Wednesday, 4 April 2012

This Joyful Eastertide*

It's been so long since I posted that we're now in a different season and a whole new time zone (or something), the snowdrops have given way to massive swathes of daffodils everywhere and Britain has gone from a surprise summer to the depths of winter again. Bizarre. I did intend to reappear before now, and in fact got as far as writing about the blackbird that insists on waking me up by imitating a car alarm outside my window at 5.30 every morning, but the clocks went forward before I got around to posting it and being woken up at 6.30 didn't seem nearly so worthy of sympathy.

Anyway, apart from the season and the time and the flowers and the weather not much has changed here. I'm still buried deep in the book and my reclusedom reached new heights (depths?) when I decided to cut my own hair using a youtube video for instruction, rather than waste a whole morning sitting in the hairdresser's. It's not a bad effort, even if I do say so myself  (although there's a good chance I wouldn't be saying it if someone showed me the back in a little mirror, like the hairdresser does). Less successful was my attempt at home colouring, however I believe that the two-tone, dip-dye look is pretty hot this season so I'm reassured that the few people I do see (the online grocery delivery man, the lady in the petrol station kiosk and one or two parents at the school gate who are as late picking up as I am) will be massively impressed by my up-to-the-minute look.

Nothing much else to report. Have been watching Lord Julian Fellowes of Downton's most recent Sunday night offering, Drownton  Titanic, but have to say I'm not blown away (or swept overboard) by it. The structure feels a bit too Groundhog Day-inspired, and the characters so flimsy that you quite expect them to be scattered in the icy waters at any moment, but can't work up much angst about it from the comfort of the sofa. If only he could have found a way of putting Maggie Smith on the ship, as well as Bates's scheming wife, and upping the quota of amusing one-liners.  (Perhaps he felt the doomed liner was no place for an amusing one-liner? Shame.) I've also devoted a frustrating amount of time to planning a research trip to Northamptonshire/Cambridge in June, so would love to have draft 1 of the book pretty much nailed by then. It seems a little back to front to be writing first and researching later, but I think I need to get down what's in my head without being too troubled by trifling little details like reality. I've never written this way before and it feels frustratingly slow - I want the book to be finished NOW.


Happily, my brother and his lovely family are arriving for the weekend tomorrow, which has forced me to raise my head from the keyboard, buy flowers and clean places that haven't felt a drop of Flash since they came at Christmas, and has provided the daughters with a great excuse to give Marian Keyes's Saved By Cake a thorough road test. I love Easter, and not only because it means you can have hot cross buns for breakfast instead of boring cereal. Whatever you're doing this weekend, I hope it involves a happy amount of chocolate and cake, and not so much in the way of snow or hours spent in traffic. Happy Easter everyone!

* This Joyful Eastertide always makes me smirk because it's what Grace, the O'Hara's feckless cleaner in Jilly Cooper's Rivals, sings at all sorts of inappropriate moments. *sigh* Sometimes I forget just how much I love Jilly, and then I remember all over again...(Virtuous cleaning intentions crumble to make more dust...)

7 comments:

Sharon Kendrick said...

ooh-er! Had just this morning written, asking how and where you were and then you go and post this. Great minds, etc

Have also been cleaning house. Disgusting levels of dust in son's bedroom. Looking forward to making my Triple Lemon Cake and having a general carb-fest!

India said...

Oooh, Triple Lemon Cake - that sounds almost healthy Sharon, and probably accounts for your daily quota of Vitamin C as well as one portion of fruit. Easter is definitely The Season Of Carb. What better way to mark significant events in the religious calendar than by consuming sugar and bread-products?

Taking a break from the cleaning to write this and fortify myself with tea. Must get back to it. Must Not go online now and browse True Grace's current selection of scented candles...

Morton S Gray said...

Hi India - Have a lovely Easter. I actually made my own hot cross buns yesterday! The fact that they have all gone tells me they were good.

Still plodding on with my edits, but having fun with an April 'a poem a day' challenge with Ellie Swoop. Looking forward to reading your new book. Mx

India said...

Morton, that's quite impressive! I used to hold the view that life is too short for yeast-based cookery, but one year my husband made hot cross buns and changed my mind forever.

Is your April challenge to WRITE a poem a day? If so, I've gone beyond impressed into awe-struck and need to have a lie down...

Happy Easter to you and to Ellie, and good luck with those edits!

Morton S Gray said...

Hi India,

Struggling with the edits, but the poems are flowing. Yes it is a poem a day for every day in April. I'm doing it with Ellie and another friend Elizabeth Mansfield.

Hope you had a good Easter. Mx

India said...

Lovely easter, thank you - which makes it all the harder to get back to work...

I'm truly impressed that you're writing a poem every day. Does it get easier as the days pass and you get more practised or harder as you use up ideas?

xx

Morton S Gray said...

I haven't found writing a poem a day difficult yet. there is so much inspiration all around us. I'm enjoying the discipline.