Old Fashioned Girls


Some of the best things I’ve ever done have come about as a result of random late night conversations, where whims that would otherwise be dismissed as totally unrealistic suddenly become completely achievable goals. Caught up in the moment, I find myself signing up for all sorts of things I would never do in the cold light of day, and I can’t say I have regretted any of them!

Over New Year, I stayed with the lovely Miranda for a few days. We drank colossal amounts of tea, ate lots of goodies, and did lots of chatting (as well as lots of theatre going – more details on that to come!), and during one of our conversations we began talking about how we wanted to do more with our writing. Miranda showed me some beautifully produced quarterly magazines she had been sent from America, written by two photography bloggers who had wanted to create something concrete for the people who read their blogs. As I flicked through the pretty pages, suddenly a lightbulb switched on in my head. Why couldn’t WE do that?

As I got more and more excited, Miranda caught my enthusiasm. Why not indeed? It could be a place for all those things we want to write on our blogs, but that we either don’t have time to dedicate to, or that would not work online. I could finally write a lengthy spotlight on Dorothy Whipple’s novels. Miranda could discuss fashion in middlebrow fiction and show us how to capture the spirit of the 1930s in style. We could share favourite recipes, capture favourite destinations, highlight favourite artists, even try our hand at short story writing…the possibilities are endless. We want to create something lovely for all the people out there like us, who quiver with excitement when a new Persephone is published; whose idea of bliss is a slice of cake and a good book; who would rather go for a stroll in an autumnal wood than go to a bar and get drunk; who appreciate the simple pleasure of sitting in the early morning sunshine with a first cup of tea. If we’d want to read the articles it contains, we hope you would too.

So, our first step towards achieving this dream has been to set up a joint blog, with the same name as our planned publication; Old Fashioned Girls. We will take it in turns to post a little snippet every day; it might be a painting, a photo, a recipe – anything that takes our fancy. We’ve already started, and we’re loving it so far. It’s very different to how I write on here; I am not usually one for brevity (!), and it’s a challenge to condense my thoughts into just a line or two. However, the experience of collaborating with someone else, and of expanding my writing repertoire beyond books, is already proving inspirational, and I am incredibly excited about where this could lead.

So, if you like Book Snob, I hope you will like Old Fashioned Girls. Do please pop on over when you can, and fingers crossed that I’ll be able to update you on our Quarterly very soon!



  1. I think this is such a wonderful idea, Rachel, and I’m rather jealous that I didn’t think of it first (though I would probably call it something different myself 😉 fab name for you two, though.)

    1. Thanks Marion! Well, what’s good is that we are only doing very short posts…so it’s a relatively manageable project. Until we need to start writing long articles for the quarterly, that is!

  2. Well I am just playing catch up on my fav blogs after several months of having not with everything going on with Granny Savidge and now I have another blog/site to add to the list… how exciting.

    I think random conversations are brilliant for sudden whims (that’s how The Readers podcast started sort of) and if you are doing things with people on the same wavelength it works wonders. Good luck with the Quarterly, that and teaching are going to keep you busy, busy, busy.

    Oh and a belated Happy New Year!

  3. I love the idea of the quarterly magazine, as well as the new blog. Granted, I could never read the Quarterly, what with me living in Argentina and you two in the UK, but the intention counts, right? 😉 The blog, on the other hand… you can bet I’ll be a regular follower. What you’ve got so far is lovely.

    On a different note, I love how… wistful this post feels. It makes me want to make some tea and sit down with a notebook and a pen to scribble down ideas to achieve seemingly-impossible-but-reachable goals, too. The atmosphere you create, not only in this post but in all of them, is truly wonderful.

    1. Thank you so much for your support! Your lovely comments are much appreciated!

      I’m so delighted by the comments you made about the atmosphere I create…that’s so lovely. I am pleased my writing makes you feel that way. 🙂

  4. I love the new blog and I’m all for a quarterly magazine. I love blogs but I sometimes miss holding something concrete in my hands, something that is easy to take up and put down, read again whenever I chance to come across it on an idle Sunday etc. I guess I’m old-fashioned as well. 😉

    1. Thanks very much Elke – i’m so glad you like the idea of the Quarterly. Your thoughts echo ours entirely. Something to go back to and reflect on. Us Old Fashioned Girls are more common than you’d think! 🙂

  5. Opportunity has been a fine thing for you so far, Rachel, and I am so excited for you and Miranda with this venture! Your definition of bliss in slices of cake, books and walks in the woods were ticking my very same boxes so I will be thrilled to be a supporter. All the best to you both!

  6. Your new blog is already looking beautiful. We share the same love of illustration, especially older ones. I know this is going to be a huge success.

    I’ll make a link to it on my own blog. Quite a few American blog readers have found their way to yours via mine. Doesn’t it make you LOVE the internet and all the good it can bring?

    1. Thanks so much, Chrissy! We’re still working it out but we’re pleased with it so far. Thank you – I appreciate that. I do indeed – so many opportunities have opened for me that I would never have otherwise had!

  7. What a wonderful idea from this fellow old fashioned girl. Afternoon tea, cakes, books and knitting I feel less old fashioned knowing there is others like me. I watch with interest, and if you ever need any contributors more than happy.

  8. I didn’t have time to read this entry when you posted it, so I saved it for Sunday at tea time, when I catch up on literature blogs. What a treat I had in store! I love your blog and the new one looks lovely as well. I’m more or less your age, but I too have been an unapologetic old soul for as long as I can remember. My mom always says that I was born in the wrong time & place. So true! I would have felt more in my element in Victorian England. Just today I “inherited” my late granny’s armchair, and I’m looking forward to curling up for hours while enjoying old-fashioned pastimes.

    1. Thanks so much Azahara…it’s really lovely to have your support and encouragement. There are many of us old fashioned girls out there, and I hope you’ll continue to enjoy our adventures!

  9. Rachel, I am so excited about this. From what I have read on “Old-Fashioned Girls,” you are tapping into something that just doesn’t exist for those of us who love nothing more than settling down with a classic novel or literary biography and a cup of tea, strolling in a garden with a book of poetry, eagerly awaiting Masterpiece Theatre (I loved the recent Bletchley Circle), or visiting a place like Charleston or Monks House when we go to England. I will be a devoted fan!
    xx Sunday

  10. Looking forward to the Book Clubs! Your blogs are the best thing in a long time and make my dreary cubicle life merry!

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