2013 is already getting away from me. But I have no reading plans, which is lucky, since I've read almost nothing except Georgette Heyer books since the end of November. They're comfort reads, end-of-year-can't-face-anything-new reads, travel reads... Travel. That's what else I've been doing - 10 days in China and Hong Kong over Christmas.
Terracotta Warriors, Xi'an.
Amazing, aren't they? (And in the news again.) China was BRILLIANT. I know pretty much zero about her history and culture, and it was actually quite refreshing to be in that position where one is forced to be open to everything. Of course, as my sister has lived in Beijing for a dozen years or so, we were very well looked after and not overly exposed to any of the things that I'm not so keen on (squat toilets, for instance!). It also snowed a little, which was a Christmas treat. (We then returned to Adelaide where it was a 45 degree inferno. Bah.)
Ginger cats at the Great Wall, Mutianyu
I have added Marina Warner's The Dragon Empress (Life and Times of Tz'u-hsi, 1835-1908, Empress Dowager of China) to my TBR.
Empress Cixi was quite a piece of work - I think my favourite story is how she blew the naval budget on a massive (and immovable) stone barge for the Summer Palace.
Cixi's 'clear and peaceful boat, Summer Palace. Beijing
But, as I say, almost nothing else has been read until recently except Georgette Heyer. Her books are witty, charming and full of lovely little historical tidbits. If I have any aims in 2013, let this be the one: no more contemporary insults for me! It's going to be Heyer-isms all the way. I've made myself a little list...
- bear-garden jaw
- behaved like a smidge
- brandy-faced, cork-brained
- bum squabbled
- caper-witted creature
- chuckfarthing fellow
- confirmed sapskull
- cribbage-faced tooth-drawer
- damned mincing puppy-dog
- damned scattergood
- dashed shabrag
- elbow-crooker… reeks of spirits
- flat-sided screw
- Friday-faced creature
- gigantic hobbledehoy
- gin-swilling, cross-eyed numskull
- lily-livered… miserable man-milliner
- old muckworm
- old shagbag
- pure popinjay
- regular gabble-grinder
- regular slow-top
- sadly shatterbrained
- simpering, inching macaroni merchant
- slibberslabber here-and-thereian
- Stubble it, you old rumstick!
- such a shuttlehead
- trifle cucumberish
- vile and an abominable young thatchgallows
- young sauce-box