I see that 2010 is not going to be a meandering kind of year. It starts with a brisk trot with me in the midst of finishing up a few projects hitherto left undone. That's why I haven't come out to play on my blog. Although the weather has been quite cooperative -- cold but not intolerable -- I'm not frozen like an icicle.
However, I have been staying up later than usual as I got my nose stuck in my first book of the New Year. I could barely put it down until I finished.
Here are a couple of quotes to whet your appetite for The Mistress of Nothing by Kate Pullinger, 2009.
'Absorbing, intimate, Pullinger's story of a loyal English maidservant's awakening during a journey to an 1860's Egypt in turmoil is also a subtle observation of the play of power and love'. Lisa Appignanesi, back cover
'I've been coming here for a long time. I don't know why. The other maids ask me -- they think it's very odd, why go all the way up to town to sit in the Museum? Most of them have never been, will end their days having never been -- I can't think how to reply. I tried once, with Cook; I said, 'Because I like the mystery.' She looked at me as though I'd forgotten how to speak English. And it's a coincidence, my visits to this room over the years, and the fact that we are now going to Egypt. A wonderful coincidence that has, for once, gone in my favour.' A random quote, p. 11
Why did I like the book? Perhaps because it's based on a true story; perhaps because it was so emotive and sensual -- I could feel, smell, hear, and taste the sights and sounds and flavours Lady Duff Gordon and her maid, Sally Naldress, experienced during their travels down the Nile to their new home.
And, now I must be off...