i blame it all on my mother... that is the fact that i long for exotic places, interesting people and romantic yet creaky old interiors.
it all started the day that she gave me a copy of the secret garden. up to this point, i was still reading winnie the pooh and madeleine. which were very fine books indeed but once my eyes fell on the secret garden, i was ready for more grown up books. books that maybe everything didn't always turn out perfect and that sometimes people died and maybe not all children had a mother and father. those kinds of books.
after the secret garden, i would lock myself in my room reading books from page to page and longing for an attic bedroom and my own secret garden. which was a big dream because i lived in arizona and we didn't have english gardens there. to this day, i still dream of my secret garden and attic room. and i'm getting closer now because i have a yard and a house with more than one story after many, many years of apartment dwelling.
then there was the house in paris. oh what would it have been like travel alone by train to paris to stay with a spinster and her mother? to wonder what secrets they were hiding up those narrow stairs. and to meet a boy who had no mother and to learn at a young age the complicated dynamics of a girl and boy.
last year i read sophie dahl's, playing with the grown ups and it took me back to these stories that i read as a young girl.
oh if only my family had been a little more bohemian like hers and if my grand father had written the greatest children's story of all time. and what if i traveled to london and was discovered by a vogue stylist who loved the fact that i ate what i wanted and wore high heels at too young an age. oh what a life that would have been!
so today i just made my first summer reading purchase of sophie's first book, the man with the dancing eyes. i long for summer days sitting in the grass and reading frivolous things. this one will be perfect with it's naturalized illustrations. i have a feeling it may have it's own secret garden, too.
so yes mom, thank you. thank you for turning me into a hopeless romantic. and for showing me that even if we didn't have an old victorian house with my own attic bedroom i could one day live in a city with beautiful old houses and one day even have one of my own if i wanted.
well, i guess it's not so bad after all.