After a crazy week, Molly and I spent Sunday evening reading From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler. I had last read it in — oh, say, 1982?
If you don’t know it (which is an excusable state of affairs only for British readers), it is the story of two young children who run away to (‘run away to? how can you run away to?’) the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. They sleep in fancy beds, bathe in fountains and befriend a Michelangelo statue without ever getting caught.
There’s a lovely bit I’d forgotten near the end, when the elderly Mrs Frankweiler is assessing the mood of young Claudia just before sending her home:
I could tell that she felt happy. Happiness is excitement that has found a settling down place, but there is always a little corner that keeps flapping around.
Not an elegant sentence, perhaps; but an elegant image nonetheless.