So you know how sometimes you get a bit happy and hormonal and run-down all at the same time? And you do too much and decide you have got too much to prove to the world and you don’t go to bed early enough because you are busy having a nice time and all of a sudden there is a cold-sore on your lip and you are shuffling around feeling a bit bonkers and looking like death warmed up but you have lost two and a half stone and all of a sudden you don’t care?
Well yes. That. Last night, with Ste working late and Finley lost in a book, I took myself to bed early because cold-sores make me feel horribly grubby and I have no desire to inflict my grub on anyone else even when there is no-one else to admire it beyond my reflection in my candle-lit living room.
So I made white rose tea (I like Numi) in a tiny cup, switched off the lights and headed to bed with my beloved Kindle under my arm, then got cosy under my yellow quilt and puffed my pillows with lavender and laid back and then leaned up again to swat them about in a violent fashion until they were comfortable and then I switched on my Kindle and found myself unable to commit to any of the lovely books lurking in there because they required way too much thinking and some nights thinking isn’t something I can manage.
Now once upon my fourteenth Summer, my best friend Debbie and I dedicated every waking moment to reading the Rainbow Romances in the Harlequin section of our library. There were hundreds of these chaste Mills and Boon-esque delights and we were a little bit thrilled with the giddiness of stolen kisses and unrequited love and thought nothing of wasting whole afternoons reading together and eating crisp butties and then the Summer passed and I for one, never, ever picked up another romance of the kind.
In fact I rather decided that romance of any sort was a bit low brow and pretended I only ever read from the literary women’s fiction shelf or the kind of 1930’s domestic drama I dedicate my life to discovering (with the occasional dalliance with Liverpool WW2 sagas and a certain section of the cosy mystery shelf to boot). Until last night. When my brain wouldn’t work. And I needed comfort, ease and escape and though I had in my possession a book that described itself as a modern-day Madame Bovary, I couldn’t quite face the coarse hurly-burly of the chaise-longue and instead settled upon Shabby Chic at Heart.
Because it had Shabby Chic in the title. And it was about real estate and a furniture shop. And it talked of distressing things and cabinetry and it had a cosy Auntie Winnie in it and I used to have an Auntie Winnie! And a furniture shop! And I made a living distressing things (mostly men)! And what could be lovelier than spending an hour or two in a world I understand even if the writing was a bit you know and the whole business an obvious set up on the road to romance that veered between irrational spikiness and sickly sweet description.
Oh but Readers, it was perfect.
Now hark this: I am not necessarily recommending it. It is chippy, shabby fluff and pretty, frilly nonsense. But should you ever find yourself in bed without a brain for thinking much, or in possession of a yukky cold sore and you are the kind of person who rather adores description of shops filled with the kind of shabby treasure most of us only happen across once or twice in a lifetime then I rather think you will enjoy what I can only describe as bookish comfort food for the minds of the lost and hormonal.
Oooh and there are three books in the series… #justsaying.