The Postman rang twice…
Yesterday, a bleak, grim winter’s day, when the sun forgot its way and the cloud sulked low to the hills, and my husband and I brewed a winter virus, the postman rang twice.
The first time, he left a pile of my favourite catalogues in the mail box. So that was nice – settled Dog from his frenetic ‘anti-postman’s bike’ mood, made a cup of tea and opened the catalogues.
But then the bike came pelting back into the driveway again, Dog went into protective overdrive as the postman ran up the steps, thumped a parcel onto the doormat, ran down said steps, jumped on the bike and accelerated away. Dog was noisy and confused. Twice? Huh?
I retrieved the parcel from the doormat and was intrigued to see it was addressed to me, but I knew I had bought nothing on e-bay. Even more exciting, the stamp was Republique Francaise. Oh la la!
I opened to find something that was such clever gift-giving. Mon Dieu!
My researcher in Lyon, good friend Brian Cobb and his wife, Yveline, had sent me a hand-tooled leather journal with vellum pages.
The stitched binding is a variation on a side-binding and for someone like me, who appreciates bookbinding, artist’s books and handmade books, this is perfection.
But what was even more exciting was the note attached. Read it and you will see…
As I read the note, it made the hairs stand on my neck, as though I was reading a message from someone in the twelfth century. It made me wish there was more of Guillaume’s story to tell. Suffice to say, that Michael Sarapion (about whom the third book in The Triptych Chronicle trilogy is written), will be returning to Lyon with a rather surprising cargo from Constantinople. And in the future, that cargo may lead to another series of which part or all may indeed be set in Lyon.
And it may just be that the story will be written in the first instance on the vellum pages of that journal. As Brian said to me, ‘Don’t worry about the perfect hand, or scratching out mistakes. It makes it all the more interesting.’
I’ll give it a go, but I have to say that on my writing plan, that won’t be till perhaps 2019. Frightening thought! Perhaps I shall use the beautiful journal for something spectacular way before then!
I love the letter, but the proof reader in me (who refuses to lie down) spotted an errant apostrophe. We all make mistakes, n’est ce pas?
Clive, I love that my Lyonnais researcher has captured Guillaume’s voice so perfectly and that he spoke from the twelfth century so well. Like I say, I had goosebumps on my neck. Besides Guillaume could barely speak English so I doubt apostrophes mattered to a former Angevin archer from the Third Crusade.
What a wonderful present, its beautiful, and yes goodbumps too <3
So perfect for the kind of person I am, Libby. Brian understands me well. He researched all my information above and beyond the call of duty. He speaks French with such fluency, having been a resident of Lyon for many years and had wonderful contacts with all sorts of historic archives. He also researched a 12th century Templar Commandery for one of my Gisborne Saga books. He and his wife, Yveline, went to the property (at the time privately owned) and were taken on a tour which he videoed and sent to me. It was a pivotal part of that book.
oohh err….. meant goosebumps 😉