I've been on my holidays. Well, just a little break to be honest -- something I promised myself the minute the last book was finished. For just a few days, we packed a lot in. Since we were taking the Eurostar to Brussels, we stayed overnight with the darling daughter whose wedding was such a delight last year. She and her best beloved are expecting their first baby in January and so there was a lot to talk about and celebrate.
A taxi picked us up at 6 the next morning and sped us towards St Pancras where we snatched a cup of coffee, before we were being whisked away at high speed towards the continent. I love the Eurostar and would never catch a plane if I had a choice.
Connections were all perfectly timed and we were met at our destination, Dordrecht in Holland, by the first born. He hates having his picture taken (don't we all!) but here is Bob, # 3 in the dog hierarchy. (The other are Kaes, Flynn and Milo but Bob is the poser -- appearing in a dog food advertisement went to his head!)
Dordrecht is the oldest city in Holland, is surrounded by water and has wonderfully picturesque old harbours, streets and buildings. The old State House actually has a canal running beneath it. We came across this quiet little street and I would just love to live in one of those houses. The big building on the left is a school.
This is the Grand Kerk which has a lovely carillion of bells that plays every quarter. We sat in an open air cafe by the harbour on our first evening, watching yachts coming and going through a lift bridge and felt utterly European in a way you never can in the UK.
And what about this for a chimney?
On Saturday we went to the market, which is amazing. Not as crazy as the ones in Italy but all beautifully ordered in that totally Dutch way.
Fruit, flowers, vegetables and fish to make a woman drool, but since we were in Holland I thought you'd want to see the cheese.
(And yes, of course we bought some -- a very old, smokey Gouda if you must know!)
We took the waterbus into Rotterdam, a high speed trip along the Maas, and then, because honestly the feet were worn out, we took another boat trip around the port, which is huge. There was a warehouse just for orange concentrate from Brazil. (It was orange...) and there were some of the amazing buildings for which Rotterdam is famed.
I'll gloss over the return journey. European trains tend to be in a class of their own, but a fire in a tunnel involved going backwards to go forwards and no one seemed to have a clue what was happening. We made our check in at Schipol but then missed our early boarding call. But we made it.
If you haven't checked the comments on the last blog, my thanks to everyone who offered "hero" names for the book I've just started. I did settle on Adam Gilchrist, then the dh reminded me that he's a Australian cricketer, which explains why is sounded so absolutely perfect. He's now Adam Wavell (his heroine is Emily -- Millie -- Coleridge), but I now have a lovely file full of names to call on for the future. Michele L and Robyn1 won books from the backlist (who could resist Horatio!) and I'll be getting them into the post asap.
Chapter Six of Wild Justice is now online here Fizz thinks she's found a way to avoid Luke Devlin's financial hold over her. Oh, dear...
Last, but not least, don't forget that Harlequin Romance authors now have their own blog here at eHarlequin, where series writers will be sharing their writing lives with readers two or three times a week. You should not miss Fiona Harper as "Barbara Cartland"!