Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Christmas Goodies 2013

I enjoyed a wonderful Christmas, with lots of fabulous food and drink (with one sister making egg-nog, the other scrummy brioche for breakfast- I do the mulled wine Christmas eve, a tradition for a few years now), and fabulous company, of course! Having my delightful niece of nearly 13 months, and my gorgeous nephew who is 21 months to entertain and delight us all. And lots of cuddles for Auntie Pooks/Omi!! :) Yes, I have two names, which is fine as I don't often see both families together, but might get confusing as time goes on... This was also the first family Christmas without Dad (last year mum and I were on our own). So it was bitter sweet, as life so often is.

Here is a pic of the historical/costuming goodies I received this year:

I have been reading a lot about Mary Queen of Scots lately. With my obsession which started young with Henry VIII and all his shenanigans, I must admit to not knowing much about her, although I know a fair bit about Elizabeth I, so how I missed Mary, I don't know. Anyway, I recently read the first Jean Plaidy novel  (now, I will state here that I grew up on Jean Plaidy (as did my mum). Her books are not bodice rippers, or any sexy nonsense. She writes great historical fiction based on fact. You are able to become fully absorbed in the period, and they are easy to read. Many have gone through a re-print recently) based on her early life ''The Royal Road to Fotheringay'', so was delighted to receive the second half ''The Captive Queen of Scots'' for Christmas. The film ''Mary Queen of Scots'' has a superb cast, but of course, I can't watch that until I have read the second book.

After I had read ''The Royal Road to Fotheringay'', I read this one, which was, of course very different to the Jean Plaidy fiction. It was a short read, but succinct and enjoyable:

I will just mention here, that if you do like more historical fiction/romance, then she also wrote under pseudonyms such as 'Philippa Carr' and 'Victorian Holt' in this genre. Some are better than others. 

The other Jean Plaidy book there in the group is the first one of her triology about Catherine de' Medici, ''Madame Serpent'' (I already have the other two). Catherine features in Mary's early years, so I have most of the main female roles (that I didn't know much of before) covered! I read ''The Medici - Godfathers of the Renaissance'' by Paul Strathern about 5 years ago now, it was a  fascinating read.

I was excited to open my present with the Buttons book by the wonderful Gina Barrett. I love using authentic, historical details in my work, such as the correct buttons for the period in which I'm working on, so can't wait to get started on some new buttons. Hopefully I'll find the time next year.

And so, we are very nearly into a new year. I love New Year. A new year feels like a fresh start, a blank page. Around September time I find myself dreaming about my plans for the next year.. and I do love to plan!

Happy New Year all!
love,
Naomi