…plus the tail end of 2018. A new job and a cosy Christmas with just the two of us (for the first time ever!)
Our year started with a jaunt to London to visit pals and see Company. I also took myself on a date to see Wendy & Peter Pan in Edinburgh over the Xmas/NY break. I’ve carried on with multiple Jane Austen/Richard III/book discussion groups/book launches (and having a whale of a time doing so) and am balancing this with professional development and chartership activities (the EDGE and CILIPS 2019 conferences being definite highlights)
We have visited the Dome for a fancy afternoon tea in their Georgian Tea Room, attended an open day at a friend’s apiary, and been to a dear friend’s wedding (the first of five in twelve months, including our own!) and a baby shower. To balance the culture correctly, we also went to the live recording of Hollywood Babble-On in Edinburgh. I’ve been fitting in physiotherapy, massages, and swimming, all of which has done wonders for my general wellbeing. I’ve also changed up my writing practice – instead of focusing on one project like last year, I’ve become a submitting machine. I’m aiming for 100 rejections this year (I won’t get there, but it’s a good aim!). You can see the small but important successes on my blog here. I’ve also got a solid bunch of writing mates from Story Shop (back in 2017) that have been meeting semi-regularly to chat, share work, and generally be supportive and wonderful. I’m lucky indeed.
We spent Easter in Lincolnshire and Norfolk, visiting a friend who is working down there. While there we visited South Kelsey, where the protagonist of one of my novels lived 500 years ago, and Norwich, another UNESCO City of Literature (although it was Easter Sunday and the bookshops were closed! Terrible planning on my part).
For my 30th birthday, we went camping in Dumfries & Galloway. We were completely washed out, so spent the second night in lovely Wigtown, Scotland’s National Book Town, where a close friend has recently bought a house – she is living the dream! They drove us all around the peninsula to some really picturesque places.
For the second year in a row, I headed down to Chawton for the very beginning of Jane Austen Regency Week, in order to meet up with colleagues from the Jane Austen Literacy Foundation. This was incredibly productive, as well as enjoyable, and it was a pleasure to meet so many people in person for the first time!
And now, it is July. It is the summer holidays, though I am still contracted to work during this time (in the public library rather than the school library). I took a week of leave, however, to spend time in the Lack District (Bowness-on-Windermere, Staveley, Grizedale, Ambleside, and Grasmere) with some colleagues – a very welcome, sunny way to kick off the second half of 2019! Who knows – maybe I’ll manage another update before the end of the year.