that that’s really what history mostly is: masses of people doing ordinary things.
whatever happens in the world – whatever is discovered or created or bitterly fought over – eventually ends up, in one way or another, in your house.
Those in the middle of the mass could only be reached by clambering over the roofs of many other houses, all of differing heights, and entering through roof hatches – a staggeringly inconvenient arrangement.
boudoir, literally ‘a room to sulk in’,
during the slightly hysterical confusion that comes with the outbreak of war,
The difference between herbs and spices is that herbs come from the leafy part of plants and spices from the wood, seed, fruit or other non-leafy part.
The most adventurous of all sacrificed homely comforts and often years of their lives to explore distant corners of the world. They became – a new word, coined in 1834 – scientists. Their curiosity and devotion were inexhaustible. No place was too remote or inconvenient, no object unworthy of consideration.
The greatest possible irony would be if in our endless quest to fill our lives with comfort and happiness we created a world that had neither.