24 July 2011

Secret History of the Pink Carnation

Summary: The year is 1803, and feisty Amy Balancourt will do anything to join the cause of her hero, the Purple Gentian, and his fellow spies, who once tried to save her father from French revolutionaries. But first she must find the mysterious Purple Gentian - without getting sidetracked by the advances of Lord Richard Selwick, a dashing yet dubious man who by all appearances has defected to the enemy. What Amy doesn't know is that Richard's true goal is to ferret out Napoleon's plans for invading England while keeping his true identity
a secret. But who could concentrate on saving Europe with Amy's decolletage invading this thoughts? Unfortunately, Amy is clearly an impediment to his mission - especially when one of the many lives at stake is her very own... (source - back cover)

Comments: This is really two stories in one. The first is of the historian that is looking to find out who, exactly, is the Pink Carnation, and the second is of the lives of Amiee de Balancourt and Richard Selwick during that tumultous year of 1803. Both stories, I have to say, succeed, though much more print space is given to Amy and Richard, rightfully so.
I have this unconscious habit of coming up with questions during reading. So was the Scarlet Pimpernel real - was Sir Percival Blakeney? Must look this up. Shall do now ... one moment please. Nope not real - I have read Baroness Orczy's The Scarlet Pimpernel, but just had to double check. Too bad, I do love that character. Okay, on the to characters in the book, Lord Richard Selwick, lovely, charming, smart. Uh, not much else to say. And his mother the Marquess of Uppington, I totally love her early in the book and even more so towards the end of the story. She is not one to be taken lightly. Very amusing read. I am looking forward to reading the next book, "The Masque of the Black Tulip"

Food Trends

What's up with whoopie pies? First it was cupcakes, hell, in fact, they are still the rage in some places. Then it was French macaroons, but only for a little while because no matter how many cute colors they could come in, they were difficult to make. Then cake pops which are/were over the top cutesy and now whoopie pies.
What about simple things, like, um, cookies. I'd like to read a food blog or magazine without any of the following:

whoopie pies
cake pops
red velvet cake
red velvet whoopie pies...

That would be nice, just simple foods instead of food trends.

Gay Go Up and Gay Go Down

"Gay Go Up, and Gay Go Down" by Anonymous. Public domain. One of my favorite poems with my favorite of all in orange. I guess it's more a child's rhyme, but the last bit is a tad creepy.

Gay go up, and gay go down,
To ring the bells of London town.
Bull's eyes and targets,
Say the bells of St. Marg'ret's.

Brickbats and tiles,
Say the bells of St. Giles'.

Halfpence and farthings,
Say the bells of St. Martin's.

Oranges and lemons,
Say the bells of St. Clement's

Pancakes and fritters,
Say the bells of St. Peter's.

Two sticks and an apple,
Say the bells at Whitechapel.

Old Father Baldpate,
Say the slow bells at Aldgate.

You owe me ten shillings,
Say the bells at St. Helen's.

Pokers and tongs,
Say the bells at St. John's.

Kettles and pans,
Say the bells at St. Ann's.

When will you pay me?
Say the bells at Old Bailey.

When I grow rich,
Say the bells at Shoreditch.

Pray when will that be?
Say the bells at Stepney.

I am sure I don't know,
Says the great bell at Bow.

Here comes a candle to light you to bed,
And here comes a chopper to chop off your head.