The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: a pre-review

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: a pre-review

Hello. Don’t know when I’ll be publishing this one, given that we do not yet have access to the world wide web at our new abode (more of which in a future post – I am holding myself to this one!). Strangely, I find the lack of internet rather charming, and even befitting of our beautiful hideaway home. So, I am going old-school, knocking this out in Microsoft Word; we’ll see about connecting and posting another time.

Today’s topic is a book! Now, I don’t know if I have ever bought, much less read a book, without at least scanning the back cover first. But a miniature coincidence led me to do just that this month.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (she says, copying and pasting from the heading, for it is a rather long title) seems to have been popping up everywhere I go of late (op shops1– this is everywhere I go).

I was half-intrigued and half put off by the title – perhaps a little too Alexander McCall Smith? I steered clear, just to be safe.

Then my sister came to stay. I love my sister. She is a writer (a title I occasionally also bestow upon myself). As we chatted one day, Alexa (just giving her a fun pseudonym there - of course I do not have a sister named Alexa. Who does?) passed me her iPhone, open at one of her published pieces. I read it. Wow. My sister does not cater to the lowest common denominator, in the manner of so many. She uses beautiful words, sometimes of four or more syllables! Sentences, faultlessly constructed, of more than ten words! No cat sat on the mat here.

Naturally, if she recommends a book after I have read her own work, I am going to sit up and take notice. And, apropos of nothing, she mentioned The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Aha, I thought, it’s that book again! Laura mentally files away this fact: Alexa likes The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

Turns out it’s a book about an author. Normally a cause for concern at the very least (The Bone Clocks, I am looking squarely at you). So far, however, I am utterly charmed. As per the start of this post, I didn’t look at the back cover, and my sister gave nothing away re the contents, so I am flying blind and adoring the ride.

I would have liked to have had biscuits to accompany the writing of this post, although I am enjoying an intensely satisfying cup of tea. I expect the whole thing should have taken so much longer with crumbs, however, and time is not currently my friend. Neither are biscuits, it seems. I have added them to today’s shopping list.

Oh, I am also very much looking forward to sharing with you news of my recent house move. Suffice to say (for now), I am happy. And happy doesn’t actually come close to how I really feel. I’ve never known anything like it and to be able to call it home is a still-disbelieving privilege.

I just took a comfort break and realised a) I hadn’t saved this post and b) I no longer remember how Microsoft Word works: does it save automatically without being connected to the internet? Can it save it if I have not yet given it a title? Does it judge me for having so many Apple devices now? Will its autocorrect function change apple to Apple (no) or iphone to iPhone (no)?

Comfort break :) I worked with a man who, when chairing meetings, would announce a comfort break now and then. I’m not sure if everyone knew this was his euphemistic term for going to the toilet, or if they just saw it as an opportunity to sit back in their seats, shift position etc.

Oh, bear with me whilst I check out the creature on the wall opposite.

Hmm. No idea what it may be; I shall just call it “huge and flies”. Not to worry: I have simply opened the door fully, which should either encourage it to fly out or encourage its friends and relations in. Such is (Australian) life.

Right, so the gist of this post - should I have deviated so widely and frequently that it be lost on you – is that I bought a book on the strength of a recommendation from Alexa, who told me sod all about it. I have now started reading the book – after finishing a re-read of Nigel Slater’s Toast, to make up for a pathetic read (Mrs Queen Takes The Train – avoid at all costs, please) – and I am more than happy with my semi-gamble.

You know, I thought there was something funny about my ear this morning. I kept fiddling with it and my finger suddenly had blood on it. After an “I knew it!” I remembered that I had my hair coloured last night. Sure enough, my other ear is ‘bleeding’ too. The salon owner did say this colour looked like blood. He was not wrong. How is it that a Frenchman can tell you he is going to put something that looks like blood on your hair and you say, that sounds nice? Must be the accent. Or perhaps I initially thought he said “That looks good” rather than “Looks like blood” and agreed because I was getting sick of asking him to repeat himself.

Huge and Flies is sitting almost on my left shoulder now – time to call it a day and get out of this room, I think. Hopefully I made the point I was aiming to get to a couple of paragraphs ago.

Until next time...x

1 An op shop is Australia’s term for a charity shop or thrift shop.

PS I also re-read Five on a Treasure Island this week – pure pleasure. What an incredible book. I couldn’t wait to find out what would happen: I kept jumping ahead to the next chapter title for clues! I’m going to buy the lot, all 21 of them, then start on the Secret Seven. As I read, parts became familiar, and I thought it was funny that I should remember certain lines from reading it more than twenty years ago. Then I remembered, just this morning, that of course I hadn’t simply ‘read this before’: I undoubtedly read it many, many times as a child. I love Enid Blyton and had no end of her works. Anyway, that was a dollar very well spent. Fancy enjoying a children’s book so much – perhaps I’ll give Harry Potter a whirl some time.

PPS Just kidding. Never.