After a short but lovely trip out East to visit my family for Christmas, it is back to school and back to work. Over the holidays I saw the ocean, watched my bother's hockey game (cold!), ate too many of my stepmother's shortbread cookies, drank brandy and played Mexican dominos...in short, I enjoyed myself much more than I did today making photocopies and dealing with the broken computer in my office. I so don't want to go back to work (a refrain that I imagine is being uttered throughout the land. On Sunday we went for the best dim sum I've ever had, and I invited a friend who couldn't make it because, she said, she had to "brood the last day of vacation away".)
But one good thing about coming back to life (other than my three darling cats) is coming back to dolls. I do miss my little studio when I'm gone, and I confess I took a few body parts and some sandpaper with me on my trip! And poor little bald Elspeth finally has some hair, so here she is to flaunt it:
Her full name is Elspeth at the Funeral. Not quite the right hat for grieving, you say? And how about that décollotage? Well, perhaps her woebegotten look is not entirely heartfelt...
I didn't manage to make nearly as many Christmas gifts this year as I usually do, but I did give away some dolls that never made it into the shop as well as these skull pendants for my brother and sister. What self-respecting teenager wants a Santa pendant?
Cream (I use 5% so that it's not too heavy, but you can use any kind you like)
Melt sugar in simmering water until dissolved, then take off heat and add instant coffee. Add cream and whiskey to taste. No measuring - I just fiddle until with until I like it.
Another thing I did a lot of over the holidays was read. Given that I'm studying literature, one might think I'd read some impressive-sounding classic or some revered poet, but no. I am utterly absorbed by Tina Brown's The Diana Chronicles, a gift from my husband's mother. I do feel a bit guilty devouring a book about someone whose life was so exploited, but Brown does not go the lurid, tabloid route I would have expected given the subject matter. She was the editor of both Vanity Fair and The New Yorker for several years, so she's no slouch as a writer. She handles the material with a lot of insight and empathy, and she views the whole madness of the very idea of Royalty through a kind of layman's anthropological lens; they're even more bizarre than I would have thought, and I've always thought the whole business of Royalty very bizarre. So if you're looking for something light - but not totally mindless - to ease you into the new year, I wholly recommend it.
Tata for now...