Today’s blog is not only late but also shorter than usual — just apologies, a brief explanation (real life!) and a bowed head for Remembrance Day.
This picture is a photograph I took some years ago, of the West Gate to the Royal Hospital, Chelsea. This wonderful building by Sir Christopher Wren was built at the instigation of Charles II as a home for old and injured soldiers. And so it is still.
The two people in the photo are a serving policeman, and a resident Chelsea Pensioner. The latter is wearing his famous scarlet coat. When I bump into them in the local supermarket, they are generally equally smart but slightly less startling in navy blue.
I am really fond of that not very good photograph. I took it on a day in November — mist in the air, trees turning to gold before they started to lose their leaves. Very like today, indeed.
Real Life (Mine)
The reason the blog is late is that I have new member of the household.
After my dear Tom Kyd died in July I heard him about the house for weeks.
But then I began to smile more and weep less, when I thought about him. Then I started to feel I wanted to share all that love we generated between us.
The fantastic experience of visiting the250-year-old Leeds Library started me thinking about how my life has been marked out in libraries and, specifically, my first library. It was a small, very definitely a suburban sub-branch. But its great virtue was that it was at the end of the road. Ten minutes walk from home, tops!
And it had a visiting cat.
(No, not this one. This is my own TK. My own books too, come to think of it.)
Last year, we gave you Town Mouse and Country Mouse.
This year, we’re doing something vaguely similar.
It’s up to you to decide which Hive member is which in our Christmas card, below.
We know, of course, but we’re not telling 😉
Since it’s Christmas Day, you’ve probably got plenty to do.
So we won’t add many words — mostly festive pictures that we hope you’ll enjoy. Continue reading →
Libertà’s very first guest blog comes from much-loved Australian author Anne Gracie whose captivating stories have won her fans all over the world.
Anne Gracie started her first novel while backpacking solo around the world, writing by hand in notebooks. Now published by Berkley USA and Penguin Australia, her Regency-era romances have been translated into more than eighteen languages — including Japanese manga (which she thinks is very cool).
A life-long advocate of universal literacy, Anne also writes books for adults just learning to read.
Move over TK, the Writer’s Cat. Make room for…
Anne Gracie and Milly, the Writer’s Dog
I grew up with animals, all kinds of animals, and a house without at least one animal seems empty to me. I’ve had a variety of pets, including cats, but the one animal that’s a constant in my life is a dog, and my current companion is Milly.
She’s a rescue dog and came to me half grown, after I saw her on a dog rescue website, and brought her home, all gangly and uncoordinated. She’s a little kelpie/cross (about 55cm, almost 2 ft.)
I sometimes tell people who ask about breeds that she’s a Baluchistan Hound. (And if you don’t know what a Baluchistan Hound is, you need to read Georgette Heyer’s Frederica.) Continue reading →
Both Town Mouse and Country Mouse do Christmas at Libertà. After all, Libertà is an equal-opportunities hive. We don’t discriminate between Town polish (that’s sophisticated Sophie Mouse on the left) and Country bumpkin (that’s Joanna Mouse’s hobnail boots on the right).
Aesops Fables (1912), illustrated by Arthur Rackham.
Christmas shows what Town Mouse and Country Mouse have in common. AND what’s different. Continue reading →
Writers, like witches, seem to get on with cats. And not just slinky, sexy writers like Colette, of whom you might expect it, but grumpy old war-reportin’, game-fishin’, hard-drinkin’ Hemingway, of whom you certainly wouldn’t.
I’ve lived with several cats over the years. I can see that it’s not for everyone. But I find it fun. Basically, it takes negotiation.
My present feline companion, TK, arrived with a bad case of nerves and the hump. He hid behind the books in the bookcase, only emerging to throw up. Hid again. When I left the room in search of cleaning materials, he made a dive for some high ground and set up camp, prepared to repel all comers.
His little face sprouted whiskers roughly comparable to five o’ clock shadow. He looked like a bottle brush. A fierce bottle brush.