A short post today as I dodge boxes and debris that have been inhabiting my loft and are now impeding everyday progress almost anywhere. Why am I keeping all this? To be fair, a great deal of it is really useful stuff, sets of armour, instruments of torture and so on, that I use in the course of Swording and Spindling. Talking of instruments of torture, I am just about to regal the good folk of Barnstaple with the crimes of the seventeenth century; good job I have my scold’s bridle to hand. Then there is grandchildren appropriate gear: fireguards, highchairs, potties, as well as toys and books that are awaiting their ‘growing into’ – the current toys live in the ‘playroom’ aka conservatory. I have a lifetime’s supply of bubble wrap for dispatching books to my eager readers. There are also though potentially useful empty boxes – because you never have one when you need one, vinal records but no record player, the printer before last etc. etc.. I feel a cull coming on.
Out of the ‘hat’ today is historical novelist Norah Lofts, another who was beloved in my teenage years and is still occasionally re-read. Most of her books are set in fictional parts of Suffolk and I enjoy the fact that the heroes of one novel sometimes make their appearance as minor characters in another. It is a bit like looking for the Gruffalo in other books by Julia Donaldson. I need to make it clear to the uninitiated that, great though her books are, Julia Donaldson is not an historical novelist. If you have no contact with anyone under five you will probably be mystified, so give her a Google (other search engines are available). Back to Norah Lofts. She is probably best know for her ‘House Trilogy’ of novels about the house at Old Vine, which span the centuries in a way that appeals to me. Others that are based on the story of a property are Bless This House and Gad’s Hall. It is very difficult to pick a favourite, although those I have already mentioned have to be amongst the nominations. The task is made harder because my books are currently inaccessible behind piles of loft tat, so I can’t flick through them. Actually, that is probably just as well as it might take all morning!