One of my current orchids is collecting books I loved as a child, or filling the gaps in my collections, a process made infinitely easier thanks to various online book sellers. I’ve been tracking down copies of the Chalet School series, written by Elinor Brent-Dyer. I only had two copies of the series growing up, but I managed to read others by borrowing from friends and the local library.
I love these books and I have no shame about enjoying them even more as an adult than I did as a child. They’re certainly of an era where the term ‘smashing’ is considered slang unbecoming of young schoolgirls and there’s no way a real school could operate with as many accidents on every single outing as the plucky Chaletians and their teachers do, but they’re delightful all the same.
As I adult I obviously relate more to the teachers than the pupils, and there’s a hint of the friendship and perhaps more in some of the stories that concentrate more on the staff. Of course, there’s no whiff of impropriety but one can’t help but wonder how an all-female staff would interact, leaving aside the ones who are regularly married off to doctors or other successful men around the place.
Dated though they are, they’re really very endearing and I look forward to the arrival of the post when I know one is on the way. A major orchid will be completing my collection, which depends on how much I’m willing to pay for the rarer titles.