The visit to see how the house is getting on went well, and we saw the valley in winter, as there was snow in the Auvergne last Thursday - very beautiful but very hazardous as well. The week we were away went very quickly and now that the house is looking lighter and brighter, we can't wait to get in it, furnish it and start using it as our holiday home. But as it is still occupied by builders and has no kitchen or bathroom as yet, we will have to be patient a while longer.
I did manage to almost finsh Steph Penney's The tenderness of wolves while away. The frost and snow in the area enhanced reading about people trekking through the Canadian winter snows - it somehow seemed appropriate, although the little bit of snow we met quickly disappeared when the sun came out again.
To cheer ourselves up, we attended the Persephone lecture on Tuesday, given by Penelope Lively and held at the Art Workers Guild in Queens Square in London. The lecture was excellent, on the subject of "House and Home in fiction". The sheer number of authors and the houses or homes they described gives one a reading or re-reading list for the next few years. She also mentioned her own latest novel, Consequences, in which a cottage in Somerset is the setting for the first of the three relationships, that of Lorna and Max,which form the essence of the story and to which Ruth, Lorna's granddaughter, returns while searching for family history and finds a possible new beginning for herself. A thoroughly good read.
To make a day of it, we also visited the V & A, where we had lunch, and a look around some of the exhibits, as well as a quick dip into the British Museum before going on to the lecture.