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" You know what it's like to persuade a pigheaded child to do something they don't want to. If they hear the same suggestion from someone else, they'll go right off and do it. "
" It seemed sensible to move to a market town where I could walk everywhere. "
" I don't write for any particular kind of person. "
" I never really know the title of a book until it's finished. "
" A lot of people stop short. They don't actually die but they say, 'Right I'm old, and I'm going to retire,' and then they dwindle into nothing. They go off to Florida and become jolly boring. "
" I remember the evacuee children from towns and cities throwing stones at the farm animals. When we explained that if you did that you wouldn't have any milk, meat or eggs, they soon learned to respect the animals. "
" We all lie to each other, present some sort of front. "
" Each marriage has to be judged separately, and we never know what's going on in another person's marriage. "
" Imagination which comes into play in falling in love is different from any other. Certainly in my case, and I've fallen in love all my life, one imagines the person to be as you want them to be. They frequently turn out to be someone different, for better or worse. "
" It was pretty awful for us children because we never really knew the local children. Mother was keen for us to learn languages, so our travels took us to France and Italy, as well as the West Country. "
" I have a garden, and I'm passionately interested in young people. "
" In my eighties, my best friends are in their fifties, and I have many friends at university. It keeps one young, and up with the vocabulary. That's terribly important, especially for a writer. "
" I found out only recently that we were making an index of enemy code signs. "
" Writing Part of the Scenery has been a very different experience. I have been reminded of people and events, real and imaginary which have been part of my life. This book is a celebration of the land which means so much to me. "
" I was sent to a finishing school, which didn't last long when mother found out how badly chaperoned we were. Then I 'came out' before going to a domestic science school. "
" People try much less hard to make a marriage work than they used to fifty years ago. Divorce is easier. "
" Rebecca is an example of how not to manage men. The rules of the game never change, it requires subtlety. "
" Of course risk-taking does not always pay off, but it's a lot of fun! "
" Women's courage is rather different from men's. The fact that women have to bring up children and look after husbands makes them braver at facing long-term issues, such as illness. Men are more immediately courageous. Lots of people are brave in battle. "
" Looking back, I understand that I was teaching myself to write. "
" We're all like children. We may think we grow up, but to me, being grown up is death, stopping thinking, trying to find out things, going on learning. "
" Twenty years ago, I was living in a lovely cottage on the edge of Dartmoor but I couldn't afford to run a car. "
" My father was a soldier and my mother was a great mover. She once counted up how many places she had lived in during the first 25 years of her marriage and it came to 20. "
" My first husband would never make up his mind in less than five years, so I used to get him to think that whatever course of action needed to be taken was his idea. Then he'd go right ahead. "
" I always read that men don't like intelligent girls, but I've always found the reverse. "
" They may turn out to be a great disappointment, or perhaps they may be full of enchanting surprises. "
" Unimaginative people are spared quite a lot. They're often much happier, because they don't go through all the variety of conceptions of the person they love. "
" I have deliberately left Sylvester and Julia's appearances to the reader's imagination. "