It’s a funny time of year, isn’t it? Christmas Day is over, but the New Year hasn’t started yet. We’re in a period of limbo, with time to look over the past year and prepare ourselves for the next. And, in my case, read. I had several books saved up for Christmas and realised that three of them had a Jane Austen theme, so if that’s the kind of thing you’d like, read on. ‘Murder and Matchmaking’ by Debbie Cowens brings together Elizabeth and Mr Sherlock Darcy as they investigate the deaths of four young, attractive girls. Here’s a hint – who do you think would benefit from the removal of so many marriageable young ladies? In Cora Seaton’s ‘A Seal’s Oath’ four girls have decided to live for six months as the young ladies from Austen’s time might have done – but their plans don’t fit in with the new owner of the property. And Abigail Reynolds’ variation on ‘Pride and Prejudice’, ‘Conceit and Concealment’, images a counter-factual history of England where Napoleon has succeeded in his invasion plans and French officers dominate in Meryton. Each very different, but all recommended.
I’ve also finished the last of my charity knitting for 2017. Actually I finished it a while ago as it had to go into a Christmas box sent via Vision Romania. They deliver shoe boxes covered in Christmas paper to children each year, which are filled with useful things like toothbrushes and pencils, as well as toy and sweets. I made a bright pink scarf, teamed with a lime green hat. Colourful, if not always tasteful.
I’ve worked out that since I started this project in January, I’ve knitted over 100,000 stitches using one and a quarter pound weight of yarn (over a mile!). I’ve read about so many good causes and been impressed by how many people give up their time and money to make something with love, for someone whom they will probably never meet. Next year I’ll carry on knitting but without tying myself to the commitment of a new project each month, as I’m aware I haven’t been writing as much as I hoped. Roll on 2018, and best wishes for a happy and healthy year.