I used to lvoe to bleach things, and even a trip to the laundromat was productive. I took books and letters, homework, a cup of coffe,and I felt I'd accomplished something.

That may be the point; I wasn't cleaning up after other people, just myself. even at home, a major cleaning overhaul was an event for my mom and me. We had Mr. Quick hamburgers, and picked flowers. Cleaning at this level usually meant the holidays were coming, or I was having a birthday party. Life was different, and mom and I would get chatty, and schedule shoping trips to our favorite little store in between vacuming.

Pym's Catherine Oliphant was my inspiration; I wrote about her in papers, conference presentations, my dissertation, and my book on Pym, The Subversion of Romance in the Novels of Babara Pym. Cathrine wrote, and stopped to stir a beef burgudny, to add a bay leaf, to check a recipe. She, and all good Pym women, read cookbooks and wine lists, something I love to do, when time permits.

Of course, I wasn't working round the clock, running two or three households, involved with all kinds of family and issues,a nd I was so much younger.

Merry Christmas, take time to laugh, even at yourselves, and be at peace.

Friday, December 23, 2011

For Quilters, a pastime Pym and Charlotte would love; Merry Christmas!

I recently attended Fall Quilt Market in Houston and saw previews of new and exciting products in the world of sewing and quilting notions. There are a few items coming out soon that will be of interest to you, and some current products that are so great, they deserve a second look. I have found that a great product is sometimes overlooked for a few markets before it is "discovered." Here are a few products I feel are worth checking out ...

In the Quilting World
Notions for Quilting

Quilt Market can be overwhelming. I usually have to walk the whole floor first, before I can actually see what's there. I am first and foremost, looking at the color trends of textiles so that I can bring you, our reader, the newest in quilting fabrics and design. I look for great designers I feel will be of interest to you, and I try to be ahead of the pack. My mission is to keep you inspired and to keep you quilting. Read more »

Tips & Tricks
Letters From Our Readers

It seems that our Tips & Tricks section has become the most popular part of our newsletter. If you have something you would like to share with your fellow quilters, please do. We will try to publish as many as we can. Read more »

Free Pattern
True Lover's Knot

True Lover's Knot is the perfect traditional pattern to explore a two-fabric quilt design. Working with two fabrics can be a lot of fun if you have the right contrast. Contrast is what makes the design "pop." Light and dark can be a striking combination. Read more »

Let's Bind It!
I hope you find the information from our readers helpful, and I hope you give some thought to some of the notions and sewing products we have mentioned in this newsletter. Some of the products may make your quilting much more enjoyable ... Read more »

Table of Contents
In the Quilting World
• Notions for Quilting
Tips & Tricks
Free Pattern
Let's Bind It!

Click here to browse through every page of the Clotilde catalog!

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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Books at Miss Pym's Novels

I am beginnig a dialog, I hope. I am beginning the list; please add to it via comments! Here are some of the books and author that appear in Pym's works. I talk about many more in my book, The Subversion of Romance in the Novels of Barbara Pym, and in various papers about her, but I would like to see what my readers think:

Crome Yellow

Jane Eyre

John Donne and The Metaphysical Poets

All of Jane Austen

The Wings of the Dove and Henry James himself is "Channeled!"

Naked Lunch

Cookbooks [Name the Specifics!]


Christmas, and may your holidays be cozy!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Doll Museum: Creche Dolls, Nativities, Santons and Santons-Ange...

Doll Museum: Creche Dolls, Nativities, Santons and Santons-Ange...: My first memories of these dolls are of the vintage 40s and 50s nativites at my Grandma's every Christmas. I fell in love with the miniatur...

Little House

We like Marie Tschop as Laura Ingalls Wilder. Also, remember the beleaguered Father Christmas on the Pymnian Christmas Cake!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Barbara Pym Conference Alert

Greetings from the Barbara Pym Society!

I am very happy to announce that registration for the Society's 14th annual North American Conference, focusing on Jane and Prudence, is now open. We will return to Harvard University in Cambridge, MA, on 16-18 March 2012. The complete program and other details are available on our web site. Scheduled talks include
• Yvonne Cocking, BPS Archivist: Jane and Prudence: A Novel of Contrasts
• Charlotte Silver: Barbara Pym and the Comedy of Manners
• Linda McDougall: Jane and Prudence and Barbara and Hazel: The Women Friends of Barbara Pym and How They Influenced Her Work
• Perri Klass: “You Never Know When You May Need Whiskey”: Barbara Pym on Drinks and Drinking
• Isabel Stanley: Not Quite a Trollope Wife: Jane Cleveland’s Literary Expectations of Herself as a Clergy Wife
Yvonne promises to tell us what Barbara's journals in the Bodleian reveal about "The M&S Affair", Linda will show video clips from her recent interviews with Barbara's close friend, biographer, and literary executor Hazel Holt, and Perri's talk on Saturday afternoon will be followed by a drinks party where you can sample some of the beverages mentioned in the novels.
There are only a few changes since last year. We will return to the Church of the Advent in Boston for a lavish buffet dinner and hymn sing on Friday night, the conference will be held at Harvard's Barker Center, and we will conclude with lunch at Grafton Street Pub as before, but we have a new venue for our Saturday evening meal. John Harvard's Brew House in Harvard Square offers pub grub and a wide array of beers and ales (none of which taste like washing-up water), and we will have our own dining room. We have set the member's registration fee -- which includes lunch on Saturday and a light breakfast both days -- at $60, $5 more than last year but the same as in 2101, but the cost of the Saturday night meal has dropped by $10. We work hard to keep costs as low as possible while still providing a top-quality event with comfortable venues and great food.
The conference room holds a maximum of 95 people, and the dining room on Saturday night a maximum of 50, so early registration is recommended to avoid possible disappointment. Registration closes on Sunday March 11.
Now that the conference details are all sorted, I hope to make Pym ceramics available for purchase online in the next few days. I'll send another e-mail as soon as that happens -- there should be time to get your Pym mugs and teabag holders in time for Christmas.
Finally, you will notice some changes on the web site. The exciting new graphic on the entry page is the work of BPS member Lloyd Miller, a professional illustrator and graphic designer whose clients include The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Esquire, Fortune --and now the Barbara Pym Society. We are very grateful for his generous contribution, and there will be more to come as we approach the Pym centenary in 2013.

Best wishes,

Tom Sopko, North American Organizer
The Barbara Pym Society