Out and About

Unbelievably, Christmas is almost upon us. After a wet summer spent at our holiday home in the UK, we are quite pleased to be back in sunny Spain. Within days of arriving home we were into the olive harvest, ably assisted by our trusty band of pickers. The day was bright but with a cold wind and we were glad to warm up with a lunch of hot chilli and apple crumble. Wine, of course, was involved and anyone still sober valiantly went back to do more picking.

David, helped by one of the crew, took the crop to the local cooperativa where it weighed in at 167 kilos, which resulted in 28 litres of extra virgin olive oil from 30 trees. Plenty for our pickers, and ourselves. It was classed as muy fuerte, which is very strong, as olives should have a high acid content. Good quality olive oil will keep for a year or more if stored in a cool dark place. There are still more to pick, once they ripen from green to black, but the bulk of the work is done, and what a fun day it was.

In November I attended a conference in New York organised by the Novelist Inc. It was a hectic three days with the first talk beginning at 8am, and the last finishing around 10pm, but it was excellent. American authors are savvy operators, very businesslike and I learned a great deal from them.

We found time to do some sightseeing in New York itself, but had to make rather a hasty exit as Sandy was about to arrive. BA found us an earlier flight, the last to leave New York on Sunday evening at 9.55. Scary! The subway, trains and buses had already stopped running. I confess it was something of a bumpy take off, with everyone very quiet, but we were all happy to be leaving. We’ve watched events since with great sadness and heartfelt sympathy for those caught up in it.

I also attended the Romantic Novelist Association Winter Party, which was a very lively event. No one can talk like a writer, maybe it’s because we spend so many hours in silence.

But now I have my head down writing, having a deadline to meet, so I will wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous and healthy 2013.

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