Coming up soon is the annual easter egg hunt. In recent years it has been in darkest Drongan, where Tractor Jim intended to make his retiral base though retirement never comes. At first it was interesting for having moved in the autumn they knew not what would grow in the spring and hiding places for little chocolate eggs and bunnies were new to hiders and searching urchins alike. The party grows for the grandchildren numbers show few signs of reaching an end. But I don’t think we’ve buried the eggs in snow drifts before, though at least the chocolate won’t melt, at least until clasped tightly in grubby little paws.
So it’s that time of the year; the one where I refuse to spend a fortune on cardboard and plastic packaging; and when the house will be filled with chocolate anyway after the trip to Drongan. Now The Urchins were reminding me of a promised bookshop trip, dragging me there kicking and screaming, knowing now that easter means a new book instead. And so it was that we came back with more Horrid Henry and some girlie animal tales whose title, author even, I can’t remember. For my role is solely to provide. So I sneaked in a little one for myself, you may be surprised to learn.
There’s some exciting stuff building up on The Bedside Table right now. Soon I’ll tell you of Scorpion Soup, a work of art in so many ways it draws a smile just to see it there, a warm glow like a big bowl of porridge. And Syria too, not the ravaged land of today, but a vsist a couple of decades ago and the promised magical words of Robert Tewdwr Moss, a new one on me, who was murdered the day he finished his manuscript. I’m looking forward to that one.
But first though I’m going to indulge myself in dragons. When Robin Hobb’s Blood of Dragons arrived recently I was quickly told, Elder Urchin I think it was, that there would be 13 Hobbs on the shelf. And this is the last in the series.
But she didn’t know there were three more, the first trilogy, in paperback, hidden away elsewhere. The last time I saw them in first edition hardback it was the price of a dragon’s egg that was being sought. One day though, for the shelf is not complete without them, and The Farseer Trilogy, where Hobbs first hinted at dragons and liveships, needs read again.
But for now, for the 13th and last time (one of Hobb’s trilogies in the midst of all these dragons and magics and assassins was another subject entirely, but no less enchanting), I’m going to spend a few days immersed in another world. And I’m going to enjoy every word of it. A bit of escapism does no one any harm from time to time.
The end of a series is always a mix of emotions. The last of Stephen Donaldson’s Chronicles is due later, after about 30 years of white gold; and William Horwood’s Hyddenworld should reach a promised end in the Winter. Long nights, head torches, red eyes – can’t wait. But it’s dragons first.