This yellow shrub rose has been magnificent this year. I haven't done it justice in this photo.
Reading: finally finished The Return by Victoria Hislop. A worthy book, well researched. After the success of The Island (thanks to R&J's list) she has again chosen the formula of modern woman investigates historical events. Long, long-winded even, and not a beach read, this book is about the horrors of the Spanish Civil War as seen through the eyes of one family. The war stories seemed all too real, but I couldn't quite believe the various unlikely plot twists and felt distanced from both the family and the modern heroine with her sketched-in disintegrating marriage. Nevertheless this an admirable book in that it should encourage us to read more about what has passed in modern European history. I think I'll go for non-fiction next time. Here's a brief outline via Eleanor Roosevelt.
To cheer myself up, I then read some scenes from Laurence Durrell's diplomatic comedies and laughed out loud (Esprit de Corps)
Earlier I read a Barbara Pym and enjoyed her subtleties. (Quartet in Autumn. All her characters were oldish and odd.)
Cooking. Nan's rhubarb & fruit crunch was delicious. See Letters from a Hill Farm, 15 May. I used a small teacup to measure (a whole cup of sugar seemed a bit wicked), but I must buy some American measuring cups. Perhaps an excuse to peruse the thrilling Lakeland catalogue! When first married I bought an American measuring jug abroad, and consequently half the recipes I tried didn't work properly because I didn't realise a US pint was different from a UK one.