Sunday, 19 December 2010

Season's Greetings

First Christmas has passed successfully. Daughter Nikki made it home two hours late from Madrid, but 24 hours ahead of the snowstorm that closed Edinburgh airport to all but departures.

She's off to Canada with her boyfriend Greg (blizzards permitting) on Thursday so an early Christmas celebration was required. It wasn't the traditional Jackson Christmas - we usually have Beef Wellington a la Doug - for some reason she opted for turkey, but it was traditional in most other ways. We had eight people at the dinner table, but we catered for sixteen. The cooks almost came to blows over how to stuff a turkey (who can tell the difference between neck and backside when they're both missing?) and when to start the veg, but despite the surfeit of giant kitchen knives bloodshed was avoided. On the plus side my other daughter Kara's smoked salmon and mackerel pate concoction was undoubtedly dish of the day and will be repeated. Secret Santas were exchanged and Ruaridh's gift of nuclear grade tabasco proved capable of setting fire to the street. It's now en route to Porton Down for examination.

Nikki and Kara: dishes of the day
On a more literary note, mine (courtesy of Gregor) was a winner. I now have a brilliant history of 69AD The Year of the Four Emperors, which would have played a pivotal part in my Hero of Rome, Valerius Verren's life and was probably the most traumatic eighteen months in the Empire's history. Valerius has already become acquainted with two of the main protagonists and he definitely has a role to play. Who knows if it's a story I'll ever write, but it's great to have another story that you are desperate to tell.

The countdown now begins to Christmas proper and the spirit is willing, even though the flesh is a little underwhelmed.

We'll be thinking of absent friends and I hope you will too.

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone.


Gabriele C. said...

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to your and your family.

A book about the Year of the Four Emperors? Sounds like a Must Have. :)

I've caught a plotbunny during that visit to Xanten, and now I have an idea for a novel about the Batavian rebellion in my files.

Doug said...

I love that thing where every time you open a book about a historical moment, the idea for a new novel starts to form. Valerius is good for another three books because he lived in tempestuous times, but first I have to convince my publisher!

And a Merry Christmas to you too, Gabriele

My head's been in Germany a lot lately because I'm rewriting The Doomsday Testament. Got a few really good ideas for improvements from my agent. It's good to have someone you trust taking a look at your work.

Batavian rebellion sounds great. Plenty of incident and a pivotal moment

sim only contracts said...

I love that thing where every time you open a book about a historical moment,