Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Name that book?

Current work: still officially en vacances (i.e. awaiting verdicts – on new book, from lovely ed; and on outlines, sent to lovely agent)
Listening to: Chopin (am in French mode, now…)
Reading: Sarah Mayberry, Burning Up (enjoyed this one. Still think my fave of hers is Anything For You)

Over at the RNA blog yesterday, Leah commented about my office companion and then asked me if I knew which book she was talking about.

“The father of the heroine freezes to death (on purpose), she's see's him going out to do it and he tells her to go back inside/leave, it could have been a flashback and I'm sure it's a chick lit book!”

It doesn’t ring a bell with me (the only one I can remember with snow is lovely Katie Fforde’s “Highland Fling”, and it isn’t that one). Does anyone else recognise it? Please let me know in the comments if you do, because a) I promised I'd ask and b) I’m intrigued now…

Had a lazyish day, yesterday. Visited Dad and it was the nicest visit for ages – one of those I can store up as a good memory to set against the darker ones. Today may be cinema or bowling, depending on what time the shopping arrives.

Tonight, we have to go and buy paint. Specifically, we have to take back one tin (what on EARTH was DH thinking, buying indigo paint for son’s bedroom walls? It’s small enough as it is – it’ll feel like a matchbox, painted a colour that dark) and buy the rest of the paint for the hallway, living room and dining room. We need to get this sorted and the carpets up within the next three weeks, so you can guess what I’ll be doing, this weekend. (Not gloss, though. Am not allowed to do that because am too hopeless.)

We also need new bedlinen. It would be wonderful to have pure white linen, as we did on holiday, but a) this would mean ironing duvet covers (what a waste of good writing time – properly folded and with a decent pattern, you can get away with being a bit of a slattern) and b) it’s not a sensible choice when you have a dog who sneaks upstairs for a cuddle at weekends when you stay in bed to read (by this I mean after 6.30am but before 9am – am not that lazy). He usually rushes past daughter, as she’s a pushover and won’t check that his paws are dry first. I would have to spend so much time scrubbing out muddy pawprints... No. Cool, crisp elegance is out of the question. (This is why I write. My heroines can have the high-maintenance stuff.)

Given that our walls are soft jade and the new carpet will be a similar colour to the present one (mid blue-grey), I probably should be looking at duck-egg blue and the like. Given that I haven’t seen anything that’s grabbed me in ages, I decided to do an online browse before dragging the kids shopping. Sadly, my usual shortlist of shops – Laura Ashley, Marks, John Lewis, Debenhams and House of Fraser – let me down. Then it occurred to me to look up my favourite manufacturers to see if there were other stockists who might have a wider range. Thanks to this, I discovered something new: V&A bedlinens. (As in V&A museum.)

I found a particularly gorgeous design called ‘blossom’, which was inspired by a length of 19th-century Chinese blue velvet. It’s possibly not a conventional colour scheme, but I think heathery purple goes quite nicely with soft jade. (I could also argue a case for claret – there was a Dorma one in burgundy that really tempted me, but one of the reviews said it had an embossed pattern on the pillowcases. Shame: I’m a bit princessy about mattresses and pillows, and I’m a bit the same about bedlinen – smooth and with a high thread count, please.)

The stockist had a fabulous range, which you could explore by colour or by style, i.e. modern, floral, stripes, and the category I really liked – ‘elegant’. I’m sniggering even at the thought, because I’m the least elegant person I know. However. We have three nice sets, now (duck-egg/aqua, pistachio, and the heathery one) and it worked out at three for the price of one, so I'm pleased with my bargains.

Am having a bit of a piano-fest at the moment. Daughter has taught herself the Do-Re-Mi song and is driving us all potty with it. I’m playing Chopin and Satie – yup, French music. Because one of my heroines in the French duo plays. You have to have a baby grand in a chateau, don’t you? Even if it’s been under dust covers for 10 years...


Lacey Devlin said...

I sometimes dream of the high maintenance linen too Kate! Then reality sneaks in but personally I'd rather have my menagerie of pets avoid the iron as much as possible ;)

Kate Hardy said...

Absolutely, Lacey - you see the pics in the glossy mags, sigh over them, earmark them for inspiration for future books... and then go back to a normal life with a bit of noise and mess and chaos (and a lot of laughter). Much less stressful, too, I think!