Five Ways to Celebrate!

Monty & poppies  Nicola here. I've sent in the revisions to my latest manuscript and I'm celebrating! I plan on doing some cooking, catching up with the gardening and taking Monty the Labrador for some lovely long walks in the countryside. And then there's the reading and the TV viewing, some for research and some for pure pleasure. Here are some of my indulgences:

The Books:

Yes, there's a big pile of books that have been sitting on my desk trying to tempt me away from my writing and now at last I can fall on them and gobble them up! First up is The Immortal Dinner by Penelope Hughes-Hallett. I heard about this when I was reading Penelope's obituary and it immediately intrigued me. At the end of December 1817, Benjamin Hayden, history painter of gigantic canvases, gave a dinner party to which he invited his young friend the budding poet John Keats in order for Keats to meet his hero William Wordsworth. The other guests included the essayist Charles Lamb and the explorer Joseph Ritchie and the evening was such a party of brilliance and wit that it became known as The Immortal Dinner. (Mind you, that was Hayden describing his own dinner party and he never knowingly undersold himself!) Not only does Penelope Hughes-Hallet give an account of the dinner itself but she also sets it against the wider backdrop of the Regency and it is fascinating.

Next is Dressed to Kill, British Naval Uniform, Masculinity and Contemporary Fashions 1748 – 1857 Dressed to Kill by Amy Miller. I have to say that it was the cover of this book that first hooked me. I am a sucker for uniforms and this one doesn't even have a hunky looking man inside it but it still looks great. I love the idea of exploring issues of masculinity and the social messages encoded in clothing through looking at Navy uniforms. As the book says, male dress, particularly something as heavily regulated as uniform, illustrates the shifting standards of masculinity and provides insight into what British society in the 18th and 19th centuries valued as "the ideal man." The illustrations are sumptuous too!

Finally something a bit different: Up and Down Stairs, The History of the Country House Servant by Jeremy Musson. This is a great book filled with lots of gems of information about life in the servants' hall, from the insight into a butler's duties: "must be able to shoot and shave well," one advertisement of 1775 declared, to the requirements for a lady's maid: "She must not have a will of her own in anything…She must not have a great appetite and had better drink nothing but water." Lady Dorothy Nevill dismissed her lady's maid when she discovered that the woman had been making free with her wardrobe as costumes for amateur dramatics!

The documentaries:

From reading to viewing, and I have two programmes recorded that I am particularly looking forward to watching. The first is The Untold Battle of Trafalgar which reveals that 1400 men in Nelson's fleet at Trafalgar were foreign sailors of 25 different nationalities including Swedes, Danes, Portuguese, Americans and even the French themselves. Drawing on the records of the HMS Bellerophon, the programme tells the story of the foreign sailors, how many were lured into the British Navy by the prospect of sharing a bounty of Β£1.5 million but ended up with only Β£7 each, and how they were dismissed from the service in 1815 when many ended up begging on the streets.

Gillray From war to art, and a programme called Rude Britannia exploring British traditions of satire and bawdy humour. I'm most excited about the episode on the 18th century which explores the cartoons of Gillray, Cruickshank and Hogarth. Alongside the political satire there is also an examination of bawdy street ballads, the earthy theatrical productions of Henry Fielding and scandalous literature, from Lawrence Sterne’s Tristram Shandy to the priapic adventures of Byron’s Don Juan. A must see!

The Films:

I'm getting very self-indulgent now but part of my treat has to be to watch (again!) some of my All for love favourite costume dramas. It's all good for research, of course… St Ives or All for Love, based on the novel by Robert Louis Stevenson is one of my top 10 costume dramas. The plot has several improbable coincidences that I'm sure none of us would get away with today but who cares, because it's such fun! Handsome aristocratic French prisoner of war falls for gorgeous Scots girl who helps him escape. He sees off the threat of his villainous brother and is restored to his rightful inheritance, getting the girl, the fortune and the stunning country house!

As if that wouldn't be romance enough, it's time for another outing for my DVD of The Abduction Club. Set in 18th century Ireland this is the "true" story of a group of handsome but penniless young men who abduct heiresses to try to persuade them into marriage. Everything goes wrong when our two charming heroes abduct two very spirited sisters and end up on the run. Fabulous dialogue, great chemistry, one of my all time favourites.

The Historic House:

There's also time to squeeze in a visit to an historic house and I'm off to Uppark House in Hampshire, Uppark_dolls_house which has an elegant Georgian interior with a famous Grand Tour collection including paintings, furniture and ceramics. One of the highlights is an 18th-century dolls' house with the original contents that I can't wait to see. The collection was accumulated by Sir Matthew Fetherstonhaugh between 1749 and 1751 and augmented by Sir Matthew's son Sir Harry, who lived a prodigal life at Uppark entertaining lavishly and included the Prince Regent among his frequent guests. At the age of over 70 Sir Harry married his dairy maid and he left the entire estate to her on his death in 1846.

The RNA Conference:

Fireworks And finally at the end of the week I'm off to the Romantic Novelists Conference in Greenwich, London. It's our Golden Jubilee year so there will be plenty more celebrations as well as the opportunity to visit the National Maritime Museum, the Royal Observatory and The Cutty Sark.

So those are some of my end-of-book celebrations! When you treat yourself, what is your favourite indulgence?

125 thoughts on “Five Ways to Celebrate!”

  1. I love to do nothing…absolutely nothing for a day. I lay around in my pjs and don’t think! LOL
    Which sounds really tame compared to the fun stuff you do!
    susan meier

    Reply
  2. I love to do nothing…absolutely nothing for a day. I lay around in my pjs and don’t think! LOL
    Which sounds really tame compared to the fun stuff you do!
    susan meier

    Reply
  3. I love to do nothing…absolutely nothing for a day. I lay around in my pjs and don’t think! LOL
    Which sounds really tame compared to the fun stuff you do!
    susan meier

    Reply
  4. I love to do nothing…absolutely nothing for a day. I lay around in my pjs and don’t think! LOL
    Which sounds really tame compared to the fun stuff you do!
    susan meier

    Reply
  5. I love to do nothing…absolutely nothing for a day. I lay around in my pjs and don’t think! LOL
    Which sounds really tame compared to the fun stuff you do!
    susan meier

    Reply
  6. When I’ve finished a book, I really need to recharge my batteries. One thing I enjoy is taking myself to one of London’s small museums – and there are dozens. Last time, it was the Tea and Coffee Museum near Tower Bridge.
    It was fascinating. I learnt all sorts of small useful things about the history of tea and coffee. (I kept thinking: I could use that!) What’s more, they have a good shop and a terrific cafe with a choice of delicious teas and coffees plus home made cake!

    Reply
  7. When I’ve finished a book, I really need to recharge my batteries. One thing I enjoy is taking myself to one of London’s small museums – and there are dozens. Last time, it was the Tea and Coffee Museum near Tower Bridge.
    It was fascinating. I learnt all sorts of small useful things about the history of tea and coffee. (I kept thinking: I could use that!) What’s more, they have a good shop and a terrific cafe with a choice of delicious teas and coffees plus home made cake!

    Reply
  8. When I’ve finished a book, I really need to recharge my batteries. One thing I enjoy is taking myself to one of London’s small museums – and there are dozens. Last time, it was the Tea and Coffee Museum near Tower Bridge.
    It was fascinating. I learnt all sorts of small useful things about the history of tea and coffee. (I kept thinking: I could use that!) What’s more, they have a good shop and a terrific cafe with a choice of delicious teas and coffees plus home made cake!

    Reply
  9. When I’ve finished a book, I really need to recharge my batteries. One thing I enjoy is taking myself to one of London’s small museums – and there are dozens. Last time, it was the Tea and Coffee Museum near Tower Bridge.
    It was fascinating. I learnt all sorts of small useful things about the history of tea and coffee. (I kept thinking: I could use that!) What’s more, they have a good shop and a terrific cafe with a choice of delicious teas and coffees plus home made cake!

    Reply
  10. When I’ve finished a book, I really need to recharge my batteries. One thing I enjoy is taking myself to one of London’s small museums – and there are dozens. Last time, it was the Tea and Coffee Museum near Tower Bridge.
    It was fascinating. I learnt all sorts of small useful things about the history of tea and coffee. (I kept thinking: I could use that!) What’s more, they have a good shop and a terrific cafe with a choice of delicious teas and coffees plus home made cake!

    Reply
  11. Oh, Nicola, bad, bad, you! I now have way too many wonderful books and films to tempt me away from work! I just love your selections, and have added them to my To Do list.
    I celebrate in exactly the same way you, do, rewarding myself with books, walks and museums. Enjoy your we–deserved fun! The Royal Maritime Museum sounds fabulous.
    Andrea, who did grab a little little to celebrate America’s Birthday with a beach party bbq, complete with burgers, hot dogs, brownies and fireworks over Long Island Sound. Huzzah!

    Reply
  12. Oh, Nicola, bad, bad, you! I now have way too many wonderful books and films to tempt me away from work! I just love your selections, and have added them to my To Do list.
    I celebrate in exactly the same way you, do, rewarding myself with books, walks and museums. Enjoy your we–deserved fun! The Royal Maritime Museum sounds fabulous.
    Andrea, who did grab a little little to celebrate America’s Birthday with a beach party bbq, complete with burgers, hot dogs, brownies and fireworks over Long Island Sound. Huzzah!

    Reply
  13. Oh, Nicola, bad, bad, you! I now have way too many wonderful books and films to tempt me away from work! I just love your selections, and have added them to my To Do list.
    I celebrate in exactly the same way you, do, rewarding myself with books, walks and museums. Enjoy your we–deserved fun! The Royal Maritime Museum sounds fabulous.
    Andrea, who did grab a little little to celebrate America’s Birthday with a beach party bbq, complete with burgers, hot dogs, brownies and fireworks over Long Island Sound. Huzzah!

    Reply
  14. Oh, Nicola, bad, bad, you! I now have way too many wonderful books and films to tempt me away from work! I just love your selections, and have added them to my To Do list.
    I celebrate in exactly the same way you, do, rewarding myself with books, walks and museums. Enjoy your we–deserved fun! The Royal Maritime Museum sounds fabulous.
    Andrea, who did grab a little little to celebrate America’s Birthday with a beach party bbq, complete with burgers, hot dogs, brownies and fireworks over Long Island Sound. Huzzah!

    Reply
  15. Oh, Nicola, bad, bad, you! I now have way too many wonderful books and films to tempt me away from work! I just love your selections, and have added them to my To Do list.
    I celebrate in exactly the same way you, do, rewarding myself with books, walks and museums. Enjoy your we–deserved fun! The Royal Maritime Museum sounds fabulous.
    Andrea, who did grab a little little to celebrate America’s Birthday with a beach party bbq, complete with burgers, hot dogs, brownies and fireworks over Long Island Sound. Huzzah!

    Reply
  16. I would love to do a few of those things! To just sit in a comfy chair and read for an entire day would be…bliss. Maybe when I’m published, I can treat myself to that. :o)
    I do think I need to get that book by Jeremy Musson though. Sounds fascinating.

    Reply
  17. I would love to do a few of those things! To just sit in a comfy chair and read for an entire day would be…bliss. Maybe when I’m published, I can treat myself to that. :o)
    I do think I need to get that book by Jeremy Musson though. Sounds fascinating.

    Reply
  18. I would love to do a few of those things! To just sit in a comfy chair and read for an entire day would be…bliss. Maybe when I’m published, I can treat myself to that. :o)
    I do think I need to get that book by Jeremy Musson though. Sounds fascinating.

    Reply
  19. I would love to do a few of those things! To just sit in a comfy chair and read for an entire day would be…bliss. Maybe when I’m published, I can treat myself to that. :o)
    I do think I need to get that book by Jeremy Musson though. Sounds fascinating.

    Reply
  20. I would love to do a few of those things! To just sit in a comfy chair and read for an entire day would be…bliss. Maybe when I’m published, I can treat myself to that. :o)
    I do think I need to get that book by Jeremy Musson though. Sounds fascinating.

    Reply
  21. Susan, I think having an entire day to lie around doing nothing is a real treat and not tame at all – pure luxury!
    LOL, Andrea, sorry to add to your list! I love the sound of the beach party bbq!

    Reply
  22. Susan, I think having an entire day to lie around doing nothing is a real treat and not tame at all – pure luxury!
    LOL, Andrea, sorry to add to your list! I love the sound of the beach party bbq!

    Reply
  23. Susan, I think having an entire day to lie around doing nothing is a real treat and not tame at all – pure luxury!
    LOL, Andrea, sorry to add to your list! I love the sound of the beach party bbq!

    Reply
  24. Susan, I think having an entire day to lie around doing nothing is a real treat and not tame at all – pure luxury!
    LOL, Andrea, sorry to add to your list! I love the sound of the beach party bbq!

    Reply
  25. Susan, I think having an entire day to lie around doing nothing is a real treat and not tame at all – pure luxury!
    LOL, Andrea, sorry to add to your list! I love the sound of the beach party bbq!

    Reply
  26. Elizabeth, the tea and coffee museum sounds right up my street. I’ve promised myself that in the autumn I’m coming up to London and visiting a selection of the smaller museums (expecially the ones with fantastic tea shops!) Like you, though, I’m always collecting ideas for stories when I go around these places. Even when authors are relaxing and recharging we still can’t help picking up ideas!

    Reply
  27. Elizabeth, the tea and coffee museum sounds right up my street. I’ve promised myself that in the autumn I’m coming up to London and visiting a selection of the smaller museums (expecially the ones with fantastic tea shops!) Like you, though, I’m always collecting ideas for stories when I go around these places. Even when authors are relaxing and recharging we still can’t help picking up ideas!

    Reply
  28. Elizabeth, the tea and coffee museum sounds right up my street. I’ve promised myself that in the autumn I’m coming up to London and visiting a selection of the smaller museums (expecially the ones with fantastic tea shops!) Like you, though, I’m always collecting ideas for stories when I go around these places. Even when authors are relaxing and recharging we still can’t help picking up ideas!

    Reply
  29. Elizabeth, the tea and coffee museum sounds right up my street. I’ve promised myself that in the autumn I’m coming up to London and visiting a selection of the smaller museums (expecially the ones with fantastic tea shops!) Like you, though, I’m always collecting ideas for stories when I go around these places. Even when authors are relaxing and recharging we still can’t help picking up ideas!

    Reply
  30. Elizabeth, the tea and coffee museum sounds right up my street. I’ve promised myself that in the autumn I’m coming up to London and visiting a selection of the smaller museums (expecially the ones with fantastic tea shops!) Like you, though, I’m always collecting ideas for stories when I go around these places. Even when authors are relaxing and recharging we still can’t help picking up ideas!

    Reply
  31. Theo, I can thoroughly recommend the Jeremy Musson book. I’ve only dipped into it so far but it is full of fascinating information. I love reading about the detail of servants’ lives because so much of it goes on unnoticed in the great houses and yet if the system fell down the upper eschelons of society would have noticed very quickly!
    Deena, what a lovely idea to have a free choice of where to go out to eat to celebrate! I must admit we haven’t done that yet but I have indulged in my favourite dish of roast monkfish with garlic potatoes!

    Reply
  32. Theo, I can thoroughly recommend the Jeremy Musson book. I’ve only dipped into it so far but it is full of fascinating information. I love reading about the detail of servants’ lives because so much of it goes on unnoticed in the great houses and yet if the system fell down the upper eschelons of society would have noticed very quickly!
    Deena, what a lovely idea to have a free choice of where to go out to eat to celebrate! I must admit we haven’t done that yet but I have indulged in my favourite dish of roast monkfish with garlic potatoes!

    Reply
  33. Theo, I can thoroughly recommend the Jeremy Musson book. I’ve only dipped into it so far but it is full of fascinating information. I love reading about the detail of servants’ lives because so much of it goes on unnoticed in the great houses and yet if the system fell down the upper eschelons of society would have noticed very quickly!
    Deena, what a lovely idea to have a free choice of where to go out to eat to celebrate! I must admit we haven’t done that yet but I have indulged in my favourite dish of roast monkfish with garlic potatoes!

    Reply
  34. Theo, I can thoroughly recommend the Jeremy Musson book. I’ve only dipped into it so far but it is full of fascinating information. I love reading about the detail of servants’ lives because so much of it goes on unnoticed in the great houses and yet if the system fell down the upper eschelons of society would have noticed very quickly!
    Deena, what a lovely idea to have a free choice of where to go out to eat to celebrate! I must admit we haven’t done that yet but I have indulged in my favourite dish of roast monkfish with garlic potatoes!

    Reply
  35. Theo, I can thoroughly recommend the Jeremy Musson book. I’ve only dipped into it so far but it is full of fascinating information. I love reading about the detail of servants’ lives because so much of it goes on unnoticed in the great houses and yet if the system fell down the upper eschelons of society would have noticed very quickly!
    Deena, what a lovely idea to have a free choice of where to go out to eat to celebrate! I must admit we haven’t done that yet but I have indulged in my favourite dish of roast monkfish with garlic potatoes!

    Reply
  36. Nicola, congrats on finishing the manuscript! I love your selection of books; I may have to add Up and Down Stairs to my TBR list!
    We celebrated the 4th with friends at their mountain side home, overlooking the river and the opposite pine tree covered mountains…what a view! Breath-taking for sure. It’s amazing when we find the quiet peace in a mountain retreat of the wilderness away from the hustle and bustle of the city but we have many in the Pacific Northwest! *happy sigh*
    Take care and see you next Thursday at Deanna’s Tidbits!

    Reply
  37. Nicola, congrats on finishing the manuscript! I love your selection of books; I may have to add Up and Down Stairs to my TBR list!
    We celebrated the 4th with friends at their mountain side home, overlooking the river and the opposite pine tree covered mountains…what a view! Breath-taking for sure. It’s amazing when we find the quiet peace in a mountain retreat of the wilderness away from the hustle and bustle of the city but we have many in the Pacific Northwest! *happy sigh*
    Take care and see you next Thursday at Deanna’s Tidbits!

    Reply
  38. Nicola, congrats on finishing the manuscript! I love your selection of books; I may have to add Up and Down Stairs to my TBR list!
    We celebrated the 4th with friends at their mountain side home, overlooking the river and the opposite pine tree covered mountains…what a view! Breath-taking for sure. It’s amazing when we find the quiet peace in a mountain retreat of the wilderness away from the hustle and bustle of the city but we have many in the Pacific Northwest! *happy sigh*
    Take care and see you next Thursday at Deanna’s Tidbits!

    Reply
  39. Nicola, congrats on finishing the manuscript! I love your selection of books; I may have to add Up and Down Stairs to my TBR list!
    We celebrated the 4th with friends at their mountain side home, overlooking the river and the opposite pine tree covered mountains…what a view! Breath-taking for sure. It’s amazing when we find the quiet peace in a mountain retreat of the wilderness away from the hustle and bustle of the city but we have many in the Pacific Northwest! *happy sigh*
    Take care and see you next Thursday at Deanna’s Tidbits!

    Reply
  40. Nicola, congrats on finishing the manuscript! I love your selection of books; I may have to add Up and Down Stairs to my TBR list!
    We celebrated the 4th with friends at their mountain side home, overlooking the river and the opposite pine tree covered mountains…what a view! Breath-taking for sure. It’s amazing when we find the quiet peace in a mountain retreat of the wilderness away from the hustle and bustle of the city but we have many in the Pacific Northwest! *happy sigh*
    Take care and see you next Thursday at Deanna’s Tidbits!

    Reply
  41. Nicola, thanks for the DVD recommendations – I have ordered up All For Love, which is called Robert Louis Stevenson’s All For Love in the US, I suppose so that today’s audience will not mix it up with any Restoration tragedies or anything. The other one, The Abduction Club, sounds like such fun that maybe I’ll get it from the UK!
    I am currently watching Garrow’s Law on DVD, which is a series set in Georgian London about the beginnings of the notion that the accused at the Old Bailey should have some access to defense counsel. It seems obvious to us moderns that that should be so, but the program shows what an uphill struggle it was to institute defendants’ rights. Has a Cute Guy in it too πŸ™‚

    Reply
  42. Nicola, thanks for the DVD recommendations – I have ordered up All For Love, which is called Robert Louis Stevenson’s All For Love in the US, I suppose so that today’s audience will not mix it up with any Restoration tragedies or anything. The other one, The Abduction Club, sounds like such fun that maybe I’ll get it from the UK!
    I am currently watching Garrow’s Law on DVD, which is a series set in Georgian London about the beginnings of the notion that the accused at the Old Bailey should have some access to defense counsel. It seems obvious to us moderns that that should be so, but the program shows what an uphill struggle it was to institute defendants’ rights. Has a Cute Guy in it too πŸ™‚

    Reply
  43. Nicola, thanks for the DVD recommendations – I have ordered up All For Love, which is called Robert Louis Stevenson’s All For Love in the US, I suppose so that today’s audience will not mix it up with any Restoration tragedies or anything. The other one, The Abduction Club, sounds like such fun that maybe I’ll get it from the UK!
    I am currently watching Garrow’s Law on DVD, which is a series set in Georgian London about the beginnings of the notion that the accused at the Old Bailey should have some access to defense counsel. It seems obvious to us moderns that that should be so, but the program shows what an uphill struggle it was to institute defendants’ rights. Has a Cute Guy in it too πŸ™‚

    Reply
  44. Nicola, thanks for the DVD recommendations – I have ordered up All For Love, which is called Robert Louis Stevenson’s All For Love in the US, I suppose so that today’s audience will not mix it up with any Restoration tragedies or anything. The other one, The Abduction Club, sounds like such fun that maybe I’ll get it from the UK!
    I am currently watching Garrow’s Law on DVD, which is a series set in Georgian London about the beginnings of the notion that the accused at the Old Bailey should have some access to defense counsel. It seems obvious to us moderns that that should be so, but the program shows what an uphill struggle it was to institute defendants’ rights. Has a Cute Guy in it too πŸ™‚

    Reply
  45. Nicola, thanks for the DVD recommendations – I have ordered up All For Love, which is called Robert Louis Stevenson’s All For Love in the US, I suppose so that today’s audience will not mix it up with any Restoration tragedies or anything. The other one, The Abduction Club, sounds like such fun that maybe I’ll get it from the UK!
    I am currently watching Garrow’s Law on DVD, which is a series set in Georgian London about the beginnings of the notion that the accused at the Old Bailey should have some access to defense counsel. It seems obvious to us moderns that that should be so, but the program shows what an uphill struggle it was to institute defendants’ rights. Has a Cute Guy in it too πŸ™‚

    Reply
  46. Oooh, Janice, I was totally hooked on Garrow’s Law! Fantastic series, the only thing that was wrong with it was that it was too short, IMO, at only four episodes. The subject matter was totally fascinating and appealed to my dh too. He doesn’t normally watch costume drama. And yes, Andrew Buchan as William Garrow is very, very cute. Sometimes the character was so arrogant and obstinate I wanted to bang his head against the wall, but I think that was part of the great characterisation. You want him to succeed but you also want someone to bring him down a few pegs! Enjoy!

    Reply
  47. Oooh, Janice, I was totally hooked on Garrow’s Law! Fantastic series, the only thing that was wrong with it was that it was too short, IMO, at only four episodes. The subject matter was totally fascinating and appealed to my dh too. He doesn’t normally watch costume drama. And yes, Andrew Buchan as William Garrow is very, very cute. Sometimes the character was so arrogant and obstinate I wanted to bang his head against the wall, but I think that was part of the great characterisation. You want him to succeed but you also want someone to bring him down a few pegs! Enjoy!

    Reply
  48. Oooh, Janice, I was totally hooked on Garrow’s Law! Fantastic series, the only thing that was wrong with it was that it was too short, IMO, at only four episodes. The subject matter was totally fascinating and appealed to my dh too. He doesn’t normally watch costume drama. And yes, Andrew Buchan as William Garrow is very, very cute. Sometimes the character was so arrogant and obstinate I wanted to bang his head against the wall, but I think that was part of the great characterisation. You want him to succeed but you also want someone to bring him down a few pegs! Enjoy!

    Reply
  49. Oooh, Janice, I was totally hooked on Garrow’s Law! Fantastic series, the only thing that was wrong with it was that it was too short, IMO, at only four episodes. The subject matter was totally fascinating and appealed to my dh too. He doesn’t normally watch costume drama. And yes, Andrew Buchan as William Garrow is very, very cute. Sometimes the character was so arrogant and obstinate I wanted to bang his head against the wall, but I think that was part of the great characterisation. You want him to succeed but you also want someone to bring him down a few pegs! Enjoy!

    Reply
  50. Oooh, Janice, I was totally hooked on Garrow’s Law! Fantastic series, the only thing that was wrong with it was that it was too short, IMO, at only four episodes. The subject matter was totally fascinating and appealed to my dh too. He doesn’t normally watch costume drama. And yes, Andrew Buchan as William Garrow is very, very cute. Sometimes the character was so arrogant and obstinate I wanted to bang his head against the wall, but I think that was part of the great characterisation. You want him to succeed but you also want someone to bring him down a few pegs! Enjoy!

    Reply
  51. Congrats, Nicola, on finishing that MS. You must feel tons lighter. But I’ll not be thanking you for adding so many tempting things to my to-do list. πŸ™‚
    Gotta see if I can get those movies from netflix, and… ugh.
    Nina, forcing her brain back to her MIP.

    Reply
  52. Congrats, Nicola, on finishing that MS. You must feel tons lighter. But I’ll not be thanking you for adding so many tempting things to my to-do list. πŸ™‚
    Gotta see if I can get those movies from netflix, and… ugh.
    Nina, forcing her brain back to her MIP.

    Reply
  53. Congrats, Nicola, on finishing that MS. You must feel tons lighter. But I’ll not be thanking you for adding so many tempting things to my to-do list. πŸ™‚
    Gotta see if I can get those movies from netflix, and… ugh.
    Nina, forcing her brain back to her MIP.

    Reply
  54. Congrats, Nicola, on finishing that MS. You must feel tons lighter. But I’ll not be thanking you for adding so many tempting things to my to-do list. πŸ™‚
    Gotta see if I can get those movies from netflix, and… ugh.
    Nina, forcing her brain back to her MIP.

    Reply
  55. Congrats, Nicola, on finishing that MS. You must feel tons lighter. But I’ll not be thanking you for adding so many tempting things to my to-do list. πŸ™‚
    Gotta see if I can get those movies from netflix, and… ugh.
    Nina, forcing her brain back to her MIP.

    Reply
  56. Thanks for the recommendation for Up and Down Stairs – I just ordered it. I am fascinated by how the servants lived and worked in the days of the big country houses. Guess that’s why ‘Gosford Park’ is one of my favorite movies.

    Reply
  57. Thanks for the recommendation for Up and Down Stairs – I just ordered it. I am fascinated by how the servants lived and worked in the days of the big country houses. Guess that’s why ‘Gosford Park’ is one of my favorite movies.

    Reply
  58. Thanks for the recommendation for Up and Down Stairs – I just ordered it. I am fascinated by how the servants lived and worked in the days of the big country houses. Guess that’s why ‘Gosford Park’ is one of my favorite movies.

    Reply
  59. Thanks for the recommendation for Up and Down Stairs – I just ordered it. I am fascinated by how the servants lived and worked in the days of the big country houses. Guess that’s why ‘Gosford Park’ is one of my favorite movies.

    Reply
  60. Thanks for the recommendation for Up and Down Stairs – I just ordered it. I am fascinated by how the servants lived and worked in the days of the big country houses. Guess that’s why ‘Gosford Park’ is one of my favorite movies.

    Reply
  61. I’m glad that you thought it sounded interesting, Judy. I found it full of useful information and it also solved a mystery for me: I had wondered what the basement floor at Ashdown House had been used for as we had ruled out almost all possibilities. Then the Jeremy Musson book said that the basement was often where the upper servants had rooms so that they were nearer the family. Fascinating stuff.

    Reply
  62. I’m glad that you thought it sounded interesting, Judy. I found it full of useful information and it also solved a mystery for me: I had wondered what the basement floor at Ashdown House had been used for as we had ruled out almost all possibilities. Then the Jeremy Musson book said that the basement was often where the upper servants had rooms so that they were nearer the family. Fascinating stuff.

    Reply
  63. I’m glad that you thought it sounded interesting, Judy. I found it full of useful information and it also solved a mystery for me: I had wondered what the basement floor at Ashdown House had been used for as we had ruled out almost all possibilities. Then the Jeremy Musson book said that the basement was often where the upper servants had rooms so that they were nearer the family. Fascinating stuff.

    Reply
  64. I’m glad that you thought it sounded interesting, Judy. I found it full of useful information and it also solved a mystery for me: I had wondered what the basement floor at Ashdown House had been used for as we had ruled out almost all possibilities. Then the Jeremy Musson book said that the basement was often where the upper servants had rooms so that they were nearer the family. Fascinating stuff.

    Reply
  65. I’m glad that you thought it sounded interesting, Judy. I found it full of useful information and it also solved a mystery for me: I had wondered what the basement floor at Ashdown House had been used for as we had ruled out almost all possibilities. Then the Jeremy Musson book said that the basement was often where the upper servants had rooms so that they were nearer the family. Fascinating stuff.

    Reply
  66. Sherrie, here. Great post, Nicola! I’ve added your movies and books to my Must Have list. This blog is such a great place to get this kind of informaiton!
    I’m a photographer, so I’ve been reading up on how to photograph stuff in museums, many of which will not allow tripods (essential for certain non-flash indoor photos, but due to liability issues some museums don’t allow them because of the potential for accidents caused by people tripping over the tripod legs).
    While many museums won’t allow a tripod, they *may* allow a monopod–a tripod with only one leg. And some museums have permission forms that you can fill out, requesting photographic privileges (with tripod). If approved, they sometimes allow you to come in during off-hours or before opening or after closing, in order to take your pictures. This is a boon for researchers, because you don’t have to deal with crowds. So, Nicola, if you’re the type to take pictures in museums, this might be an option if your museum has permission forms. And if they find out you’re a published author doing this for research, they may be more inclined to let you snap away!

    Reply
  67. Sherrie, here. Great post, Nicola! I’ve added your movies and books to my Must Have list. This blog is such a great place to get this kind of informaiton!
    I’m a photographer, so I’ve been reading up on how to photograph stuff in museums, many of which will not allow tripods (essential for certain non-flash indoor photos, but due to liability issues some museums don’t allow them because of the potential for accidents caused by people tripping over the tripod legs).
    While many museums won’t allow a tripod, they *may* allow a monopod–a tripod with only one leg. And some museums have permission forms that you can fill out, requesting photographic privileges (with tripod). If approved, they sometimes allow you to come in during off-hours or before opening or after closing, in order to take your pictures. This is a boon for researchers, because you don’t have to deal with crowds. So, Nicola, if you’re the type to take pictures in museums, this might be an option if your museum has permission forms. And if they find out you’re a published author doing this for research, they may be more inclined to let you snap away!

    Reply
  68. Sherrie, here. Great post, Nicola! I’ve added your movies and books to my Must Have list. This blog is such a great place to get this kind of informaiton!
    I’m a photographer, so I’ve been reading up on how to photograph stuff in museums, many of which will not allow tripods (essential for certain non-flash indoor photos, but due to liability issues some museums don’t allow them because of the potential for accidents caused by people tripping over the tripod legs).
    While many museums won’t allow a tripod, they *may* allow a monopod–a tripod with only one leg. And some museums have permission forms that you can fill out, requesting photographic privileges (with tripod). If approved, they sometimes allow you to come in during off-hours or before opening or after closing, in order to take your pictures. This is a boon for researchers, because you don’t have to deal with crowds. So, Nicola, if you’re the type to take pictures in museums, this might be an option if your museum has permission forms. And if they find out you’re a published author doing this for research, they may be more inclined to let you snap away!

    Reply
  69. Sherrie, here. Great post, Nicola! I’ve added your movies and books to my Must Have list. This blog is such a great place to get this kind of informaiton!
    I’m a photographer, so I’ve been reading up on how to photograph stuff in museums, many of which will not allow tripods (essential for certain non-flash indoor photos, but due to liability issues some museums don’t allow them because of the potential for accidents caused by people tripping over the tripod legs).
    While many museums won’t allow a tripod, they *may* allow a monopod–a tripod with only one leg. And some museums have permission forms that you can fill out, requesting photographic privileges (with tripod). If approved, they sometimes allow you to come in during off-hours or before opening or after closing, in order to take your pictures. This is a boon for researchers, because you don’t have to deal with crowds. So, Nicola, if you’re the type to take pictures in museums, this might be an option if your museum has permission forms. And if they find out you’re a published author doing this for research, they may be more inclined to let you snap away!

    Reply
  70. Sherrie, here. Great post, Nicola! I’ve added your movies and books to my Must Have list. This blog is such a great place to get this kind of informaiton!
    I’m a photographer, so I’ve been reading up on how to photograph stuff in museums, many of which will not allow tripods (essential for certain non-flash indoor photos, but due to liability issues some museums don’t allow them because of the potential for accidents caused by people tripping over the tripod legs).
    While many museums won’t allow a tripod, they *may* allow a monopod–a tripod with only one leg. And some museums have permission forms that you can fill out, requesting photographic privileges (with tripod). If approved, they sometimes allow you to come in during off-hours or before opening or after closing, in order to take your pictures. This is a boon for researchers, because you don’t have to deal with crowds. So, Nicola, if you’re the type to take pictures in museums, this might be an option if your museum has permission forms. And if they find out you’re a published author doing this for research, they may be more inclined to let you snap away!

    Reply
  71. I’m glad to have added to your movie and books list, Sherrie!
    Thank you for the suggestion about taking photographs in the museums. It hadn’t occurred to me even though the National Trust has recently agreed to allow photography inside a lot of their houses, including Ashdown. I can imagine the potential for accidents is very high with tripods or monopods – after all someone managed to break a priceless Ming vase in a museum in Cambridge simply falling over their own shoelace! Anyway, I’ve just got a new camera as an advance birthday present so will give this a go! And I can’t wait to see your photos, Sherrie. Your outdoor shots are always so beautiful. It will be great if you extend your repertoire to museums!

    Reply
  72. I’m glad to have added to your movie and books list, Sherrie!
    Thank you for the suggestion about taking photographs in the museums. It hadn’t occurred to me even though the National Trust has recently agreed to allow photography inside a lot of their houses, including Ashdown. I can imagine the potential for accidents is very high with tripods or monopods – after all someone managed to break a priceless Ming vase in a museum in Cambridge simply falling over their own shoelace! Anyway, I’ve just got a new camera as an advance birthday present so will give this a go! And I can’t wait to see your photos, Sherrie. Your outdoor shots are always so beautiful. It will be great if you extend your repertoire to museums!

    Reply
  73. I’m glad to have added to your movie and books list, Sherrie!
    Thank you for the suggestion about taking photographs in the museums. It hadn’t occurred to me even though the National Trust has recently agreed to allow photography inside a lot of their houses, including Ashdown. I can imagine the potential for accidents is very high with tripods or monopods – after all someone managed to break a priceless Ming vase in a museum in Cambridge simply falling over their own shoelace! Anyway, I’ve just got a new camera as an advance birthday present so will give this a go! And I can’t wait to see your photos, Sherrie. Your outdoor shots are always so beautiful. It will be great if you extend your repertoire to museums!

    Reply
  74. I’m glad to have added to your movie and books list, Sherrie!
    Thank you for the suggestion about taking photographs in the museums. It hadn’t occurred to me even though the National Trust has recently agreed to allow photography inside a lot of their houses, including Ashdown. I can imagine the potential for accidents is very high with tripods or monopods – after all someone managed to break a priceless Ming vase in a museum in Cambridge simply falling over their own shoelace! Anyway, I’ve just got a new camera as an advance birthday present so will give this a go! And I can’t wait to see your photos, Sherrie. Your outdoor shots are always so beautiful. It will be great if you extend your repertoire to museums!

    Reply
  75. I’m glad to have added to your movie and books list, Sherrie!
    Thank you for the suggestion about taking photographs in the museums. It hadn’t occurred to me even though the National Trust has recently agreed to allow photography inside a lot of their houses, including Ashdown. I can imagine the potential for accidents is very high with tripods or monopods – after all someone managed to break a priceless Ming vase in a museum in Cambridge simply falling over their own shoelace! Anyway, I’ve just got a new camera as an advance birthday present so will give this a go! And I can’t wait to see your photos, Sherrie. Your outdoor shots are always so beautiful. It will be great if you extend your repertoire to museums!

    Reply
  76. What a delicious collection of amusements, Nicola! Richly deserved, too. Going off to a conference with one’s writing tribe is the best way to celebrate when a book is done.
    I’m hoping to be celebrating the end of a book next week, but I suspect my amusement will be writing a synopsis for my next YA.

    Reply
  77. What a delicious collection of amusements, Nicola! Richly deserved, too. Going off to a conference with one’s writing tribe is the best way to celebrate when a book is done.
    I’m hoping to be celebrating the end of a book next week, but I suspect my amusement will be writing a synopsis for my next YA.

    Reply
  78. What a delicious collection of amusements, Nicola! Richly deserved, too. Going off to a conference with one’s writing tribe is the best way to celebrate when a book is done.
    I’m hoping to be celebrating the end of a book next week, but I suspect my amusement will be writing a synopsis for my next YA.

    Reply
  79. What a delicious collection of amusements, Nicola! Richly deserved, too. Going off to a conference with one’s writing tribe is the best way to celebrate when a book is done.
    I’m hoping to be celebrating the end of a book next week, but I suspect my amusement will be writing a synopsis for my next YA.

    Reply
  80. What a delicious collection of amusements, Nicola! Richly deserved, too. Going off to a conference with one’s writing tribe is the best way to celebrate when a book is done.
    I’m hoping to be celebrating the end of a book next week, but I suspect my amusement will be writing a synopsis for my next YA.

    Reply
  81. Definitely a change of historic proportions. I certainly wish I had such a grand number of items with historic value available to me where I live. I haven’t even heard of the movies yet. Sigh. Sometimes I certainly wish I were still somewhere in Europe and close to old libraries, castles, and museums. The oldest house in “my” London is 176 years old. That fades in comparison with structures over 2000 years of age or older in Pompeii and elsewhere.
    Have lots of fun with your other writers.

    Reply
  82. Definitely a change of historic proportions. I certainly wish I had such a grand number of items with historic value available to me where I live. I haven’t even heard of the movies yet. Sigh. Sometimes I certainly wish I were still somewhere in Europe and close to old libraries, castles, and museums. The oldest house in “my” London is 176 years old. That fades in comparison with structures over 2000 years of age or older in Pompeii and elsewhere.
    Have lots of fun with your other writers.

    Reply
  83. Definitely a change of historic proportions. I certainly wish I had such a grand number of items with historic value available to me where I live. I haven’t even heard of the movies yet. Sigh. Sometimes I certainly wish I were still somewhere in Europe and close to old libraries, castles, and museums. The oldest house in “my” London is 176 years old. That fades in comparison with structures over 2000 years of age or older in Pompeii and elsewhere.
    Have lots of fun with your other writers.

    Reply
  84. Definitely a change of historic proportions. I certainly wish I had such a grand number of items with historic value available to me where I live. I haven’t even heard of the movies yet. Sigh. Sometimes I certainly wish I were still somewhere in Europe and close to old libraries, castles, and museums. The oldest house in “my” London is 176 years old. That fades in comparison with structures over 2000 years of age or older in Pompeii and elsewhere.
    Have lots of fun with your other writers.

    Reply
  85. Definitely a change of historic proportions. I certainly wish I had such a grand number of items with historic value available to me where I live. I haven’t even heard of the movies yet. Sigh. Sometimes I certainly wish I were still somewhere in Europe and close to old libraries, castles, and museums. The oldest house in “my” London is 176 years old. That fades in comparison with structures over 2000 years of age or older in Pompeii and elsewhere.
    Have lots of fun with your other writers.

    Reply
  86. Thank you, Mary Jo! I hope you can squeeze in a bit of an indulgence next week as well as writing the synopsis for your next YA!
    Thank you, Ranurgis. I think the conference is going to be a particularly good one and it always refreshes the ideas to chat to other writers too.

    Reply
  87. Thank you, Mary Jo! I hope you can squeeze in a bit of an indulgence next week as well as writing the synopsis for your next YA!
    Thank you, Ranurgis. I think the conference is going to be a particularly good one and it always refreshes the ideas to chat to other writers too.

    Reply
  88. Thank you, Mary Jo! I hope you can squeeze in a bit of an indulgence next week as well as writing the synopsis for your next YA!
    Thank you, Ranurgis. I think the conference is going to be a particularly good one and it always refreshes the ideas to chat to other writers too.

    Reply
  89. Thank you, Mary Jo! I hope you can squeeze in a bit of an indulgence next week as well as writing the synopsis for your next YA!
    Thank you, Ranurgis. I think the conference is going to be a particularly good one and it always refreshes the ideas to chat to other writers too.

    Reply
  90. Thank you, Mary Jo! I hope you can squeeze in a bit of an indulgence next week as well as writing the synopsis for your next YA!
    Thank you, Ranurgis. I think the conference is going to be a particularly good one and it always refreshes the ideas to chat to other writers too.

    Reply
  91. Nicola, congrats on the completed book – you deserve all kinds of indulgences. I usually raise my head from the computer, blink blearily around and realize that what comes next is a pile of cleaning up. LOL.
    LOVE the pic of Monty among the poppies.

    Reply
  92. Nicola, congrats on the completed book – you deserve all kinds of indulgences. I usually raise my head from the computer, blink blearily around and realize that what comes next is a pile of cleaning up. LOL.
    LOVE the pic of Monty among the poppies.

    Reply
  93. Nicola, congrats on the completed book – you deserve all kinds of indulgences. I usually raise my head from the computer, blink blearily around and realize that what comes next is a pile of cleaning up. LOL.
    LOVE the pic of Monty among the poppies.

    Reply
  94. Nicola, congrats on the completed book – you deserve all kinds of indulgences. I usually raise my head from the computer, blink blearily around and realize that what comes next is a pile of cleaning up. LOL.
    LOVE the pic of Monty among the poppies.

    Reply
  95. Nicola, congrats on the completed book – you deserve all kinds of indulgences. I usually raise my head from the computer, blink blearily around and realize that what comes next is a pile of cleaning up. LOL.
    LOVE the pic of Monty among the poppies.

    Reply
  96. Thank you, Anne! Yes, sadly the cleaning, ironing, washing and garden were all waiting for me too… So pleased you like the picture of Monty! There are a number of poppy fields around here at the moment and being a black dog he looks particularly good against the red background.

    Reply
  97. Thank you, Anne! Yes, sadly the cleaning, ironing, washing and garden were all waiting for me too… So pleased you like the picture of Monty! There are a number of poppy fields around here at the moment and being a black dog he looks particularly good against the red background.

    Reply
  98. Thank you, Anne! Yes, sadly the cleaning, ironing, washing and garden were all waiting for me too… So pleased you like the picture of Monty! There are a number of poppy fields around here at the moment and being a black dog he looks particularly good against the red background.

    Reply
  99. Thank you, Anne! Yes, sadly the cleaning, ironing, washing and garden were all waiting for me too… So pleased you like the picture of Monty! There are a number of poppy fields around here at the moment and being a black dog he looks particularly good against the red background.

    Reply
  100. Thank you, Anne! Yes, sadly the cleaning, ironing, washing and garden were all waiting for me too… So pleased you like the picture of Monty! There are a number of poppy fields around here at the moment and being a black dog he looks particularly good against the red background.

    Reply

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