Mrs Miniver Comes Home.....

.....with the wrong chrysanthemums.
The opening chapter of Mrs Miniver which you can read here, describes how she comes home one sunny October afternoon with a big sheaf of chrysanthemums. For the last few Octobers I have searched in vain for bronze coloured chrysanths like Mrs Miniver's. Today I found these (at Sainsbury's) and felt that they were as close as I was going to get to the elusive Miniver chrysanths.

After I had put them in a jug I went and found my copy of Mrs Miniver and discovered I'd misremembered the description.

'the big mopheaded kind, burgundy-coloured, with curled petals' 

Burgundy, not bronze.
Luckily my chrysanths are a range of autumnal colours including both burgundy and bronze. But they are not, unfortunately, big, mop-headed, or with curled petals.

I do agree with Mrs Miniver about how gratifying it is to settle back into the rhythm of one's life after the interruption of summer, and, like her I am enjoying my forties more than my thirties (probably something to do with the age of my children).  

Purely by coincidence, because I rarely buy baked goods, I bought some crumpets for the children to eat when they return from school.  I'd forgotten that Mrs Miniver also had crumpets for tea.

I thought I'd better sample one before giving them to the children

I know what my next read will be.



  1. Ooh, what a delightful thought ... having never read Mrs Miniver I shall root out a copy too :D And I couldn't agree more that summer is an interruption and that the fifth decade is a good thing. I have a birthday next week ... tipping into my fifties I'd say that they're not so bad either :D And they might not be Miniverish, your chrysanth's, but they are lovely, and very autumnal.

  2. I've been reading it on-line:
    Just click on the little buttons at left of the chapter title.

    Well, your flowers and the crumpet are calling out to me from my screen so I guess I'll have to go shopping tomorrow.

  3. Mrs Miniver is very enjoyable whether you watch the film or read the book but not the same.

    I too prefer my forties to my thirties but I remember being told at thirty by a couple of fifty year olds that they were enjoying life more than they ever had. So apparently it gets better and better. I loved it when my daughter was little and in fact I miss that a little bit but there are compensations for getting older, which is a good job too.

    I used to prefer muffins to crumpets but my daughter loves only crumpets. I eat them rarely but I must say I do enjoy them every now and then.

  4. Mrs Miniver is one of my comfort reads - funnily enough I was thinking just the other day that I wanted to read it again. I love the buying of her diary. I feel exactly like her then!
    I am fifty next year and am already glossing my fourties with a nostalgic glow...Still onward & upward as my mother likes to say.
    Lovely post x

  5. Isn't there a passage in Nella Last's diary when someone buys her a bunch of expensive chrysanths and she's disappointed because they're different, clashing colours rather than all-bronze or copper? Can't find my copy or I'd have a look.

  6. I can picture her chrysanthemums but like you have never found them in the shops. It's a great read but have you ever read The Real Mrs Miniver by Ysenda Maxtone Graham? Quite thought provoking.

  7. No, I haven't read that one Lucille, I know Ysenda Maxtone Graham is Joyce Anstruther's (Jan Struther) grandaughter though. Should I read it or will it spoil Mrs Miniver for me?

  8. I hate chrysanthemums.
    I love crumpets.

  9. Sue, I am rushing to the library or Amazon quick smart to get a copy of Mrs. M. - just up my street - a proper comfort read! I just adore chrysanths and their smell but you are right it is very difficult to get those big blowsy ones - I shall search at the market tomorrow! I am just re-reading The Shell Seekers by Rosamund Pilcher - such a lovely read!

  10. I'm with Annie, (tipping -very shortly- into my fifites that is). I loved Mrs Miniver (virago publish).
    The colours of your flowers are wonderful!

  11. Thank you so much for introducing me to Mrs Miniver! It's in my amazon basket. Another almost-50 here, what good company here! I bought the chrysanthemums (simple ones) and sunflowers that are gracing my mantle at S'burys too. Simple pleasures....

  12. I had my first crumpet in a charming little shop in Seattle, Washington USA - at the Pike Place Market - a wonderful and exciting place with guys who throw fish and there are flower stalls and craft market and all manner of wonderful things. One time I decided to make my own crumpets and ended up with hundreds of them. Yummy! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  13. Love mums...
    Love crumpets ...
    Love Mrs. Miniver !!!

  14. The flowers are gorgeous, burgandy or not. Perhaps you subliminally remember Mrs Miniver had crumpets and that's why the landed in your food trolley. Crumpets, just love them!
    Anne xx

  15. Quality control, excellent reason for eating yummy food.

  16. I think it does spoil it a little Sue. But in some ways it's also an acerbic antidote to some of the slightly smug moments in Mrs Miniver. I'd say give it a go. I think you'd appreciate the sidelong view.

  17. I discovered Mrs Miniver earlier this year and adore that first chapter. Wonderfully atmospheric.

    My advice for proper chrysanths...try a farmer's market or better still a small greengrocer. There were tons at the one in Ashbourne today where I went for a mooch with my friend. But my Ludlow ones are still on the go (I went again last week, get over there Sue!) and, although a little smaller than Mrs Ms are beautiful, so I treated myself to shalias today £1.80 a bunch. Bargain!

    Have smashing weekend.

  18. Pati from London5:13 pm BST

    Hello Sue, I'm not too keen on chrysanthemums but I love crumpets...I coincidentally had one just for lunch yesterday. I made myself a salad of goat's cheese and figs on a bed of rocket with a balsamic vinegar and olive oil vinagrette that was yum but then, on the side, I ate an eggy crumpet. What is that? (you may wonder..) I basically saw the crumpet recipe on an interesting food blog called "feeding boys and a firefighter". Basically, you put a bit of butter on a pan, cover the crumpet with egg and then cook it gently for a few minutes. It was nice and a good accompaniment to the salad. x Pati

  19. I'm about halfway through Mrs Miniver now after receiving the book from Amazon on Thursday. Thank you for introducing her to me via your blog! I don't always agree with all her opinions, but I love her style of writing and how she views the world. The book is gentle and thought-provoking at the same time.


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