As well as the reunion and a trip to see Andrew Scott's Hamlet at the theatre, I also managed a salon at Carlyle's House, in Chelsea, and a trip to the Hampton Court Flower show. And took pictures.
The evening at Carlyle's House was lovely - a chance to have a brief look at the house, in all it's Victorian splendor, and drinks in the garden - which had an apricot tree (shades of the Duchess of Malfi) The house would have hosted the likes of Chopin and Dickens in Carlyle's day. We weren't quite so august, but it was a good evening. The talk from Sarah Wise was on the Old Nichol, a notorious Victorian slum in Shoreditch - she had pictures and statistics that prove that you can't always believe the rumours and reputations that are handed down - appealing to me as an historian and a writer. I prowled the area before the talk too, as it's the part of Chelsea that I chose for Kaz to live in Never Coming Home, and my hero in the novella I'm working on has a flat there. I was able to pick out the sort of place he would have, so that was useful. See - research everywhere.
Then the next day down to Hampton Court, and the flower show. And there was plenty there to attract a romance writer - from the rose of the year, to the vegetable plots, to the food tent with cakes and cocktails. I have a romantic suspense series on the distant horizon that is set in an invented village on the Welsh coast, and I am always on the look out for arts and crafts which might go on there among the normal inhabitants, not the ones who do dark deeds for a living. I collected some good ideas. And, of course, a cake covered in edible petals would be just the thing if there happened to be a wedding ...
|This is Carlyle - a bit crooked,
but you get the idea. He was an historian and philosopher.
|Carlyle's House. Chelsea. Mr and Mrs C were a Victorian
literary couple, hence the salons.
|This Alma-Tadema Style backdrop was on the stand with rose of 2017.
Is he proposing and she's being coy?
|Rose of 2017 - perfectly named for a romantic novelist ...
|... as you can see - Lovestruck.
|I loved the colour combination of this. Need to investigate for the garden -
will the slugs leave it alone, though?
|The cake with petals from Bee's Bakery - isn't it pretty
|Looks like something that would go down
well with members of the RNA, courtesy of Plants4Presents
|I can never resist lavender. The stand from Downderry Nursery was fabulous. All colours from white through pink to deep purple.