Monday, December 17, 2007

The risk of boredom and some very nice teas

A busy morning today, rushing around dealing with 1001 emails, mainly from the Catering Office about the plethora of meetings I’ve arranged in January. I think I now have food and water for all of them but, frankly, it’s hard to say. If I don’t, I will have to get my apron on and whip up a last-minute meal for 10 a la Fanny Craddock. As you do.

I’ve also sent round a note about the upcoming Thorn in the Flesh launch in February to people at work who might like to come. One or two at least seem enthusiastic, so that’s quite comforting. Always good to know there might be more at the party than just me and Lord H. What a stalwart support that man is. Actually, I won’t send the invitations out till after Christmas, but I just wanted the date to be floating in people’s minds before 2008 social activities start being added to diaries over Christmas.

This lunchtime, I had my last reflexology session before the Big Holiday – bliss. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to book another appointment until the beginning of February, groan, so I will have to double my intake of calming pills just in order to survive, no doubt … Poor Emily (therapist) though – my feet were so cold during the session that she had to wrap them in little towel tents in order to keep one foot warm while she was working on the other. Just felt very much how they usually feel to me, I have to admit. Isn’t keeping my feet warm what Lord H’s back is for?...

This afternoon, my nose has been trumpeting like a runaway elephant. Ruth was on the phone to a softly-spoken student and could hardly hear anything on the line because of The Great Nose Problem – so I had to take my nose into the kitchen and beat it into submission before being allowed back into the office again. Hey ho – let’s hope this isn’t the first signs of the Christmas Cold – again ...

Back home, I discover that the wonderful Sarah Pracey from the Dr Stuart's teas PR firm has sent me a delightful package of teas, including a new one which is supposed to cure all ills. Gosh, huge thank yous, Sarah - that's really kind of you! I shall look forward to trying those which are new and revisiting those I love. It's got me into the Christmas spirit for sure.

Tonight, I’m minuting the Goldenford meeting. I’m hoping there aren’t too many notes (my dear Mozart …) as my brain is winding down for the end of the year and I fear any intellectual or complicated input might do for me entirely. As it were.

And I’m still in mourning for the sad loss of gorgeous Gethin from “Strictly Come Dancing” – he was sooooo good in that Argentine tango. The best dance of the evening for me. I feel next week’s final won’t have the shine it should have had now, sigh … Though “Cranford” certainly clicked all my Sunday Night TV buttons yesterday – I was in floods of tears, some sad and some joyful, virtually non-stop. Underneath this rhino-like exterior, I swear I have the heart of a squeezed-out sponge. Ho ho.

Finally, much to my relief, I have finished Susan Hill's The Risk of Darkness. Um, I was expecting so much of this as the previous two in the Serrailler series have been top-notch, but actually if you read this one you are severely at risk of boredom. Not that she writes badly - she most certainly doesn't (though it galls me to admit it, as I've never warmed to the woman and she has a NVQ Level 5 in Dismissiveness, at least in my few dealings with her ...). She's usually a wonderful writer, dammit. But the book itself is a disaster. It seems to consist of lots of scenarios from books which aren't this one, the murder/death count is laughably high (shades of "Midsomer Murders" ...!), the main character himself has the charm of a poisonous spider in a particular snippety mood (for God's sake, Simon, get over yourself already and, yes, you are a nasty piece of work in this book) and isn't really very interesting, and there are way way too many bit-part characters. The middle is also mind-boggingly dull. I was skipping desperately towards the end. Though it actually isn't an end - it just ... um ... stops. For goodness sake, what has Ms Hill been on?? And shouldn't the publisher have said something?? It's really put me off buying the next one in the series, I have to say. I can only hope that we get a different plotline in whatever will come after at least - these plotlines have lasted two books and need to be put firmly to bed. Now.

Today’s nice things:

1. Reflexology
2. Thinking about the Thorn launch
3. Teas!

Anne Brooke
Anne's website
Goldenford Publishers


Jilly said...

I found 'The Risk of Darkness' gripping reading - which just shows it's a good thing we don't all like the same books!! I have never written to Susan Hill so I can't comment on her dismissiveness. I do think her output can be patchy - and I think this is the problem if you turn out books at a great rate.

Anne Brooke said...

True! In all parts indeed!