Damsons with everything
Fabuilous week in the Lakes - hot and suuny, lovely walks, meals, log fires in the evening and playing "A fistful of Dragon stones" which I was no good at. Jess beginning to pick up. Rhiannon and I both did a fair bit of writing - her next book was inspired by our first visit to that house in 2003.
Returned to 20 or so fan e-mails needing answers, 4 asking if there are going to be more Stravaganza books (answered in FAQs) one from a girl desperate to audition for Arianna in the "film." One from a boy called William Dethridge just like one of my characters. He was very chuffed to find his name in a book. One from a mother in a mother-and-daughter book club wanting to know how ice was made in 16th century Talia, one from a professor in Canada writing a book about crossover fiction, one from a university student doing a powerpoint presentation on me, wanting to know "why" I had written the Grace books and the Stravaganza series. One from a girl wanting me to answer questions for her book report which made it clear she wasn't very familiar with the content. One from a nice man whose surname was Giglia, who sent me his family crest, from Sicily. One from a regular male fan in California musing on the Queen's birthday and a sprinkling of ones from American kids who have been reading Amazing Grace.
My Narnia lamp is now in place, making up for the gloomy weather in Oxfordshire. On our last day in the Lakes we went to Damson Day in the Lyth valley, a sweet country fair dedicated to produce from that fruit. It put our one little tree to shame. It reminded us of the obsession with cranberries in Massachussetts, where we were offered them with everything. And much was made of the cranberry bogs. Damson blossom sounds much nicer.