Approaching Printing...and British Herbs

I am approaching the final stages in publication. I've seen the inside layout of the book, and I've seen the almost-last drafts of the cover. The closer it gets, the more I realize I've actually done it: I've written a book and it's getting published. I can't imagine what it will be like to hold the thing in my hands. I suppose it will be fairly surreal for a bit, until I've lived with it for a while. Meantime, I'll be dropping the last payment off at the office later next week, and we'll begin discussion promotional venues - which probably includes me meeting and talking to people, strange people. Now, no offense to the strange people, I just haven't met you before, so try not to scare me. In a way I am looking forward to it, not only because it's my book and I want to see it distributed to the world (who wouldn't?) but because of the challenge.

Meanwhile, while my wheels grind about on Valentia, I've been turning botanist. Not a botanist in the strictest sense, but I've been studying British plants, mainly herbs and fruit trees, and I think that counts as botany. I have W. Keble Martin's excellent The Concise British Flora in Colour, my own little notebook in which to scribble down my findings, and the wide world of the net to scour. So far the venture as been thoroughly enjoyable. I think horehound, particularly black horehound, is the runner-up for the most interesting. It seems it can be used to cure just about anything, including the things you don't discuss in polite company. Crab apple must be my favourite, because that's what Mother and Daddy planted for me when I was born - and it can be a lovely, hardy tree - and chicory must sport the loveliest flowers I have seen so far. Britian is quite a fascinating isle.

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