Mary's musings

Mary Hoffman, author of over 90 children's books, including the Stravaganza series and Amazing Grace, has begun a web journal which will be updated roughly once a week. You can read more on

Monday, January 22, 2007


If the winds of the week before were bad, it was nothing to Thursday's storms. Unfortunately, I had to travel to London that day. A couple of small trees had fallen on to roads between here and Oxford station but didn't obstruct the way. Hower, in the car park, a people carrier had slewed across the access route and wedged itself on the nose of another car.

The trains were all delayed or cancelled and couldn't travel at more than 55 mph. I had to stand all the way from Reading to Paddington and was very late for my meeting. On the way back I caught one of the last trains before the stations were closed and counted myself lucky. Back in the car park, I chanced on a very puzzled owner pushing his people carrier away from its embrace with the other car. When I told him I'd seen it like that in the morning, he said he'd parked in a bay shortly after seven and was "sure the brake was on."

But the problems of travel were all worth it, because I had a very good publicity planning meeting for The Falconer's Knot, full of interesting ideas. There's a big 2-page spread in the Bloomsbury April/May catalogue and it has had its first review - very positive - in Publishing News.

And I had lunch (very late) with Bex, who was on her penultimate day at Cameron Mackintosh. She started at the Old Vic today, with a "meet and greet" for cast and crew of The Entertainer - way to go.

This week I finished the Ya-Ya binge by re-reading Ya-Yas in Bloom. But I'm now reading Suite Francaise, which of course is much better written. but it's dreadfully upsetting. The idea of taking what you could carry and running away from your city while a foreign power invaded, without knowing how far their occupation would spread, as happened in the exodus from Paris in 1941, is deeply disturbing.

I saw many episodes of a UK History channel series about the Sixties, called The Beatles Decade. I remember it very well, since it covered the ages 15-25 in my life. But it looked so sort of frowsty and old - even seeing Mick Jagger in his little dress releasing the white butterflies at the Brian Jones memorial concert in the park looked just quaint. And the prime ministers! Macmillan, Alec Douglas -Hume, Harold Wilson and Edward Heath looked positively moribund.


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