When I think about websites I like, what comes to mind are the ones that let visitors into the authorís world in a richer way than just a description of publications. One Harlequin author has a bookshelves section where she discusses the books she loves. Several others talk about places theyíve been or people or events they find inspiring. Other writers speak about music or films or their research.
Shamelessly, Iím stealing all these ideas and wrapping them up into a monthly column called My Favorite Things. This gives me leeway to talk about anything that takes my fancy. I know itís self-indulgent, but hope you wonít mind.
Actually if things go to plan, I'll soon be homeless, homeless on the range, at least in the short term. I'm hoping to sell my house this month and move to Brisbane, the nearest big city. It's been lovely living here on the Sunshine Coast but I'm now looking forward to getting back into being a city girl.
Because I'm downsizing, I've had to be really ruthless about what I keep and what I throw out. Which has meant some majorly difficult decisions. I thought today I'd share a few of the things that stayed and a few of the things that went.
First up is something that they'll have to pry out of my cold dead hands. My mother's beautiful Royal Doulton dinner set in the Richelieu pattern. I love the gold on white and it looks just beautiful on our cedar dining table (still trying to work out if I can take this with me or if it's just too impractical. Have a horrible feeling it might be the latter). This china pattern wasn't actually available in Australia. It was purely for the American market. But in the early 60s, my dad saw it in a Saturday Evening Post ad and got a connection we had in the local Doulton office to order it in for him.
Speaking of things dining, this original 1950s teak setting with accompanying traymobile is right up to the minute when it comes to current style. Sadly, I sold it - a bit of a wrench but it had to be done. I put it up on a local classified ad site and I had to beat the punters off with a stick. Many memories of sitting around this kitchen table as a family.
I also sold these pretty little 1920s German cups that belonged to my grandmother. Aren't they delicate? But sadly too small to be of much use for anything except something decorative for the china cabinet. They've lived in the back of a cupboard for years so while I would have liked to keep them, out they went.
I'm not quite sure whether I can bring myself to sell this pretty little Shelley cup, saucer and plate set in the Harebell pattern. It's just gorgeous and I love blue and white china - it always looks so fresh and clean. On the other hand, it's sat in a cupboard forever too and it's not really practical for anything except looking beautiful. Jury's out on its fate right now!
And finally a couple of shots of a few things I WISH I could take with me, but which sadly I can't. The first is my pool. I've loved having a pool - there's nothing better than a plunge into cool water after a hard day writing hot romance at the computer. And I love the black swans that live on the lake at the bottom of my garden. It always feels like a privilege to see them. It's completely unseasonal, but I've had some wonderful nights of conversation with good friends sitting around the Masport stove. Nothing like a real fire to give a room atmosphere. And I'll be terrifically sad to leave the roses my mother planted when she first moved up here 20 years ago, especially her favorite rose, the Mr. Lincolns. I think they're the perfect red rose!
Of course, it's possible my house won't sell so I won't be saying goodbye to a lot of these things at all! Stay tuned for further bulletins!