Listening to: various chilling out stuff
Reading: Michelle Styles, Viking Warrior, Unwilling Wife (excellent read – strong heroine, strong hero and a real conflict. I liked the secondaries too, and will be nagging her to see if she’s writing a certain person’s story in the future. And I loved all the Viking mythology/saga stuff – this was one of my big passions before I went to uni, and it influenced my choice of course: I chose Leicester because it included Old English)
Fate is clearly being very kind to me at the moment, because I’ve had a truly lovely weekend.
Starting with a fab review of In Bed with her Italian Boss by the Pink Heart Society – ‘This is the first Kate Hardy book I’ve ever read and I’m so glad I did! It’s a little like Prince Charming meets Sleeping Beauty… This is one sweet and tender love story……an awakening of sorts for both Gio and Fran and one you definitely will not want to miss thanks to Kate Hardy’s storytelling ability!’ Thank you, Marilyn, for making my week. (Rest of the review is here.)
I also had an email with one of the producers at BBC Radio Norfolk confirming a conversation I had with lovely Maggie Secker (one of the presenters) when we bumped into each other outside the library last week. Now, I’m known for being a bit of a music junkie (I don’t know how many CDs I have, but we have 5 of those wall-to-ceiling storage units that contain 180 CDs and they’re pretty much full, let alone the ones in my office/the conservatory/the kitchen/my car) and I’ve always wanted to do one of these Desert Island Discs type programmes. Tune in to BBC Radio Norfolk on Monday 19 May 6-7pm and you’ll find me chatting away and some really good music. (NB It’s an hour slot and I need to keep my audience in mind, so this is the middle rather than the extremes of my very eclectic taste, and it spans all the decades from the 1950s until the album I’m overplaying right now…)
And I had an email from lovely Mills and Boon confirming that I’m the writer in residence for Norfolk libraries (2008 is the National Year of Reading and I’ll be banging the drum about that in the future). I’m very, very proud of that, as I’m very much a champion of libraries. Several of my friends are writers in residence for their counties, too, so I foresee some collaboration and a lot of fun, for a VERY good cause.
Can it get much better than this? Um, yes, because my ed liked my tweaked outline so I was able to start work on the new book. (And I’ve just discovered something about my hero that, um, my editor might not like too much, but I do… his nerdy side. It involves volcanoes.)
The sun was shining this weekend so I loafed with the family and went for a walk in Foxley Woods. (Actually, that was officially work, as I like to visit all the locations mentioned in my local history books. You can’t beat being there yourself. Foxley Wood is at least 4,000 years old, though in the 1970s it was pretty near being ruined by industry.)
It was boggy (and someone had a hissy fit about her pink wellies becoming mud-coloured – the fact she fell flat on her face afterwards made it worse) but we found this.
In fact, more than that. We found these, too:
I love bluebell carpets. And how privileged I am to live in this part of the world, where there are real woodlands with natural carpets nearby (And I do mean natural. These are English bluebells, as opposed to Spanish or hybrid - the flowers are on one side of the stalk, the bell is narrow, and they're dark blue.)
Then there were some little pathetic squeaks from me and DH was very indulgent (actually, he rather likes poking round churches, so he didn’t need much persuasion). Again, it was work-related, but it was pleasure too: I really wanted to see the wall paintings at Wickhampton. They’re utterly fabulous. I particularly liked the hare in the Quick and the Dead painting. (The St Christopher was good, too, and the Seven Acts of Mercy. There was also a monument I was after for the new non-fiction.)
We also went to Booton church, which is very, um, unusual - many of the features are direct copies of features from other churches, e.g. the west door is a copy of Glastonbury Abbey's. It was rebuilt at the end of the 19th century by Reverend Whitwell Elwin, and I think you could almost call this a folly. (The glass was OK but I would've preferred either straight copies of 15th century glass such as that in St Peter Mancroft, Norwich, or pretty PRB glass - Elwin, however, loathed the PRB.)
The wooden angels in the roof were ENORMOUS (my camera didn’t do them justice, so no pics) and I felt they were a little bit threatening. (The Dr Who episode 'Blink' came to mind really strongly.) The statue of St Michael the Archangel at the front really spooked me. If I were a dragon, I'd be running just as fast as I could!