Tuesday, 16 February 2021



I've just been looking at my blog archive figures. I started posting here in 2007, and for several years, while I was working in Edinburgh and commuting daily, I posted fairly regularly - about every 10 days or so for 5 years. Then I started freelancing and working in London, where I spend 3 or 4 days every couple of weeks, and often travelled on to Devon to see my parents, so I was spending a lot of time on trains. I got quite a lot of reading done, but not much blogging. When I was made redundant I continued freelancing, and when I wasn't working I didn't want to be anywhere near a computer! And freelancing was tough - I always seemed to have either too much work or none at all and meanwhile, the Devon trips continued and got more and more demanding, so I changed track and spent almost 5 years in a blissfully menial job with English Heritage. When I lost both parents over a short time I was able to start getting involved in my local community, though that ceased with lockdown as we were shielding my husband. who's disabled.

And now I've retired! So maybe I'll start blogging again. After all, I've read a lot of interesting books over the last few years. And I'm involved with several literary societies, so activity hasn't ceased, by any means - I've been reviewing on Goodreads, too. But the focus has shifted slightly - still lots of Golden Age crime, still lots of classic children's literature, more ghost stories, more audiobooks.

Last year's reading was mostly undemanding. One author showed up more than any other, and that was Mark Hayden. His King's Watch series provided me with endless amusement - I think I've read most of them three times by now but the come up fresh every time. Similarly with two other authors I've found recently that I will buy anything by: Sarah Painter, whose Crow Investigations series has a slightly Rivers of London vibe, and - very differently, Karen Menuhin's 1920s-set series which begins with Murder at Melrose Court. There are so many authors writing period detection in a stately home setting that they just get terribly same-y after a while. Menuhin's Major Heathcliff Lennox unashamedly cuddles his dog and, in the one I'm currently reading, carries a small plump kitten in his pocket. All three have excellent audio versions too. More on all three anon.

Retirement feels like a Very Good Thing.