Friday, 12 December 2014

A gift, a read, a treat

Each year for the past number of years we get Christmas gifts from the Applebys in Scotland.  Merryn and I were classmates many moons ago at Woodstock - and the whole Appleby clan - Merryn's husband Alistair and their lovely sons Sam and Luke stopped through Thane a few seasons ago.

The gifts are always a treat.  Arriving well before Christmas (you can tell Merryn grew up as a 'missionary kid' in a postally-structured era), the package will have Merryn's distinctive hand-writing on the cover.  Each year we get a cheery note on a colourful social-cause-supporting-card.

Previous gifts are still very much in circulation.  Excellent children's books (read by both generations of Eichers).  A CD of TS Elliot's "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats" (read by Sir John Gielgud!). The list goes on.

Sadly, we have not been sending stuff from Thane to Scotland.  And yet true friends don't give up. They keep giving!

And look what arrived this year.

It's a book.

Yes, a book.

But not any old book.

This is Merryn's first novel.

Oh frabjous day! Callooh callay!

I can peek through the hand made rice paper and know for sure that it is "A House Called Askival" - Merryn's debut novel which talks of Mussoorie, and missionaries, and empire, and lives lost and regained, and everything in between.

Merryn has been writing for years - publishing short stories and having radio readings and plays. Now she joins the big league with her agent getting her published with Freight Books.

Take a look at what people are saying about Askival by clicking: here

Expect my own take in a few weeks.

I can't wait.

And I still use the Landour Cookbook - almost every other week.

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