Late at night a few months back, I found myself unable to get to sleep. I decided to watch a few minutes of mindless TV in the hopes it would lull my mind into a state of relaxation. However in one of those funny little quirks of fate and fortuitous timing, I flicked over to the ABC and found myself a new soulmate. The program I found myself watching was a ‘Compass: A Good Life According to Gay Bilson‘ (which first aired back in 2009).
I was transfixed by Bilson’s writing and her beautifully simple, yet rich lifestyle. After hearing some excerpts from her book, ‘Plenty: Digressions on Food’, I just knew I had to find myself a copy. I instantly knew she would be a woman I would befriend through words. While the book proved a little harder than expected to find, I did eventually track down a gorgeous secondhand hardcover copy … the rest as they say, is history.
I hope you don’t mind me sharing some of her beautiful words with you, as they deserve to be given wide audience. She has used ‘The Pillow Book’ by Sei Shonagon as the inspiration for one of her chapters … it’s breathtaking … here’s a little taste:
Nothing annoys me so much: It annoys me to see people holding chopsticks too low. This is most often seen in American films. Using chopsticks is a great joy and seems the most delicate way to carry food to the mouth, polite and sensuous at the same time.
Things that give a pathetic impression: I have been at tables when others who know each other have not had the courtesy to forgo their talk of mutually known things, therefore leaving me lonely. This is not only discourteous but heartless.
Outstandingly splendid things: Arborio rice is splendid in its size and plumpness. When it is combined with the scent of shaved white truffles it seems to be a food made in heaven, except that nothing is made in heaven.
A woman who lives alone: A woman who lives alone will become unsettled by company in her house, but should use its unexpectedness to become hospitable again.
Aside from falling in love with her writing style and whole attitude to ‘the good life’, her beautiful book comes with an attached ribbon place-marker … I really love those.
Have you fallen in love with a book recently?