Monday, August 24, 2015

In the Garden with The Totterings

In the Garden with The Totterings - a Tottering-By-Gently collection
by Annie Tempest
fiction 2011
finished 8/22/15

I first learned about Annie Tempest’s work in the English magazine Country Life from a 2002 article in an old Victoria Magazine. I've kept it all these years, 

and finally, this week, bought three collections of her cartoons. I love her tales about this oh, so British couple living in the countryside. I assume they are wealthy, but Daffy doesn’t have help working in her garden. There is a woman who comes in to do some house work but that’s it. Daffy’s husband Dicky is retired (don’t know from what job) and he mostly sits. 

The cartoons are filled with warm-hearted humor. 

Do you see that little drawing in the lower corner? That is Dicky. And one of the many delights of this book is 

He is hard at work on his favorite occupation - sitting, drinking, and reading the paper. His cartoons are on the left pages, and Daffy's are on the right. She is pursuing her never ending attempt to control her garden.

The book begins with a cast of characters.

The reader gets to see the daily life of Daffy and Dicky (perfect, perfect names, don't you think?!). Daffy's day begins with a bit to eat, a cigarette, and relaxation time with her good dog. 

Sometimes the thought of gardening work is just too much!

 Her thoughts rarely stray from the garden.

There's a photo of Annie Tempest at the beginning of the book,

and that little smile on her face is just like the one I had on mine as I read this wonderful book. I love these people. The other two books I have are Tails of Tottering Hall, and Drinks With The Totterings. I expect I will add more as time goes on. 


  1. The cartoons are too funny--and very close to the bone! Love the little cartoons in the corners and think this one is a must have. Thanks, Nan!

    1. I love that you wrote 'must have.' That so pleases me, Jenclair!

  2. These look so entertaining. Who is that on your header? He/she has such a sweet face.

    1. She is Lucy!

  3. You find the most interesting/unusual books. Looks delightful!

  4. Replies
    1. You can tell from her picture that the author loves Daffy and Dicky! She has made them come alive!

  5. This is adorable and would be a great gift for ladies at my garden club. Thanks for sharing.

  6. These sound wonderful. I've heard of the Totterings (probably from the same Victoria Magazine - gosh how I miss that magazine, the older issues, I mean. I have so many clippings and many of the covers) and now that you've reminded me again, I'll see if my library has the books. If not, I may just have to buy my very own copies. Maybe I'll give them to myself for Christmas. :)

    Nan, have you seen the work of Sue McCartney Snape? She's another one who draws on British upper crust life and society. But sh'es a bit more wicked in her outlook. She doesn't write books, far as I know, but her prints and drawings are available online and she's easy enough to find. I love her work.

    1. Yes, I do too. The old ones were more focused on the home, esp. in England. I haven't seen a new one in a while but the last one I saw just seemed bland. Well, worth buying these books for yourself! I haven't seen her work but I'll check it out. I'm not a fan of 'wicked' so much as gentle, but I'll see.


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