I am sick. And getting more ill every moment, which doesn't bode well for the next 24 hours, in which time I must
-- wrap presents
-- clean the house enough so that the catsitter doesn't gag when she walks around
-- post various things in the traditional red box sense
-- drive down to the Bega Valley for the start of the Official Christmas Season.
The bin beside my computer is overflowing with snotty tissues, my head is thumping, and my eyes are watering so much I can hardly see the keybort. Behind me prowl two suspicious cats (they know that when we clean we're either going away or receiving guests, or both), a coughing boy (just behind me in viral descent), and a barely-recovered Best Beloved brandishing something toxic to clean the bathroom. It's a case of everyone pitching in, with the cats leaping on each other to provide comic relief. So I'm guessing that this will probably be my last pre-holiday post.
But I won't go without sharing a sneak preview of my first Ampersand Duck book:
The endpapers. I've used the offcuts of the page paper to make the endpapers, and because they're too narrow, I've also used offcuts of the cover paper that has been run through the rollers of the press after printing the cover, giving them a lovely pale metallic green sheen. It looks great.
The title page view.
Usually I'd photoshop these to make them float on the computer screen, etc etc but I'm too poorly. You'll have to wait for a glimpse of the rest of the pages until I'm better too. I've bound 6 copies so far, and they've gone to those who were involved in the project, and now I just have to hope that the school has no other disasters over the holidays so that I can bind the rest when I get back.
Today I gave a copy to Jan Brown, the artist whose drawings are on and through the book. Jan is 84 and pulls no punches. She opened the package and stared at the book, stony-faced. She gazed at the cover, front and back. She opened the back, and worked through the pages from back to front, and then from front to back again. Then she looked at me and said 'It's totally different to what I expected'.
'Different GOOD, or different BAD?', I said, with heart in mouth. All the way through the process of this book, I'd make design decisions based on what Jan would like. She was my inner voice on this trip.
'Good different. It's wonderful,' she said, and gave me an approving smile, and at that moment my holiday started. Except for the being sick and the list above, I'd be floating on a sea of champagne right now. HUZZAR [coughs, sniffles, weakly waves hands in air].
I may get a chance to post from various locations over the next week, but no promises. So have a great Christmas, all of you.