Dear Santa

No need for Santa to swing by for this year because I’ve already taken things in hand. My husband is a wonderful and multi-talented person who sadly is afflicted with the Incompetent Shopper gene so I’ve just treated myself to three books I could not possibly justify to my accountant. Writers don’t necessarily desire books for Christmas. On this weekend of horizontal rain and a mere eight hours of daylight a one-way ticket to the Maldives sounds quite appealing. But books are good. Lower in calories than Bailey’s Irish Cream chocolates and so much better to curl up with by the fire than a new Le Creuset pan.


What did I choose?

1. Stage Blood by Michael Blakemore. A behind-the-scenes bitch about the early days of the National Theatre. Blakemore probably toils over his writing but if so you’d never know it. His style seems effortless. Plus he knows where the bodies are buried.

2.The Danube by Nick Thorpe.  The less I’m able to travel the more I love accounts of other people’s crackpot adventures. In this case an up-river trek from the Black Sea to the Black Forest by a BBC journalist. NOT by Michael Palin, nota bene.

3. Food DIY by Tim Hayward. I hesitated over this one because it was eye-wateringly expensive when it was first published and anyway I need another cook book like I need a third armpit. But I kept going back to it each time I was in a bookshop, taking it off the shelf, putting it back, and then it got discounted (don’t you just love market forces?).  And now I own it. It was meant to be. Strictly speaking it isn’t a cook book, more a technical manual. And even though we’re ten days shy of Christmas I’m using it already to compare the Hayward method of preparing gravlax (dill, salt, sugar) with the Diana Henry method (gin and juniper berries). Watch this space.

So that’s my Christmas sorted.  This book tree is by mediatinker by the way. I believe this kind of craft work is called ‘re-purposing’. I’m keeping it mind for 2014  – a good use for some of the dreck clogging our bookshelves.



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