We've had a wonderful Christmas today-- just the two of us and the two cats. (Although things got a little tense when Emily - my cat-- tried to join Dad & Victoria for a nap. Victoria, like her namesake "was not amused.")
We both got each other special recordings. And Tony got me the rest of the Helene Hanff books. We have thoroughly enjoyed reading aloud to each other ALL of The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street. That book is something which Americans (and other non UK types) can enjoy. Tony, speaking for the Brits, says it's fun to see London and Brits through American eyes. And Helene is such a marvellous writer that you feel as if you're with her.
In case some of you don't know - Helene Hanff wrote 84, Charing Cross Road - a collection of letters between herself and the people at Mark & Co. who sent her special books from about 1947 through 1969. She became special friends with the people there, but especially with Frank Doel (her primary correspondent). She kept expecting to go to London to meet them all, but Frank died in 1969 before she got there. The book is wonderful, and the movie (staring Anne Bancroft and Sir Anthony Hopkins) is marvellous.
The Duchess is the account of her long awaited first visit to London in 1971--the account of a visit by a true Anglophile. By that time she had fans all over the world and had an incredible "fairytale" time doing booksignings, interviews, visiting with fans, having her portrait painted--the trip was truly incredible.
Tony made marvellous linguini al fredo and we had steamed green beans for our Christmas Dinner with apple-nut bread and ginger ice cream for desert.
A marvellous time was had all day.