Back home from London in the early hours of this morning and having left three men at home with a combined total age of 109, (and had the Tinker called round that would have upped to 194) you do wonder what may await the return. On occasion they can be like a pride of lions with some roaring boys mixed in, but all entirely capable so everything was fine and dandy in my absence but for the state of the kitchen floor, which none of them seem to notice though I am assured it was 'swept'. The Vileda and I have reclaimed that from oblivion now so all's well.
Firstly I have to say a huge thank you to Erica Wagner for those very special 'dovegreyreader asks...' replies which I think we are all agreed were something very special and a big thankyou to all of you for making Erica so welcome here.
Secondly a Happy Thanksgiving to all U.S. readers whether at home or abroad. I know from comments on here in years previous that this day means a lot to all of you wherever you are. A time for home and family and a raid on the turkey population a month before we embark on ours so I hope you all have a wonderful day.
London was everything I had planned and more, and thank you to London for not raining.
I try and walk as much as I can when I'm there, and the cold but dry weather made all that a real pleasure. You might be surprised at my train reading too because I splurged my Waterstone's card points on a copy of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson for the e reader. Never have I arrived at Paddington or back in Plymouth quite so fast, or so it seemed, and yes I kept switching it on at every available spare minute on the tube as well. For all that the book is dying and e readers are it, I didn't see another single one all the time I was there, just real books, lots of them.
You'll be pleased to know I took you to plenty of places in between the reading, The Threads of Feeling exhibition at the Foundling Museum, the V&A Museum of Childhood at Bethnal Green and The Wellcome Collection.
Then there was the invite ages ago from the Royal Society of Literature to attend an event there, and this I finally fulfilled on Monday evening. Susan Hill and Sarah Waters in conversation with Philip Hensher about writing ghost stories, and incidentally exciting news now made public today that Our Susan will be one of this year's Booker judges.
The Persephone Lecture this year was given by David Kynaston, author of Austerity Britain and Family Britain, and with his emphasis on the importance of womens' diaries in his research I left to catch my train last night feeling inspired all over again to write one. It would seem that the ordinariness of what many women shared in their diaries provided much of the important information required for social history research, the day to dayness of lives recorded matters a great deal.
I was also fortunate enough to meet with Matthew Hollis the author of Now All Roads Lead to France, the Last Years of Edward Thomas, to be published by Faber in August 2011 and I'm very grateful to Matthew for sparing the time to talk to me. Me new to the life of Edward Thomas and with those half-formed largely half-baked ideas shaping up into questions, Matthew sharing the details of his research and news of a book I am very much looking forward to.
And then there was War Horse.
Well what can I say? I emerged a gushing heap and it was good to meet up afterwards with fellow litblogger Will Rycroft, who currently plays Major Stewart in the production and I had to stand at the stage door and everything. How grown up was that being out on my own in London at 11.30pm.
Then as if that wasn't all enough excitement for three days, I also met up with Justine Picardie in Hampstead for a yarn and a stroll around some literary corners including paying homage at the grave of Penelope Fitzgerald which I had been wanting to visit for ages.
Not a word more, I'll be sharing it all over the next few days and weeks.