Excellent Women Quotes

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Excellent Women Excellent Women by Barbara Pym
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Excellent Women Quotes (showing 1-30 of 54)
“I realised that one might love him secretly with no hope of encouragement, which can be very enjoyable for the young or inexperienced.”
Barbara Pym, Excellent Women
“Perhaps there can be too much making of cups of tea, I thought, as I watched Miss Statham filling the heavy teapot. Did we really need a cup of tea? I even said as much to Miss Statham and she looked at me with a hurt, almost angry look, 'Do we need tea? she echoed. 'But Miss Lathbury...' She sounded puzzled and distressed and I began to realise that my question had struck at something deep and fundamental. It was the kind of question that starts a landslide in the mind. I mumbled something about making a joke and that of course one needed tea always, at every hour of the day or night.”
Barbara Pym, Excellent Women
“My thoughts went round and round and it occurred to me that if I ever wrote a novel it would be of the 'stream of consciousness' type and deal with an hour in the life of a woman at the sink.”
Barbara Pym, Excellent Women
“The burden of keeping three people in toilet paper seemed to me rather a heavy one.”
Barbara Pym, Excellent Women
“I pulled myself up and told myself to stop these ridiculous thoughts, wondering why it is that we can never stop trying to analyse the motives of people who have no personal interest in us, in the vain hope of finding that perhaps they may have just a little after all.”
Barbara Pym, Excellent Women
“You know Mildred would never do anything wrong or foolish. I reflected a little sadly that this was only too true and hoped I did not appear too much that kind of person to others. Virtue is an excellent thing and we should all strive after it, but it can sometimes be a little depressing.”
Barbara Pym, Excellent Women
“There are some things too dreadful to be revealed, and it is even more dreadful how, in spite of our better instincts,we long to know about them.”
Barbara Pym, Excellent Women
“I stretched out my hand towards the little bookshelf where I kept cookery and devotional books, the most comfortable bedside reading.”
Barbara Pym, Excellent Women
“I was so astonished that I could think of nothing to say, but wondered irrelevantly if I was to be caught with a teapot in my hand on every dramatic occasion.”
Barbara Pym, Excellent Women
tags: teapot
“Let me hasten to add that I am not at all like Jane Eyre, who must have given hope to so many plain women who tell their stories in the first person, nor have I ever thought of myself as being like her.”
Barbara Pym, Excellent Women
tags: plain
“We, my dear Mildred, are the observers of life. Let other people get married by all means, the more the merrier. . . . Let Dora marry if she likes. She hasn't your talent for observation.”
Barbara Pym, Excellent Women
“One wouldn't believe there could be so many people, and one must love them all.”
Barbara Pym, Excellent Women
“...I told myself that, after all, life was like that for most of us - the small unpleasantness rather than the great tragedies; the little useless longings rather than the great renunciations and dramatic love affairs of history or fiction.”
Barbara Pym, Excellent Women
“Surely many a romance must have been nipped in the bud by sitting opposite somebody eating spaghetti?”
Barbara Pym, Excellent Women
“Perhaps long spaghetti is the kind of thing that ought to be eaten quite alone with nobody to watch one’s struggles.”
Barbara Pym, Excellent Women
“It doesn't seem like them, somehow, I said. They don't usually do good by stealth. No, Julian agreed, their left hand usually knows perfectly well what their right hand is doing.”
Barbara Pym, Excellent Women
“I hope you don’t mind tea in mugs,’ she said, coming in with a tray. ‘I told you I was a slut.”
Barbara Pym, Excellent Women
tags: slut, tea
“But now respectable elderly women do not need to excuse themselves for buying brandy or even gin, though it is quite likely that some still do and perhaps one may hope that they always will.”
Barbara Pym, Excellent Women
“Mimosa did lose its first freshness too quickly to be worth buying and I must not allow myself to have feelings, but must only observe the effects of other people's.”
Barbara Pym, Excellent Women
“Have you seen our friend Everard Bone at all?’ Rocky called out.
Immediately he asked this, I realised that there had been a little nagging worry, an unhappiness, almost, at the back of my mind. Everard Bone and his meat. Of course it sounded ridiculous put like that and I decided that I would not mention it to Rocky. He would mock and not understand. It made me sad to realise that he would not understand, that perhaps he did not really understand anything about me.”
Barbara Pym, Excellent Women
“Once you get into the habit of falling in love you will find that it happens quite often and means less and less.”
Barbara Pym, Excellent Women
“Julian Malory was about forty, a few years younger than his sister. Both were tall, thin and angular, but while this gave to Julian a suitable ascetic distinction, it only seemed to make Winifred, with her eager face and untidy grey hair, more awkward and gaunt. She was dressed, as usual, in an odd assortment of clothes, most of which had belonged to other people.”
Barbara Pym, Excellent Women
tags: gaunt
“Well, I haven't really anything to eat at home, I began, but then stopped, as I realised that a dreary revelation of the state of one's larder was hardly the way to respond to an invitation to dinner.”
Barbara Pym, Excellent Women
tags: dinner
“My thoughts went round and round and it occurred to me that if I ever wrote a novel it would be of the 'stream of consciousness' type and deal with an hour in the life of a woman at the sink. I felt resentful and bitter towards Helena and Rocky and even towards Julian, though I had to admit that nobody had compelled me to wash these dishes or to tidy this kitchen. It was the fussy spinster in me, the Martha who could not comfortably sit and make conversation when she knew that yesterday's unwashed dishes were still in the sink.”
Barbara Pym, Excellent Women
tags: dishes
“Dear Mildred,' he smiled, 'you are not the kind of person to expect things as your right even though they may be.”
Barbara Pym, Excellent Women
“When we reached the bus-stop we were a long way behind in the queue and when the bus came it took only half a dozen people. I noticed a group of priests looking down on us from the upper deck and I felt that somehow the Pope and his Dogmas had triumphed after all.”
Barbara Pym, Excellent Women
“Oh, yes, men are very simple and obvious in some ways, you know. They generally react in the way one would expect and it is often rather a cowardly way.”
Barbara Pym, Excellent Women
“Вскочив, я начала мерять шагами гостиную с безотчетным беспокойством, не понимая, откуда оно взялось. Мне не хотелось встречаться с Иврардом Боуном, и мысль о том, чтобы готовить ему ужин, в данный момент казалась просто невыносимой. Но и мысль о том, что он там один со своим мясом и поваренной книгой, была тоже невыносима. Он перелистает ее до раздела «Мясо», прочтет, что говядину или баранину следует готовить столько-то минут на фунт и столько-то сверху, взвесит свой небольшой кусок, если у него есть весы. Потом выяснит, до какой температуры надо нагреть духовку, включит ее и будет стоять, глядя на термометр. Тут я едва не расплакалась, но удержалась и взяла себя в руки, напомнив себе, что Иврард не никчемный человек, а напротив, педантичный и любящий порядок. Ему вполне по силам справиться с запеканием мяса. Мужчины далеко не так беспомощны, как нам иногда хочется думать, и в целом управляются со своей жизнью много лучше нас.”
Barbara Pym, Excellent Women
“But it’s a good feeling and one does so like to have that.”
Barbara Pym, Excellent Women
“I hesitated at the top of the stairs, feeling nervous and stupid, for this was a situation I had not experienced before, and my training did not seem to be quite equal to it. Also, I suddenly thought of the parrot in a cage and that was distracting.”
Barbara Pym, Excellent Women

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