Friday, 30 December 2011

A Sense of Perspective

This was my birthday loot - gorgeous, eh? A whacking great crate of booze.

Except it isn't, of course. When seen in perspective, it is an elegant small crate of liqueur chocolates.

Which made me think - there are times when everything happens at once. I feel a bit off-colour, perhaps, or a piece of writing has taken longer than I expected, and all of a sudden the small jobs are all bumping into each other and spilling off the To Do list and events seem to spiral out of control.

But today I heard some grim news about a friend that made all my clicketty, fidgetty worries fall silent.

So this year I'm going to keep things in perspective. I'm going to widen my field of vision and decide what is important at any one time.

And I'll start with a liqueur chocolate, that pencil and the next scene in the serial-in-progress.

Happy balancing act to you all.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Birthday roses and ginger brack

When my mother was alive, she used to give me flowers every week. Partly this was to say thank you for taking her shopping and running her around. Mostly it was because she thought they brightened a place up and besides, she liked buying flowers.

Since she died, I've tended not to buy flowers for myself. Not sure why, it just felt slightly wrong. Now and again, though, when I see some particularly pretty ones, I feel a sharp prod in my back and a voice in my head telling me to stop messing about and for goodness sake put them in the trolley.

Which is why I bought these today for my birthday. I could feel the approval as I went through the checkout.

And because it is my birthday, I am also eating Ginger Brack and drinking tea. She would have approved of that too.

[Ginger brack from the wonderful Bothams of Whitby]

Thursday, 1 December 2011

A different kind of launch!

Yesterday I went to the launch of Beryl Kingston’s new novel from Hale:  Off The Rails about George Hudson of York. Born in 1800, Lord Mayor of York for three terms and known as the 'Railway King' because of his assiduity in becoming chairman of as many Railway Companies as possible, he was a colourful and not always fiscally responsible character. Indeed, his creative accounting led to his being imprisoned later on in his career.

The launch was held in York's Holy Trinity Church with its Georgian box pews, giving a semblance of privacy to the worshippers - and as we discovered, cutting off the worst of the draughts! It was lovely for me sitting in the pews and imagining what my own characters might get up to in the semi-privacy. Some of the pews were large family ones and some were a lot smaller. Certainly hands touching when sharing hymn books and feet rubbing against each other would not have been an impossibility.

Beryl Kingston with 'George Hudson'
Ahem. Back to Beryl's launch. The pulpit is a central one (giving a landscape feel to the church rather than a portrait one) and the ‘difference’ in this launch was that a local actor used the pulpit as a focal point for a dramatic monologue by ‘George Hudson’ himself, romping entertainingly through his timeline. I shall, of course, read the book, but the dramatic content brought the man very vividly to life and will enhance the experience.

The mulled wine and sausage rolls that followed were more than welcome on a very cold day!

[Many thanks to Holy Trinity and Mike Jarman for photographs]