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Saturday, January 01, 2011


Happy new year!

And a very pleasant 2011 to you all.

As regular readers have probably noticed, this blog has been rather inactive of late, due to the fact that I'm looking after a small baby (and legally speaking am still on maternity leave for another two months). I hope you'll excuse me. I'm planning a few posts, but they take longer to get written at the moment, so I'll just have to do my best. In the meantime, I'm throwing the floor open: does anyone have any questions they want answered or subjects they'd like to discuss?


Happy New Year to you, your husband, Nathaniel and Mika, too!
If you could design a course unit for some kind of Literature study (English, World, Genre, whatever), what would it be?
Happy new year, Kit, and to your family!

I thought "Two Girls and a Sap" was superb. I've also been enjoying your movie reviews. Had any time for reading lately? Anything you'd like to recommend?
Oh, and I think it was you that pointed at "Silly Novels by Lady Novelists". I couldn't stop laughing as I was reading it -- and I re-read Middlemarch this year, which has now taken on the aspect of a retroactive counterexample. So, thank you for that.
Happy New Year!

Your writing on film is wonderful, if you continue to go to those screenings for mothers with babies please write those up. They also tipped me to some movies I'd never have heard of.
Seconding Jennifer's request for some thoughts on how you'd like to see literature taught, particularly at the middle-school and high-school levels, or whatever the UK equivalents are.

Also, how's Mika these days?

Happy New Year to all of you.
And I meant to say-- I don't know how much you're comfortable writing about young Nat in public; I don't want to come off as intrusive, and I will perfectly understand if the answer is "not much."

That said, "how's the baby?" is a question of perennial interest (yes, I'm sappy about babies).
A very happy new year to you and your family, not forgetting Mika. (If Mika has any advice for a person who suddenly finds herself with a foster-cat, it could not come amiss. First question to the Cat Rescue Coordinator: "How shall I housetrain her?"
Response from Cat Rescue Coordinator: "You don't need to, actually. Cats housetrain themselves. You just need to keep the litterbox clean."
Response from foster-cat: "Oh, for the love of Bastet! I am in the House of N00b!")
@Amaryllis - thanks for the interest. As you suspect, I feel like I should keep discussion of Nat to a minimum on the Internet. I generally don't blog about real-life acquaintances without their permission, Nat is too young to give his, and I feel it would be high-handed of me to assume it. Christopher Milne was very upset with his father for making him a character in the Winnie the Pooh books, and I don't want to repeat that mistake.

(I put pictures of him on Facebook, but that's so his cousins in Canada and god-granny in Denmark can see how he's getting on; I only friend people I know in real life there, so it's a different context. I just feel that the blog's a professional and public space, so not the right place to put him.)

I can say that in general, he's great: very bright and well-developed, has an early-blooming sense of humour, is in excellent health and very handsome (this is not just motherhood talking, either; several people have said something along the lines of 'Not all babies are cute but yours is'), and that as far as his personality can be determined at this early stage, he seems like a pretty easygoing, brave and friendly sort of guy. So while he won't be featuring on this blog very much, it's not because I'm hiding the Phantom of the Opera or anything: Nat's a smashing little fellow and doing very nicely. :-)
First time commentor, long-time reader (discovered you via Slacktivist a year or two ago and have happily purchased U.S. editions of your novels).

Many people have requested thoughtful posts about deep subjects. Not me.

I'd just like you to up the frequency of Mikalogues by...oh...tenfold should do it.
Yes, that's what I thought, and I understand completely. Sometimes I wonder how these "mommy bloggers" and family-life columnists are going to be able to face their kids, a dozen or so years from now.

Even memoirs, a genre that was so popular for so long-- I've always wondered how the rest of the cast feels about their inclusion. People have the right to tell their own story, but do they have the right to tell someone else's? But that'd mean that no one could write a memoir, and biographers would have to wait until everybody concerned was safely dead, and I guess that's not going to happen.

But I certainly agree that with children, it's better to err on the side of caution.

Thanks for the update, though; Nat sounds delightful (not that I had any doubts, the Phantom of the Opera never crossed my mind :)).

"has an early-blooming sense of humour"
Don't you just love those baby giggles?
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