Au revoir, real world …

This has been a weekend and a half. On Saturday evening, the choir with which my husband sings, the Benson Choral Society, put on one of its three annual concerts in Dorchester Abbey and, as always, the family came out in force to support him.

On Saturday evening, eight of us sat down to the main course, then dashed off to the Abbey for the (brilliant) concert, returning later for pudding, cheese and coffee. We all had breakfast the next morning, then two of the number left. Six of us sat down for Sunday lunch (the venison casserole I mentioned on twitter) and black cherries jubilee. At five o’clock, all of the guests left for London. At five thirty, my husband’s two friends from Cheshire arrived. We sat down to dinner at seven thirty (venison casserole again – on Saturday, I’d made enough for an army). At nine thirty, the friends left for Stansted, taking with them my husband. They’ve gone to Italy.

I staggered downstairs this morning to be greeted by a GINORMOUS pile of washing – bed linen for all the beds in the house, towels, napkins, shirts, you name it. Dealing with it will take a couple of days, if not more. It was a depressing sight as I have so much I want to do, and funnily enough, washing and ironing don’t figure on my wish-to-do list.

Then I opened my mail and my email. Katie Fforde had sent me the page with the Bookseller review of The Road Back; my copy of Romance Matters fell open at the page taken out by Choc Lit, congratulating Jane Lovering and Evonne Wareham for winning the Romantic Novel of the Year Award 2012 and The Joan Hessayon Prize, respectively; my copy of The Silent Touch of Shadows, by Christina Courtenay, is at hand as I’m starting to read it today; my email brought details of The Festival of Romance 2012, which takes place in Bedford in November, and in which I and other Choc Lit authors are participating; the programme for the RNA Conference 2012 in Penrith is on my desk nearby.

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Mine is a world full of novels, both reading and writing them, and it’s a BRILLIANT world in which to live. As I sort out the piles of washing, I shall be counting myself lucky that I don’t live in Wyoming, 1887, and as I get down to the ironing, I shall be thinking about Ben Davies (I loved Please Don’t Stop the Music, Jane) and I’ll be wondering what I shall think of the hero I’m about to meet in the pages of The Silent Touch of Shadows.

You don’t need to win the lottery to be lifted out of the mundane into the sublime – all you need to do is to open the page of a good book. Or to find yourself in front of a computer, with the time to write one.

That’s my thought for the day. Plus the fact that I NEVER want to eat venison again!

17 thoughts on “Au revoir, real world …

  1. Totally agree, Liz, we are very lucky to live in the world of books! And thank you for mentioning mine – do hope you like the hero when you get time to read it. But as I’ve said before – ironing, what’s that? Totally unnecessary! The sheets will get flat next time your guests sleep on them πŸ˜€

  2. I loved Brice Kinross so I’m sure I shall like Jake from the moment when I meet him tonight – especially as my DS2 is a Jake!

  3. Glad you enjoyed Please Don’t Stop the Music, Liz! And I second Christina’s opinions on ironing – totally unnecessary. But if you must, what about listening to some audio books – that way you get to ‘read’ a book and the ironing gets done, double whammy!

  4. Getting an audio book is not a bad idea, Jane. I listen to The Archers when ironing, but that’s only 15 minutes’ long. My ironing, alas, even if I omit everything I can omit, will take longer than that. Hmm. I like the idea of listening to a book while I press away *thinks*

  5. You iron SHEEETS?! I iron 1 shirt about once every 2 months, or thereabouts πŸ˜‰ Agree with you, that there’s nothing better than snuggling up with a delicious, and ficticious, Choc Lit hero. At the moment Luke Sharpe from “Run Rabbit Run” is doing it for me (phwoar!), and after that I’ll move onto the next guy. Faithful, moi? Non.

  6. No, I never iron sheets!!! Well, not the undersheets. But some of the duvet covers do need ironing. Alas. It’s a mistake I will never make again. I shall check the labels before buying in future, and anything that needs ironing will be a no-no

  7. I have a handy tip for ironing – get someone else to do it. Unfortunately it does not always work. πŸ™‚

  8. Or stick it in the tumble dryer and fold when it comes out – that means you don’t even need to hang it on the line and think of all that reading and writing time you’ve saved πŸ™‚

  9. Evonne – your tip is a great idea. The trouble is, though, that someone else has just gone to Italy and won’t be back for two weeks. Perhaps I should sound my cleaner out for his next absence, though. So far, I’ve preferred to let the unpaid home help do it, but if he’s not here …

    Sarah – your tumble drier must be a bit better than mine. Mine never quite does it to no-ironing-needed state. I must give it a good talking to. After all, we writers are meant to have a way with words πŸ™‚

  10. I recently discovered a great way to sneak extra writing time. People give you space, sympathy and lots of cups of tea and wine. Yes, breaking your ankle is extreme but I got loads of writing and reading done in the early days. Now the novelty’s worn off I just have to hop though. Hoping the resulting competition entries make up for it. Is the ironing and washing pile dwindling yet? Celia x

  11. Now why didn’t I think of breaking an ankle? Clever, you, Celia. That was inspired πŸ™‚

    Most of the washing is done, and a lot of the drying, thank you. I’ve ignored the fact that the sun has been shining all day, and used the tumble dryer to good effect. Tonight I shall take root in front of the ironing board for the length of The Archers and Front Row, then I shall uproot myself and anything not done by then, stays not done. Tomorrow is for me. x

  12. “You don’t need to win the lottery to be lifted out of the mundane into the sublime – all you need to do is to open the page of a good book”

    Good comment!! How true.

  13. Many thanks for your comment, John. I think that the ability to lose yourself in a novel is one of the greatest gifts to have been given. I’m sorry for those who don’t have it.

  14. Yes, a good story, a glass of something delicious and a big block of chocolate – perfect!

  15. Celia – I broke a nail, does that get me writing time? And I haven’t got a tumble drier. We just tie the dogs to the rotary line and shout ‘walkies’.

  16. I feel as if the whole deer is now inside me, Juliet – I’ve just finished off the venison.

    Talking of chocolate, Margaret – it would be just the thing to chase the deer down, and having had guests this weekend, I am rich in chocolate. And wine.

    I love the idea of the rotary line and the doggy action, Jane! I wonder if I can harness the birds I feed – it would be altruistic to allow them to pay their way for the nuts I provide daily.

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