It’s still January and so I think I am just about still in time to wish everybody a wonderful, joyful and book-filled 2013. Feliz aninovo, Feliz año nuevo and Happy New Year!
This has been a quiet space for the last few months as I’ve been getting used to a new job and a new rhythm of life as a long-distance (well, middle-distance) commuter. As many of you will know, in September last year I left Liverpool after eight years to join the brand new Department of Hispanic Studies at the University of Warwick. I’m still Liverpool-based at the moment and will be at least until the summer, and so while it’s been an exciting few months, it has also involved a great deal of travelling up and down the West Coast Main Line. I am proud (not to mention a little concerned) to say that I can now not only identify the different models of train run by the different operators, but I actually have favourites. Yikes.
2013 is set to continue in the same vein, with all kinds of exciting plans and possibilities, and, yes, lots more trains. I don’t make New Year’s resolutions any more, but if I did, they would definitely include more reading, more writing, and much, much more cooking. And on that front …
This year, for the first time, I celebrated Epiphany, Spanish-style, by baking a Roscón de Reyes or King Cake, from this recipe by Lavender and Lovage. It was and is delicious, although it looks a bit sad, since much of the fruit fell off as the brioche swelled during baking (don’t worry, it all went to a good home). I decided against adding the traditional plastic baby Jesus, largely because I knew I would be the only person eating the Roscón, and also, am not sure how well baby Jesus freezes.
*fights off urge to go down to freezer and defrost one of the Roscón quarters*
As I settle into 2013, you’ll be hearing more about my progress on The Edwardians and the Making of a Modern Spanish Obsession, which is my primary writing project for the year, and about the shorter, related book I’m currently finishing up on Edwardian tourists in the Galician spa town of Mondariz, which, all being well, will be published in the spring.
And more Anglo-Spanish Edwardians will be coming this way very soon – starting with an update on the entrepreneuse and publicist Miss Rachel Challice, and continuing with more of the elusive, eccentric, and totally enchanting characters I’ve come across during my work on this project, such as Albert Frederick Calvert, Helen Hester Colvill, Ida Farnell, Major Martin Hume, Annette Budgett Meakin, Mariana Monteiro, and the Del Riego Losada family of Leon and London…