Gill Andrews and the Forty Thieves

I didn't think it was funny until after she'd gone away. But then I realised I'd handed her forty thieves in a box. I should have put them in a big jar, like Ali Baba. I have a jar. . . .

The thieves were for the London launch of The Thief, which is at seven pm on Monday 25th October in the second floor suite of the Old Crown in new Oxford Street. The Old Crown doesn't have a sign outside showing its name, but it is the pub on the corner of New Oxford Street and Museum Street, about halfway between Tottenham Court Road and Holborn tubes. If you think you can go along (please do), email me on and I'll let her know. That's if I manage to get this blog post to appear. . .

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Megrims and mayhem

Last week I confessed I'd fallen behind schedule. Not too far. Just a wee slip and slither. However, I fell further this week, mutter, mutter.

The megrim arrived, and grimmer than usual. I love the word 'megrim'. Old word for migraine but also, I learn, describes a whim or caprice. And . . . er . . .  'megrim' is also a species of turbot. Edible.


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More on Indian Summers

Matt Merritt sent me this, after reading the last post:

"There's another old British name for Indian summer, which you almost touch upon. It used to be known as 'Goose Summer', probably because it was a time of year at which fattened geese were slaughtered for eating. It's also possibly because it coincided with the annual arrival of huge flocks of wild geese and swans from their Arctic breeding grounds - the main migration is usually in October.

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Saint Britta, whose story is lost

Someone in the Post Office (where I was spending a small fortune posting boxes and packets of pamphlets) referred to this lovely 'Indian Summer' -- that term we use to describe a period of warmth and sunshine, after 'summer' is officially over. It's been gorgeous this week, though in Scotland, this morning, it has given way to thick grey cloud again. Why Indian? I thought I'd look it up.

Immediately I discovered it wasn't a 'true' Indian summer this last week. True Indian summer has to be after the first proper frost, so we're talking October or November. And anyway, the term 'Indian' summer only began to be widely used in the UK, according to Wikipedia, in the twentieth century, when American influence became more potent than European, the 'Indian' deriving from Native American references.

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It's here

Although the Autumnal Equinox isn't until September 23rd, Autumn has arrived.  The rowan berries are  brilliant and gleaming, in wind wild enough to bring the leaves down in swathes. Oh hang on, you leaves, a little while longer!  The nasturtiums are fantastic too -- such value for money these glorious little flowers, yellow and orange and red, They spring up every year without seeding or feeding. They love late August sun and I love them.

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The Island

It's very interesting flying between international cities, becoming aware how simple these things are -- if you have time and money. I love the bits of time that isolate themselves like islands -- the bits when no-one except yourself quite knows where you are or what you're doing.

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