Because I skipped Saturday and because I'm waiting for my clothes to come out of the dryer ....
This is a pure indulgence book because I'm sure I could easily find the entire text of the Domesday Book digitized online in less than 2 minutes' search. (Yup, sure enough, less than 2 minutes.) I suppose there was a time when I might have aspired to acquire all the individual volumes of this series, if I could get them at decent second-hand prices. I picked this one up primarily for the Brythonic names interest, though there are relatively few land-holders in Cornwall with linguistically Cornish names. A quick and dirty browse through the index turns up Bletcu, perhaps Boia but I'd have to look that one up, Bretel (ditto), Cadwallon may actually be Welsh unless the name is identical in both at this time, ditto Griffin, Iudhael, Wihomarch (I think). Blohin 'the Breton' presumably is Breton and so doesn't quite count. Possibly some others -- despite the lack of close linguistic relationship, there are a few Old English personal names that are close sound-alikes for unrelated Brythonic names.
Others have done far more detailed work on early sources for Cornish personal names than I have, and I'm unlikely to use this book as a reference for anything practical. As I say, an indulgence in completeness. My remaining interests in name studies tend to fall in the large-corpus statistical studies, plus eventually Doing Something with the grand Welsh names database.
This weekend was Franschhoek Literary Festival, and not only was it my first time at the fest, it was also the first time in Franschhoek itself, so I spent most of the time I was there saying, “Oh my god how beautiful is this place?”
I travelled with writer S.A. Partridge, photographer Warren Talmarkes, and women24‘s resident Book Diva Tammy February, which was probably the best way I could have done this inaugural toe-dipping into the SA book world. Fabulous people.
The first thing up was Thursday’s school talks with S.A. Partridge. We spoke to the matrics at Bridge House and Franschhoek High, and I gotta say – if these guys are any indication, the future is looking bright. They were friendly, funny, and asked great questions. I can only hope we entertained them a bit (or at least gave them a break from regular class-schedules.)
After that, and way, way too many coffees, we checked into the beautiful Knorhoek wine farm in Stellenbosch, where Carol made us feel very welcome. The whole place feels like home on a grander scale – fireplaces and a wall of old cameras and a fridge full of wine. We were staying in the bed and breakfast which I believe was the converted stables and blacksmith. I don’t know how thick those old buildings’ walls were, but I can say that while it was freezing outside at night, I was a Very Warm and Snuggly Cat.
That evening we drove through to join everyone at the official welcoming meet and greet thing in the town hall, then grabbed ourselves some poppers and chicken strips from the little pub in the converted train station. This weekend was awash in wine and food, so I am pretty sure I came back about five kilograms heavier. When one of the events sponsors is Porcupine Ridge (the other was Sunday Times) and knowing what happens when you put writers and vast quantities of free wine together, the weekend certainly turned out to be interesting.
Friday was rather busy (for me – I’m used to hiding in my little house in Muizenberg and not really interacting with humans), and we decided that since I had my Very First Panel Thing happening that morning, we should start the day with a brisk walk followed by a wine tasting. (This is the problem with staying on a wine farm…)
Yes. Damn those wine tastings. I was quite content to just sample, but ended up buying more wine than I normally do. Ever. I’m not even a fan of white wine, but I pretty much adored the Knorhoek Chenin Blanc. We had a moment.
On to Franschhoek and the panel. I was a little star-struck, being on a Dystopian Fiction panel with Sarah Lotz, Karen Jayes, Lauren Beukes, and Rachel Zadok, but it seemed to go well by my understanding of these things. The venue was packed, and we soon rambled off-topic so if you were there to learn something about dystopia….hah. I have no idea what I said because I was in a state of terror, and I kept feeling like I was going to burp into the microphone (weird…fear?) but luckily the seasoned pros were there being generally awesome and articulate.
LindsayCal took this pic of all the panellists:
The rest of the weekend might have devolved into me wandering around and gate-crashing parties, eating masses of ice-cream and chocolate, and having lunches with fantastic people, which is code for Having A Grand Old Time. The only downside of the whole thing was that Anthony Horowitz unfortunately was very ill and had to be flown back to the UK, so I never go to meet him or hear any of his talks.
Look at me, hanging out with all the cool people. Amanda Coetzee, S.A. Partridge, Tammy February in the front, and me hanging on to a wine glass for support.
On the very last morning, the farm’s bull terrier Merlot came to give me a little farewell head-on-the-knee snuffle and grunt, and it was the perfect goodbye under the oak trees turning pink and gold in the crisp autumn air.
Reason for stopping: social time with almost-sister.
Darling: The kiss was sweet and yielding, a gentle invitation instead of a challenge, and Thesarien could read it as easily as he could Natrian’s face: Yes, it said. I love you as you are, all of you, even the parts that make you despair. Take me if that is your wish, and be the man you are; I am yours in this as in all things. Nothing could have infuriated Thesarien more.
Mean things: Your spouse calling you out on your bullshit in the way that only the person closest to you can. Internalized homophobia.
Nice things: Moving into a new place and finding out someone has considerately filled your bookshelf for you. Best. Day. Ever.
Things my characters haven't told me: how everyone manages to take half a year off at this stage of their lives. The composition of the Mavirae household. How Baby's First Magic Lesson works. How Thesarien escaped Weyren. Whether I need to know how Thesarien escaped Weyren.
Books in progress: Iain M. Banks, Use of Weapons.
Sitemistress Deb informs me that "Shadowbaby" and "Nanya of the Butterflies" are now available on www.barbarahambly.com in the "Further Adventures Of..." section of the website.
"Shadowbaby" is John Aversin attempting to defend a changeling child accused of murder, before the fae-folk slaughter everyone in the Winterlands in vengeance.
"Nanya of the Butterflies" is Sun Wolf and Starhawk dealing with the handsome dragonslayer who wants to throw his very unsatisfactory rescued princess back to the dragon.
Each story is about 14,000 words (about 24 pages single-spaced), available in all digital formats and pdf; $5 a download.
Thank you for your hard work, Deb!
My hand hates me, though.
This was kind of interesting: half the people in this are actors who have a script for part of what they do (and presumably improvise for the rest). The other half are cops, treating the fictional crime as they would a real one (presumably with fewer savage beatings, although it's pretty it would be easy to fall down the stairs in the company of these guys). One thing I didn't notice much of was the word "warrant". It's also clear this is before Miranda v. Arizona.
The crime is the sort of dumb-ass thing doesn't come up in mysteries much because it's banal and solved mainly because the criminal is as bad at covering his tracks as he is at impulse control (what was supposed to be a trip to pick up Chow Mien turned into a robbery and a shooting).
Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment(s); comment here or there.