Title: Conditional Love Author: Cathy Bramley Published: 5th November Publisher: Corgi
Those of you that know Cathy's wonderful books will know that Conditional Love was her first self published book back in 2013 (around the time I started blogging!). Since then she I was delighted to find out that she had landed a publishing deal with the lovely people at Transworld and has since published Ivy Lane,Appleby Farm and the full length Wickham Hall is due out in January 2016. I am therefore delighted to be on her Blog Tour for Conditional Love with Cathy sharing her Five Favourite Things about Christmas- she is a woman after my own heart on this.
Don't forget to follow along with the blog tour below for other great posts, reviews and extracts.
My Five Favourite Things About Christmas
I was chuffed to bits when I was asked to write about my favourite things about Christmas because it gives me a legitimate excuse to think about it and it’s only November! I love Christmas and am happy to start getting Christmassy from the 1st December. (Just like Sophie in Conditional Love!). Picking only five things is a bit tricky, but after a discussion with my daughter, Isabel, who has had a Christmas countdown on her phone since August, I’ve come up with the following:
I’m talking throughout the city, in shops, in the suburbs and especially in my village. There’s something magical about the way in which, over a period of weeks, more and more of my little world becomes lit up with Christmas lights as the big day approaches
The Christmas Tree
We always have a fresh tree which means we can’t put it too to far in advance or we’d be left with a tree skeleton by Christmas Eve. This year we’re planning to buy our tree from Doddington Hall in Lincolnshire, which is only about 30 miles from where we live. This is the stately home I used as my setting for Wickham Hall and when I went last year to do my research I saw that they grow their own Christmas trees on the estate and sell them throughout December. I love the idea that this year we’ll have a ‘Wickham Hall’ tree!
This might be a little bit whimsical, but I can’t help feeling that there’s magic in the air around Christmas time. It was such an exciting time when my children were small, going to visit Father Christmas, appearing in the nativity at school and although the events have changed, we still enjoy making the most of as many events as possible in the run up to Christmas to get us in the spirit of things.
Family is at the heart of Christmas for me. I have no desire to swan off somewhere exotic for the holiday and celebrate Christmas on a beach. We don’t live close to our family so throughout the year visits are short and rushed. Christmas is the one time we can have relatives to stay for a bit longer, or go and visit them instead.
I adore Christmas morning: waking up leisurely, tiptoeing downstairs to see the pile of presents under the tree, popping the kettle on (and often the turkey in!). It’s tradition in our family that the children can open their stockings before breakfast and wait for the rest of their presents until later when we’re all dressed and fed. We have bucks fizz, mulled wine, croissants, chocolate… anything goes on Christmas morning!
Writing this has definitely put me in the Christmas mood, I’m off to raid the Quality Street…!