I sometimes have a hard time differentiating between novels and reality. Part of that is, I think, that novels contain so much truth. I'm not being philosophical and talking about subtext and themes, but more the serious amount of research that goes into keeping a novel historically accurate -- whether it takes place in 2008 or 1808.
In the past day, I've been confronted with three things I'd read about recently in three different novels: an AGA, an MG, and Lyme Regis. I found all three of these things at Kirsty's mum's house in Devon, pictured below:
Matthew from 44 Scotland Street owns an AGA oven/stove/cooker thing in his swanky Edinburgh flat. I didn't know what this was until I saw an AGA store in my neighborhood. It seems to be a posh brand of stoves, but I didn't know or understand why until yesterday when I watched Kirsty's mum's AGA in action. It's heated by kerosene and burns constantly, heating the kitchen as it does. It always allows for quick boiling of the kettle or slow cooking of a curry. Mighty and imposing, it's like the castle of cookers:
Maisie Dobbs, Depression-Era Private Investigator and Psychologist, drives an MG, which I never thought I'd see. But lo and behold, Kirsty's stepdad collects and restores old cars, and what does he have sitting in his garage at the moment? A 1931 MG. I had no idea what they were like, other than the engine was tricky to start (Maisie's butler-type figure is always starting it for her). Now I've got a proper image in my head of Private Investigator Maisie Dobbs parking her MG outside her London office:
Lyme Regis was another place I only recently came across. I guess I wasn't enough of a dinosaur-enthusiast as a child to know the history of the town. It took Tracy Chevalier's novel Remarkable Creatures to introduce me to Mary Anning and her ichthyosaurs and plesiosaurs. When you read a novel, you draw your own images of what the scenery is like. It was especially interesting to see the historic seaside town in person. The beach and rocks looked similar to my imagination, as well as parts of the town, but the urban planning is never quite the same as you picture. I didn't imagine it quite so colorful, but it was bright and pretty -- and down the road from Kirsty's mum's house:
It's been a good music tour so far, but I haven't managed to be the tourist I usually am while on the road. Yesterday was really nice though ... getting a lovely stroll on the beach in Lyme Regis and fossil-hunting on the beach. Hoping to have more sights to post this week.
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