Monday, December 17, 2007

last few days of term

Current work: Medical Christmas Duo
Listening to: Christmas compilation
Reading: various obscure antiquarian books [aka pure bliss - officially I suppose this is work, but this is the stuff of my heart]

Busy weekend. DH was working for a lot of it, so I was either helping with homework or working on nonfiction (which can survive interruptions relatively unscathed!). Also had lovely 'early Christmas' with Ali and Martin.

Have put the structure of my new nonfiction in place and sorted out which pics I still need to take (two new, one to be redone, three to borrow if they exist). Have also been checking Google books (which is wonderful if the books you want are on ‘full view’, and highly frustrating if they’re ‘snippet view’ – particularly the stuff that’s been out of print for over 100 years, sigh). The books I bought last summer (the eye-wateringly expensive ones) have been earning their keep. And there’s just something about handling books that are 200 years old (give or take ten years). For me, this is why digital media can never completely replace the original: sensory deprivation. The feel of the binding, the weight of the book in your hand, etc etc.

I have to admit that medieval life is one of my favourite topics so the research (which is my favourite bit of nonfiction anyway) doesn't feel like work. This feels like pure indulgence. No problems reading Middle English, so am enjoying myself thoroughly with source material. (Note to self: you need to learn medieval Latin properly.)

Three more days of school, so I need to really get cracking on my fiction today.


Ray-Anne said...

I can't think how you managed to squeeze so much into the weekend! Research is fantastic, and of course feeds the imagination like nothing else. And I totally agree about the sensory effect of paper and ink.
My mother had some hand wrtten very old recipes noted down with blotty scratchy ink pen or pencil, spotted with fat and gravy. Sadly I have no clue who these women were. It was still great to touch that very personal link to the past.
Best of luck with the fiction.

Jan Jones said...

And, ah, just when are you going to learn medieval Latin, pray???

Anonymous said...

Yes, we should all brush up on our medieval latin, really....LOL! Now I really appreciate why everyone calls you Scary Kate! It's not just the book output or all the other stuff the SDP keep an eye on, it's medieval Latin!!!!


Kate Hardy said...

Ray-Anne - because I'm Scary *g* - seriously, those recipes sound fabulous. I'm fascinated by old recipes and I, ahem, have a few 'period recipe' books. (I want some originals, but if I'm going to be a bad puppy with antiquarian books then I need to reorganise my office.)

Jan - after Easter :o)

Nicolette - it's for research purposes. :o) And I don't tell the SDP everything or they'd break my arms...

Melissa Marsh said...

I am in awe! You can read Middle English? Wow.

Bailey Stewart said...

No, but some of us read the blog ... (tapping foot)

By all means, throw in medieval latin while you're at it ... *gg*

I love the feel and smell of the printed word. And I love old books.

Kate Hardy said...

Melissa - officially, I started at A level when we did Chaucer. But I was messing about with it before then as I was interested in Malory.

Bailey - :o)