Yesterday's words were of course by Vita Sackville West in her son Nigel Nicolson's biography Portrait of a Marriage. I love her garden writing about Sissinghurst best.
Warning! Today's last lines could break your heart.
I've been thinking for days about whether or not to use these - the saddest closing lines I have ever read - from another short story by a great writer whom I have quoted already....but it is such a powerful example of courageous and compassionate writing that I felt I should include it..
Oh Pa! he cried. Don't beat me, pa! And I'll...I'll say a Hail Mary for you...I'll say a Hail Mary for you, pa, if you don't beat me....I'll say a Hail Mary...
Couldn't resist illustrating yesterday's quote with my own jug, sitting on the table shouting 'Spring!'
The line comes from Doris Lessing's The Pit.
Today's closing lines are Scottish, and sad, from the author of a famous trilogy:
But she still sat on as one by one the lights went out and the rain came, beating the stones about her, and falling all that night while she still sat there, presently feeling no longer the touch of the rain or hearing the sound of the lapwings going by.
The risk with printing endings is that they can be a bit of a 'spoiler' I realise. Sorry!
The triumphant ending of yesterday's novel Grace Notes by Bernard Maclaverty won't, I hope, spoil this lovely novel for you if you have not read it before. The author makes you experience the world through the mind and the ears of a young composer....I reread this one every now and then.
I've not read this one, and don't remember how I came to find the opening lines:
A final sprig of flowering cherry among the white lilac and yellow jonquils, in a fat white jug...she stuck this in judiciously, filling in a peetern that needed just so much attention. Shouting 'Spring!' the jug sat on a small table in the middle of the room.
This rusty candle ring which I hang above the table on special occasions is a favourite thing.
Birch twigs now, and tiny flower shapes made of card,
glittery bits and gypsophila for Christmas 2012,
twinkling stars Christmas 2009, and at other times I use just ivy or some wild flowers, (though I've not photographed these, yet).
Did you like yesterday's closing line? An unusual way to end a novel, isn't it! It is A S Byatt's The Virgin in The Garden.
I've got my camera back, and my husband - they've both been abroad. This was my Valentine's 'card' for him on his return....The paper hearts are made with a clever little punch, glued onto birch branches with PVA. Fun to do..
Quote for today! These are the last lines of a novel which won The Scotsman Scottish book of The Year in 1998 (I think):
Randel came back and pointed to various sections of the orchestra, and they stood. He looked down into the audience and beckoned Catherine with a high wave to the podium. Bravo. She rose.
Yesterday's opening lines were from Elizabeth and Her German Garden by Elizabeth von Arnim who was 'always happy out of doors...for indoors there are servants and furniture'. A delightful read.
These are the closing lines of a book (from which I quoted the opening lines)
That was not an end, but since it went on for a considerable time, is as good a place to stop as any.
Yesterday's quote was - Linda Grant's The Thoughtful Dresser.
Can you take many more of these I wonder....not sure if I can!
I ordered flower seeds from Sarah Raven today. Though many things in her catalogue are expensive, seeds are mostly a reasonable £1.95, and if you have the code from Gardens Illustrated there is 20% off.
Visions of a flower-filled garden, jugs of sweet peas, scent, colour, warmth, sunshine, abundance....
Here are the opening words of a book I'm sure many of you will have read:
May 7th. I love my garden. I am writing in it now in the late afternoon loveliness, much interrupted by the mosquitoes and the temptation to look at all the glories of the new green leaves washed half an hour ago in a cold shower. Two owls are perched near me, and are carrying on a long conversation that I enjoy as much as any warbling of nightingales.
Is there any writer more original and poetic? Earthly Paradise, a large anthology of Colette's writings is probably the book I would take with me to that desert island...here are some opening lines of hers which I think are brilliant:
I have not had to go out of my way to be let in on masculine secrets.
Always up at dawn and sometimes before the day, my mother attached particular importance to the cardinal points of the compass, as much for the good as for the harm they might bring.
It was the reflected glow of your blazing line along the terrace O geraniums, and yours, O foxgloves, springing up amid the coppice, that gave my childish cheeks their rosy warmth.
Which book would be your desert island choice?
Thank you so much for your encouraging and helpful comments on yesterday's post, and for staying with me and my February posts!
I am missing my camera, especially as it snowed gorgeously today, and by the way - do you think they have taken the malt out of Maltesers?
Edna O'Brien has you curious with the first line of Mrs Reinhardt..
And today's line is:
Four thirty in the afternoon in Berlin, three thirty in London.
Another tale of two cities?
PS some clues in comments...