Wednesday, March 07, 2007

I, too, was reading a book, while I ate delicious rum-babas and little tarts filled with worm-castles of chestnut purée topped with caps of whipped cream. I have called the meal tea, but what I was drinking was not tea but chocolate. When I poured out, I held the pot high in the air, so that my cup, when filled, should be covered in a rich froth of bubbles.

The book I was reading was Tolstoy's Resurrection. Although I did not quite understand some parts of it, it gave me intense pleasure to read it while I ate the rich cakes and drank the frothy chocolate. I thought it a noble and terrible story, but I was worried and mystified by the words "illegitimate child" which had occurred several times lately. What sort of child could this be? Clearly a child that brought trouble and difficulty. Could it have some terrible disease, or was it a special sort of imbecile?

from Denton Welch's short story "When I was Thirteen"

Ever since I first read the story from which this is excerpted, nearly 20 years ago, Denton Welch's description of a stay at a hotel in the Swiss alps in the 1930s has been my idea of what a ski trip to Switzerland should be. Full of rum-babas, tarts with chestnut purée and hot chocolate. And maybe a little skiing.

Tomorrow I'll find out.

I'm not a very good at it, but I love to ski.

I hope I don't break any bones.

The Swedish verb of the day is att åka skidor. It means to ski.

- by Francis S.

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