The most magical moment for me in The Tailor of Gloucester by Beatrix Potter is not the errant-running cat nor the kind helpful mice. It is the description of the result of the tailor’s labours. It must be the snow that introduces the description. Something about the uniform blanket of white which children who have grown up in winter climes know obliterates and subdues that adds a special dimension to the display of colour and texture.
When the snow-flakes came down against the small leaded window-panes and shut out the light, the tailor had done his day’s work; all the silk and satin lay cut out upon the table.
There were twelve pieces for the coat and four pieces for the waistcoat; and there were pocket flaps and cuffs, and buttons all in order. For the lining of the coat there was fine yellow taffeta; and for the button-holes of the waistcoat, there was cherry-coloured twist. And everything was ready to sew together in the morning, all measured and sufficient — except that there was wanting one single skein of cherry-coloured twisted silk.
Only upon slowing the reading and transcribing the adjacent passages do I gather that there is a sort of interference at work and I make the connection with the recollection of the spectacle of cherry trees in bloom so that “cherry-coloured” reads in this context as light pink as opposed to a deep cerise. A japonica patina.
And so for day 75