An UPS parcel delivery man arrived today, ran the gauntlet of dogs/cat/geese and delivered the proofs for my ‘Tales from a Stone Cottage’ book. Mega excitement! So far I’ve only been sent the pages that have colour illustrations on them, but as that covers just about every page I can get a really good idea of the shape and feel of the book.
And I really, really like it.
I’ve said it before, but Celia’s illustrations are so good. I find them funny, and true to life, and spookily accurate. She’s never visited my stone cottage on purpose, so she can use imagination rather than slavish copying, but you would never know it. She’s even got my sheep right. And pictures like the time the washing line blew down and the geese got involved – honestly, she could have been leaning over the wall with her drawing pad and taking it down from life.
I’ve written some extra bits for the end of each chapter – villager’s handy hints for Food from the Wild etc, and I love the way those have been done. And most of all it’s great to have the articles under one heading, collected together.
Anyway, I won’t go on about it (much) but it’s an exciting moment. Tomorrow I venture up to London to have a chat with Country Living, which will be fun. Apart from anything else, it’ll be great to wear something other than wellies and a harassed expression as I trudge around the quagmire that my previously beautiful section of England has become. Funnily enough it’s a great year for roses here, I’ve never known them so good. I was smelling them blissfully with my eyes closed yesterday and very nearly sniffed up a bumblebee, which would have been a shock for both of us.
Other news: the sheep are feeling light and airy without their wool, and have taken to galloping about in packs. I was worried at first, thought they were being chased, but then they started bouncing like pogo sticks and I realised it was girlish high spirits. The horses are high maintenance regarding rugs, which need changing constantly as it rains, then doesn’t rain, then gets intensely hot, then rains again. And Frillz wants everybody to know that she’s lovin’ it in the hen run now, and spends most of her time up the ladder in the ark having girlie chats with her new mates.