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Archive for the ‘Thrilling Adventures and Daring Escapes’ Category

My week of exams is finally over, though it dragged on for years. That’s why I’ve been so busy that I haven’t been able to post. I’ve been studying and sleeping, and that’s all I’ve had time for.

Today was the last day of school. It was fun, there were two bouncy houses and a cotton candy machine and snow cones and ice cream and a barbecue. Also there was a 100 foot tall rock wall to climb. The entire last week was half days.

And now the entire glorious summer is stretched out endlessly before me, one eternal golden hay field! Adventure is sailing on the horizon and growing tangled in a vegetable patch.

I NEED to find a bike basket!

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I have so far read all three of the currently existing Flavia de Luce novels, but in a strange way. I started with the 2nd, because mom was reading the first at the time, and then I read the 3rd, and then the 1st. I shall be reviewing the first today.

Flavia de Luce is an 11-year-old girl with glasses. She lives in England in the year 1950, and she knows everything about chemistry, specializing in poison. Her father is the Colonel Haviland de Luce, philatelist extraordinaire and the owner of Buckshaw, an ancient and rather decrepit, but once grand, estate. Flavia practically lives in the enormous laboratory in the east wing of Buckshaw, making tinctures and concoctions. She relishes chemical reactions and the scrumptious discoveries of past chemists. When she comes across a man taking his dying breath in the cucumber patch, she is enthralled rather than alarmed, and crouches over him as he mutters his last word. When she realizes the dead stranger is the same one she saw in heated discussion with her father not hours before, and when her father is arrested for his murder, she takes up the case. It quickly becomes dreadfully exciting. Flavia sneaks around the police and the bothersome Inspector Hewitt, picking locks, digging through piles of dusty newspapers, speeding across the countryside on Gladys, her bike, and rifling through hotel rooms. As she unearths the mystery, she also begins to understand her father, not only his love for brightly colored bits of paper, but also his quiet sadness. 

This book was quite good. I can understand Flavia a lot, and I think we share certain traits. We both of us like our own company, and biking, and yelling out “Haroo!” for no reason at all! She is probably much bolder at nosing things out than I ever could be, although I’ve never really been given a fair chance to try my hand at it. Also I don’t know how to pick locks, or so much about toxicology. Perhaps I should learn? Flavia seems like a kindred spirit, and the writing makes her come wonderfully alive. The descriptions are ones that I like, with words such as: gleaming, rattling, translucent, and fragrant. Also, the phrase “Fizz off!” is thrown in quite nicely. I have not much mystery reading experience, but this one seems not overly exciting and horrifying, but clever, with all the proper dashes of suspense, inquiry, and danger. Also, I really liked to read all the very specific names of certain poisons, and how Flavia delights so in mixing two substances to make something new. Overall, Flavia really seems like a Girl to Know.

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Here is another small post. It is only this picture, which I took a long time ago at a picnic in the summer, but which I just found again. Look at the balloon, isn’t it lovely?

Here’s what I like: Sabrina, the movie! We watched it while we packed, and it is so nice!

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I finally finished my sketchbook project and we sent it in. It was all very last minute so I didn’t really do a good job on it and chewed all my bubblegum thinking of ideas for it! My favorite pages are the ones with the balloon letter and the portrait made of finger prints, which is a lot easier than it looks! To see the pages bigger, click on the photo.

We have been packing a lot and there is nothing left in my room. I have to sleep on the couch now because my bed is just boards and no mattress! There is also hardly a snack in the whole house, so we have to live mostly on ice water and dust. Calico Jack, luckily, is well supplied with fish food, so he needn’t worry.

I am to ride with Dad in the U-Haul when it’s time to depart, which means that I have to be the navigator. I am practicing the quickest way to unfold a map and have stocked up on tranquilizers, in case emotion levels reach a regrettable high (they usually involve the GPS).

Darby and Paul have been anxiously getting in the way of things and tampering with the boxes. Darby insists on getting his beard dirty, and even though I spend 15 minutes every day coaxing him with a biscuit, I still cannot get him to speak. Paul speaks rather too much, but Darby has the most patience in the world, and will not express himself no matter how frustrated you try to make him.

Au Revoir!

 

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Today I gave the dogs baths and now they are puffy and shiny, but my back hurts! I also wrapped up the last of my presents and checked everyone off my To Give list, which is an enormous weight off my shoulders. I have a headache.

This year we are going to Connecticut for Christmas, where my brother lives! Everyone is coming, and it is going to be fun. I charged my camera. I can’t wait for Christmas! So, I won’t be here for four or possibly five days.

So,

and see you later!

 

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Darby and Paul and I went outside today and played for a little while in the snow.

Paul always gets snow on his upper snout. Darby hates the snow!

It was such a nice, glittery day! I love Christmas and snow! And we made snow angels.

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There were lots of carriages.

We walked from Central Park to the plaza, which is one of my favorite places in the world! I think someday I will live there for a year at least, and work as a New York Times Special Correspondent.

I am glad that I finally saw the Plaza, because I have really always wanted too. We didn’t really see the heart of it, but, still, I loved it!

We peeked and poked around in the Anthropologie store for a little while, because my sister absolutely adores it. I liked it too, it was very christmasy in an unusual way and was more fun than the other boring stores. It wasn’t as wonderful or dazzling as the displays in the last post, but it was wonderful and dazzling in a different way, I think. And the whole store was that way, not just the displays, and the other stores weren’t like that. I liked it a lot!

Before we skittered back to Grand Central to catch our train I tossed this Christmas tinsel on this tree that was having trouble holding up its branches, a last Christmas trinkle from me, Jill F. Brooks. That tinsel is probably blowing around windy corners and sparking delight as we speak!I think it is rather grand. Maybe a bird traipsing around from Central Park will use it to build its nest. That tinsel could be passed down for generations through sophisticated bird families! I think it’s likely.

I slept the whole way on the train ride home, except for eating an enormous vanilla cupcake and a chocolate milk, and when we got back to my sister and her boyfriend’s apartment, there was no electricity! We had pizza for dinner and called the landlord.

I think I like Christmas at home much better than Christmas in New York City.

P.S.

 

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