How rural was this? I needed to read Lark Rise to Candleford. Why? Well the series is delicious, and I love to drool over the hats and late Victorian ladies. But there is actually more to Candleford. The book is a living breathing social history. Every so often a spark of the real thing livens up the TV series, but the mother lode is essential reading - or so I've been told many times.
Lambeth Libraries has a copy, and it's in the Carnegie Library. Like so many of Lambeth's libraries, this is a beautiful Grade II building, built with late 19th century charity, generosity and style. It has a calm light atmosphere and a reading garden out the back.
On my way home through Brockwell Park, our local bird watcher is transfixed, peering with her binoculars at the lower frozen pond. "It's a water rail," she says. "You won't see one in London again." She shows me a picture on her camera and I wait.
Soon enough, a dainty little bird (like a moorhen but more sophisticated looking) emerges and shily potters about, pecking seeds from the ice.
Back home after that, to enjoy the rural rememberances in the book.