The annual Langdon camp-out, which is the social event of the season in my little world, was every bit as brilliant as expected.  The weather cooperated nicely this year, and no one got injured, so I can conclusively call this the best camp-out so far.  My little tent was fabulous, and while I didn’t sleep much (not the point of camping anyway), I enjoyed listening to the sounds of frogs, ducks, chickens, and my friends snoring.  That sounds unpleasant, but it’s not: there’s something very companionable about being able to hear everyone breathing peacefully all around you.  It’s always lovely seeing everyone again.

I’m firmly established in my new apartment and enjoying it very much so far.  My room might be a tiny bit book-crowded, but I kind of like that.  If there’s a better way to sleep other than being surrounded by books, I haven’t found it.  Speaking of…





Books: I’m woefully behind on my reading.  Moving and travelling has taken a big chunk out of reading time, and my Goodreads tracker is giving me that accusing look again.  Someone invent a 36-hour day, please.

I finally finished The India Fan by Victoria Holt, and there’s quite a story behind that.  Eight years ago, I stayed briefly at a condo in Perth, Australia as part of a larger trip to Sydney and Vanuatu.  I was only there for a couple days, and I had packed light, so I hadn’t brought any books.  (Dismaying, I know.)  The condo possessed a bookshelf containing a truly random assortment of books, obviously outcasts culled from someone’s collection.  The India Fan was the only thing that looked even remotely interesting, so I grabbed it for something to read during downtime.  I was sucked into the Gothic romance of intrigue in spite of my better judgment.  Great literature it was not, but it was addictive. I didn’t have much free time, and I wasn’t able to finish the book before leaving Australia.  How did it end??  Was the curse of the peacock fan broken??  Did Drusilla and Fabian get together?  (I wish I were making these names up, but I’m not.)  I had resigned myself to never knowing, until the other day when I walked by a friend’s bookshelf and lo, there was The India Fan.  Said friend graciously allowed me to borrow it, thus alleviating eight years of curiosity.

In defense of Victoria Holt’s work, I should say that the author’s real name was Eleanor Hibbert, and she was an astonishingly prolific author with an equally astonishing range.  She wrote painstakingly researched historical fiction, a non-fiction series on the Spanish Inquisition (!), the aforementioned Gothic romances, children’s books, and a host of others (more than 200 in total), under a variety of pseudonyms.  She kept her real identity so secret that most people assumed Victoria Holt was actually Daphne Du Maurier.