Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Just a Glimpse of Light

I've been reading the "Mrs. 'Arris" books by Paul Gallico and enjoying them. (However, be warned there is a bit of very offensive, politically incorrect language in them. A shame because otherwise they are gems.) I liked the dedication for Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris (1958): To the gallant and indispensable daily ladies who, year in, year out, tidy up the British Isles, this book is lovingly dedicated.

I was also moved by this quote from Mrs. 'Arris Goes to New York (1960) by the Marquis Hypolite de Chassagne (French Ambassador to the US) as Ada and Mrs. Butterfield set sail to return to England: "If I had my way," he said, "I would rear a statue in a public square to women like that, for they are the true heroines of life. They do their duty day in, day out, they struggle against poverty, loneliness, and want, to preserve themselves and raise their families, but still they are able to laugh, to smile, to find time to indulge in dreams." The marquis paused, reflected a moment, sighed, and said, "And this is why I would rear them their statue, for the courage of these dreams of beauty and romance that still persist. And see," he said, "the wondrous result of such dreaming." (You can see my copying of the quote in one of my commonplace journals above, and the little decorated matchboxes make great storage for camera memory cards.)

My precious Sweetie
(who will rarely look at the camera).

Mrs. 'Arris (Ada Harris) likes her work, but for me it's a struggle. I still work full-time, and I admit I often find it draining. I so long to have more time to occupy myself with what is fulfilling to me.

I guess I'm like Onslow from Keeping Up Appearances, selling jewelry with Rose: "It's amazing how quickly the sheer inconvenience of work comes back to me."

Picture by Patrick Reid O'Brien, Courtesy MHS Licensing;
Made in USA by Dicksons.

But wait! Is that ... ? Could it possibly be? It is! A very faint glow from the light at the end of the tunnel!!!

Because one year from next month I will be applying for my Social Security. And I've decided I'm going to enjoy my long countdown (15 months) to retirement almost as much as the real thing when it arrives! (OK, it might just be semi-retirement, but still ... !) I'll be doing a bit of my own indulging in dreaming, so check back with me from time to time to see how I'm preparing for the big day.

I so appreciate those of you who have my blog on your blogroll or have linked to or mentioned my blog. "That's the nicest thing that anyone's ever done for me." :O)  Thank you very much for your kind gestures. And my heartfelt thanks to each and every one of you out there who just drop by!

Sorry for the dark photos ... they were taken out of desperation on the spur of the moment, and the curtains were shut to keep out the heat.

Still trying to get in some extra R&R (and reading), but I'll have more when the urge hits if not before! Until then, keep on soaking up these glorious summer days!

Off to read more of Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Parliament. Many blessings to you and yours,


  1. Bess, your back!

    Missed you and your charming posts! I am in awe of your perfect penmanship, my friend! I cannot boast about such a gift and was told as a young girl by a beloved teacher that I would probably grow up to become a doctor due to my indecipherable letters.

    Looking forward to your countdown surprises towards your Social Security. How exciting for you!

    Take care,


    1. Thank you, Poppy! Ah, but you grew up to be you, which is far better!!! Bess

  2. One of the films chosen recently for our interest group of Senior Citizens was Mrs. 'Arris goes to Paris and it was much enjoyed. I have Paul Gallico's short novel, The Snow Goose. I hope you're coping with the heat. It is rather a novelty here in the UK, but it can be tiring for those who have to work. I'm sure you're looking forward to your retirement!

    1. Hi Linda, I want to see the movie as well! I think I can get it from our local library ... and probably The Snow Goose. Have a great day! Bess

  3. Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog. I've enjoyed reading through your posts but realized I never stopped to say "hello".

    I'm always happy to add a blog to my list that promotes a positive and beautiful lifestyle. I know I'm reading the right blog when the blogger quotes anything from "Keeping Up Appearances"! It also looks like you enjoy Victoria magazine both past and present...I have an almost complete collection and so love reading through them.

    I've heard of the Mrs. 'Arris books and will have to find a copy of one of her books now. Thanks for mentioning them.

    1. Thanks for your kind words, Sandra! I also have a complete set of Victoria magazines. A thorough rereading of all of them is on my retirement "to-do" list! I still buy the new issues, although I'm running out of space to store them, so that may have to be adjusted somewhat. Blessings! Bess

  4. I read Mrs. 'Aris Goes to Paris - a book in our local library. That was ten years ago but I can still see Mrs. 'Aris saving her shilling and pence for her dream of a Paris designer dress, by walking and not taking the bus. What dedication to a dream. I didn't know there was a film?
    Karen A.

    1. Hi Karen! I still haven't seen it, but evidently there was a tv? movie made in 1992 starring Angela Lansbury in the lead role. I'm hoping to watch it soon, but right now seem to be drowning in good books which I feel compelled to read! (I wish these comment windows allowed bold, italics, etc., so I could emphasize and be the drama queen that I often want to be!) :O) Thanks for commenting! Bess


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