It's been such a long time since I last posted! December has been a wonderful, if chaotic month, but I wanted to tie up a couple of loose ends before beginning blogging properly again in the new year.
Firstly, I am ashamed that it has taken me so long to reveal my Persephone Secret Santa! I was so excited to take part in Book Psmith's project, but on the reveal date, December 15th, I was taking part in a pretend Christmas Day which a friend put on at his flat (champagne at 11am, full Christmas lunch, Pictionary, Gone With The Wind, walk to the pub, It's A Wonderful Life: bliss!) and didn't get chance to post. Since then I have been busy with end of year festivities in Oxford, followed by a trip to snowbound Amsterdam.
This was a wonderful visit which included Van Gogh, raw herrings, handbags, and an unexpected seven and a half hour boat ride back home across the cold seas... But it needs a post to itself, so I'll be blogging about my trip in due course.
But to return to my Persephone Secret Santa. My Santa turned out to be Simon of Stuck In A Book, which was particularly fortuitous as we are both based in Oxford. Consequently, Simon suggested we meet up for him to deliver my present, so I was very excited to be able to meet another blogger for real, as it were! We met up some time ago now, and I couldn't resist opening my present almost straight away, to find one of the Persephones I've most lusted after waiting for me: Tea for Mr Rochester by Frances Towers. I read it immediately, and it certainly didn't let me down. The stories are magical and eerie, finely drawn and cleverly done, and images from many of them have stayed with me. I hope to write a proper review shortly, and the book certainly deserves one. I enjoyed the book so much that, I decided to send it to my own Secret Santa recipient: Danielle of Leaning Towards the Sun, who has blogged about ithere: I hope she enjoys it as much as I did!
Thank you again, Simon, for such a wonderful gift, and to Stacy at Book Psmith for organising such a great event.
I'll be giving a full report on Keira Knightley's stage debut afterwards (although personally I am much more interested in seeing the excellent Damian Lewis on stage!).
I'll be back to blogging properly at the start of next week, after my return to Oxford, when I'll be filling you in on my end of year activities, and sharing some thoughts about what's occupying me as we move into 2010. In the meantime, I hope you all had a wonderful festive season, and that you have an enchanting New Year's Eve. A belated Merry Christmas, and all the best for 2010! I leave off today with some words from Sir W's 1601 essay 'Of Iustice', and hope that, although the season may be cold, it has also been one of
'Peace (the nourishing warmthe) by whose rayes, states stretch out their armes, and enioye a perpetuall summer'.