It’s been a while… again! You’d think, with lockdown and the like that I’d find time to at least update my blog, but on no. My brain literally found a hundred other things to do than come and be sociable. You want examples now, don’t you? Well, I finished my postgrad in Children’s Literature (with Oxford Brookes University, in case you’re wondering) and it was truly wonderful. Tough (especially on the old grey matter), but so interesting. I learnt and read loads. I could continue and do my dissertation to finish the MA, but I’ve decided instead to apply for my chartership (Librarian, folks). While it’ll be challenging in a different way, it’ll more relevant to my field. I may go back and finish the MA with Roehampton – we’ll see how my brain fares over the next year. I also had my kitchen redone – totally gutted and rebuilt from the bones out. It’s not too dissimilar to what we had before, but with cleaner lines, more cupboard space, and everything is better laid out (if I do say so myself). We also redid gutters, facias, some plumbing, gas pipes… It was quite a busy year in all.
So, we’re now in another, albeit looser, lockdown. The main difference being that I can go in to work. It’s tough; I won’t fudge about and say it’s basically the same, because it isn’t. There are some days I am so wiped I barely notice the drive home. Yet I’m thankful that I have the luxury of saying I’m still employed, of being in a job where I get to interact with people on a daily basis. A lot of people can’t say that. In fact, my husband was ‘let go’ during the summer and it’s taken him a couple of months to find another job. My son is still looking.
I would normally be doing the ironing right about now. However, the new Assassin’s Creed game has lured my husband into the TV room (my ironing domain), so I’ve crept into my own sanctuary, aka my office – a few words on that: my (unemployed) son painted my office for my birthday! How cool a pressie is that? – to get back into the blogging-side of things and update you all on what’s occurring in this little corner of Oxfordshire.
For a start, I am pleased to report that while there was a dearth of toilet rolls, pasta and flour in the supermarkets during lockdown, there were ample supplies of tea. The lack of which, I fear, would have broken me. My morning cuppa is vital. It warms me, calms me and steers my head back into the real world. I’m not addicted, in as much as I can go the whole day without another cup of tea, yet the very idea of starting a new day without a brew is no laughing matter and even now makes me feel a little glum. While I’m not a tea snob, I do know what I like. Although I will venture into the fruit/herbal teas arena, I prefer black teas – Assam, Darljeeling or Earl Grey, depending on the time of day and mood; I would rather have sugar and milk than lemon – again, dependant on time of day and mood; I don’t care if the milk goes in first or last (although with fine porcelain, ir ought to be first so you don’t scald the china); the sugar can be cubed, granulated or caster, as long as it’s brown; I prefer loose leaf to tea bags, and I like my tea medium strength – not builder’s tea, so strong your spoon will (metaphorically) stand up in it, or so weak you may as well be drinking hot water. I’m sure you all wanted to know that…
Next, there’s my health. I’m much better now, but there were a few scary moments last year and the year before and the year before that. Hopefully, it’s all behind me now, or at least, incinerated to dust. Now, all I have to do is lose some weight – easier said than done, my wee blogerilles. Motivation – pretty much key to any venture – is sadly lacking and there’s nary a shop from which I can purchase any.
On a cheerier note, I am beginning to think about Christmas. Asking the family veers us into the realms of quantum physics (I kid you not) or discussions on morphic resonance and collective consciousness (did someone say sheep+cattle-grid?). So, I’m on my own. I got as far as a list of presents. Well, I say list, I only managed to fill in gift ideas for three people. I’ll come back to that – ages to go yet. Right (counts on her fingers)?
Luckily – or is it unluckily – Diwali got swept under the lockdown carpet. There aren’t any indian sweet shops within sneezing distance (please sanitise) and I’m not venturesome enough to turn my hand to those delicious delicacies. Apart from anything else, my family know what those little packets of yumminess are supposed to taste like.
Which brings me to here. This desk, and this page, and the reason I wanted to blog today: Penny Reid (all hail author of swoon-worthy romances) is not sure she’s going to finish the Hypothesis series.
I know! Shocking. That’s the reaction I had, too! Be shocked. Be horrified. Ring the bells and shout it from the rooftops – London is burning!!!! (figuratively speaking. Or at least one innocuous mind in a small room in a small house in a small village in Oxfordshire, but that’s pretty close). The reason is because (says Ms reid) the Hypothesis books haven’t done as well as her other books, (Knitting in the City and Winston Brothers). The adult ones. The Hypothesis series is targeted to a younger audience, so we need to get out there and spread the word. Enlighten the teens and open their hearts and minds to the awesome world of science in fiction (while not mistaking it for science-fiction; [my apologies to Jess. Total misunderstanding]), to intelligent, independent girls and intelligent needs-some-sense-knocked-into-them’ boys, to high jinks and humour, and mostly to fantastic HEAs. This year especially, we are all in need of some good old-fashioned soulmate couplings.
I leave you with this:
“I will die happy here, today, in this spot,” she sighed. “In your puddle of lust.”
“Leave my puddle of lust alone. Get your own puddle.”
Attraction (Elements of Chemistry Book 1 [Hypothesis 1])
Stay Safe and talk soon.