June 30, 2020

Fiona McIntosh rejoices in winter

And the world around me has finally turned green and misty....perfect! Can't believe the lavender is showing off either.

Fiona McIntosh
Well, the rules are beginning to relax as I write this and we are all feeling a sense of optimism for salvaging our 2020 and using the time to prepare for a better, happier, safer 2021 that may even have a Covid19 vaccine in it.  If I'm honest I haven't felt nearly as isolated as a lot of other people I know but that's because I have hermit-like tendencies anyway plus living rurally and a few kms from the nearest town means we live in relative isolation anyway. What I have missed is seeing my family and meeting my friends so the reunions for all of us are going to be wonderful and I hope you'll start experiencing that joy as well soon wherever you are.

I don't like blitzing you with newsletters and in fact made a promise I'd only ever send out three per year but there may be four this year, mostly due to it being a weird year where a lot of folk are welcoming the distraction and interaction but also because I'm under some pressure to share my recipes for apples that have won some attention and I don't want you to miss out on new season apples for your baking. I've included French apple jelly, Tarte Normande and a magnificent German apple cake. You will not regret any of them although I can't tell you which apples to use - I am harvesting from a tree we've inherited at the farm. They look like Jonathans and have a marvellous perfume along with a brilliant acidic crunch for baking. And I have Ian to thank for keeping that tree going these last few years.

My eye is on the borders and when we might feel safe and I can get overseas again to start researching books.  I have the most brilliant idea for a story for 2022 and it is bursting out of me.  I have already set up contacts in Britain and America all keen to meet up but none of us can...not yet anyway.  We have a tentative plan to get together around this time next year in London to begin with although I suspect my story will take me into a very northern town in the British Isles and it may take me into Eastern Europe or Scandinavia, depending on how this story shapes.  I'm always excited by a new story but this one feels extremely special and I was nearly shaking with glee when a few hunches began to bear fruit and a few probes began to hit their mark. So I'm desperate to get on with it but until I can safely get across the seas and feel safe when I'm there, we remain corralled in SA.  And if it turns out that I cannot get overseas before March 2021, which would be my absolute cut off date, then I'll push that fab tale to 2023 and it might be that I'll tackle an Australian story.  If I do it will be a first.  I've tiptoed into Australian history with Nightingale, you may recall, which begins at Gallipoli but our hero, Jamie, is from the far north of South Australia.  I didn't linger because I've always felt like an interloper and believe Australians born and bred write the best Aussie tales.  However, I realise I've spent more of my life Down Under than I have where I was born so perhaps I shouldn't feel awkward about writing a wholly Australian piece of historical fiction.  And I might have to, if the situation doesn't improve, so I'm now on the hunt for a good idea.  Watch this space for news!

Wishing you all a glorious winter...oh come on now, no groans...it's a spectacular time of the year for roaring fires, fabulous food, cosying up and wearing winter boots...not that I have anywhere to go in them. Anyway, embrace the season, get baking, get reading, get rugged up and cosy.  Fx

If you're bored and need something to listen to or just accompany you around the house doing chores, or even out walking the dog, look for my podcast on iTunes or Spotify called Fiona McIntosh Unscripted.  I did this essentially to stay in touch with anyone who was feeling lonely or worried during our isolation time but it seems a lot of you have been enjoying the topics and I'm now getting requests so I'm happy to keep going.

So far I've got the sound right and all that mixing but not sure about this next one so just turn up the volume.

The latest is about Perfume...loving it and writing about it.  I hope to have this available next week for you. I'll give a prod on Facebook.

Oh and if you listen to it and enjoy...want the name of that perfume reviewer I mentioned, her name is Victoria and the link is: https://boisdejasmin.com/

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