I hope you all enjoyed a very happy December 25, however you might have celebrated. We had wonderful festive feasts with family and friends on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and then did the Aussie thing of a swim at the beach on Boxing Day, the next day. Perfect!
Part of the festive fun is exchanging presents. I was fortunate to get some lovely, thoughtful gifts. Books are always a favourite, of course. And I do count on a gift of a calendar as I still prefer a good, old-fashioned calendar as well as the electronic kind.
My daughter is an incredibly thoughtful gift giver. She really takes note of people’s likes and gifts them accordingly. I’m very fond of cookbooks by Aussie/international chef Bill Granger. She hunted me down one I didn’t have, Bills Open Kitchen. and it’s fabulous, packed with light summery recipes just right for this time of year Down Under.
Note the tags on the pages—we’ve gone through and marked recipes we want to try. Already by Boxing Day we’d made two, a delicious savoury French toast and a roast chicken with a wholemeal stuffing flavoured with pancetta, herbs and lemon. Yum! The entire family is destined to benefit from this gift.
Husband surprised me with the recently published autobiography by musician Phil Collins Not Dead Yet. Phil Collins is a long-time favourite, I still love his songs. Years ago in the days when I saw as many rock concerts as I could, I saw both Genesis and his Phil Collins band. I found him to be a wonderful, generous performer. As a romance writer I’m also interested in his well-publicised multiple marriages and divorces. I’m into the second chapter and loving it!
Hubby also gave me a gorgeous journal with a cute vintage typewriter cover. I keep a journal for each book I write, keeping it with me at all times to jot down ideas, phrases, descriptions, plot twists and so on. The journal stays with me especially at night. I’ve learned to my frustration that those great ideas that come to me at night in dreams or fleeting thoughts are never remembered in the morning. I have to write them down immediately!
Then there’s the mystery book that arrived in the mail via an online book store with no clues as to who sent it to me. I have some ideas and will do some detective work! In the meantime I’m ready to settle down in some post-Christmas downtime and enjoy Goodwood by Holly Throsby, it looks fabulous. Has anyone read it?
There’s also the book I tracked down for my rabid cyclist husband: Lonely Planet’s Epic Bike Rides of the World. It’s a marvellous book full of incredible rides and thankfully he loves it! He’s even getting me interested in some picturesque (and very flat!) rides in Europe.
Then there’s the Christmas present stalwart, the calendar. I kinda guessed from the shape of the parcel that another present from my daughter might be a calendar. I prepared to ooh and ah at cat and kitten pictures, as people usually give me cat calendars. Instead I swooned at images of Tom Hiddleston, one of my very favourite actors. I fell for Tom as Loki in Avengers and then proceeded to love him in every movie I saw him in. My daughter didn’t see the appeal until she saw him in The Night Manager. It’s not just his looks but his presence and voice that appeal but the calendar is very nice, thank you very much!
What about you? Did you get a good book or calendar for Christmas this year or any other year? Or a different kind of present? Please make a comment, I’d love to hear about it!
Happy New Year!