“I have a view, I have a view.”
Miss Bartlett was startled. Generally at a pension people looked them over for a day or two before speaking, and often did not find out that they would “do” till they had gone. She knew that the intruder was ill-bred, even before she glanced at him. He was an old man, of heavy build, with a fair, shaven face and large eyes. There was something childish in those eyes, though it was not the childishness of senility. What exactly it was Miss Bartlett did not stop to consider, for her glance passed on to his clothes. These did not attract her. He was probably trying to become acquainted with them before they got into the swim. So she assumed a dazed expression when he spoke to her, and then said: “A view? Oh, a view! How delightful a view is!”
“This is my son,” said the old man; “his name’s George. He has a view too.”
“Ah,” said Miss Bartlett, repressing Lucy, who was about to speak.
“What I mean,” he continued, “is that you can have our rooms, and we’ll have yours. We’ll change.”
The better class of tourist was shocked at this, and sympathized with the new-comers. Miss Bartlett, in reply, opened her mouth as little as possible, and said “Thank you very much indeed; that is out of the question.”
“Why?” said the old man, with both fists on the table.
“Because it is quite out of the question, thank you.”
“You see, we don’t like to take—” began Lucy. Her cousin again repressed her.
“But why?” he persisted. “Women like looking at a view; men don’t.” And he thumped with his fists like a naughty child, and turned to his son, saying, “George, persuade them!”
“It’s so obvious they should have the rooms,” said the son. “There’s nothing else to say.”
He did not look at the ladies as he spoke, but his voice was perplexed and sorrowful. Lucy, too, was perplexed; but she saw that they were in for what is known as “quite a scene,” and she had an odd feeling that whenever these ill-bred tourists spoke the contest widened and deepened till it dealt, not with rooms and views, but with—well, with something quite different, whose existence she had not realized before. Now the old man attacked Miss Bartlett almost violently: Why should she not change? What possible objection had she? They would clear out in half an hour.
The excerpt is from one of my favourite books, A Room With A View by Edward Morgan Forster, and comes from the first chapter entitled The Bertolini. The photographs that illustrate it are of the view I see when I look out of my bedroom doors. This entry is for The Gallery: Week 20. The theme is: A Novel Idea.
Blueberry Buttermilk Ice Cream
1 1/2 punnets of blueberries (that’s around 2 cups)
1/3 cup of sugar (or more to taste)
pinch of salt
grated zest and juice of 1/2 a lemon
3/4 cup whipping cream
3/4 cup buttermilk (or sour cream if you prefer)
Put the blueberries, sugar, salt and lemon zest and juice in a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring, until the mixture boils and the berries pop and get soft (about 3 mins.)
Put the berry mixture into a blender and whizz until it is a puree (about 1 min.) It doesn’t need to be completely smooth. Add the whipping cream and buttercream and pulse to blend. Taste, and if you want to add more sugar, do so now.
Pour the custard into a bowl and leave to chill in the refrigerator before churning it into ice cream.
Scrape the chilled custard into the bowl of an ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
NB if you do not have an ice cream maker please check out David Lebovitz’s instructions on how to make it without one.