As well as indulging in the annual shout-and-sew-athon that heralds la rentrée, I am in such a sunlit-and-lazy-buzz end of summer, wafting about ancient hedgerows with bowls of brambles, that I have no desire to escape to any other paper life. Had I not misplaced my reading mojo, it is usually around this time of year that I re-read, for the hundredth time, these fabulous books.
Because the bots need to transmogrify from feral teenbeasts to shod and shiny schoolchildren, I also, very sadly, missed the annual Gathering of the Friends of Tilling, a gloriously eccentric day in Rye for those of us obsessed by EF Benson's Mapp and Lucia series. This is what they promised, the teases.
The day will start with a walk to Benson's grave followed by a ploughman's lunch and a dinner in the evening. After lunch will be a reading of a brand new Tilling story "Humble Soup" by Tom Holt. This new story, written especially for us will be read by Nickolas Grace. During dinner Gyles Brandreth will host our annual Tilling Quiz and it will be followed by Un Po-di-Mu.I was fleetingly tempted to throw nametapes to the wind and hunt out some appropriate scrub and hitum, but Tilling, as someone should have said by now, will always be there.
There's a new series, too, with Anna Duckface Chancellor (Four Weddings and a Funeral) and Miranda Richardson (Blackadder) about which I am thoroughly overexcited. On the BBC this Christmas, as if there weren't enough gifts already.
For the Luciaphiles, further moments of happiness here and here.