It's happened to all of us - that oh-so-unlikely way a single word or idea will suddenly just start cropping up all over the place. Usually a word or idea we'd never heard of before. Here's my most recent - the word ...
Yup. A few weeks ago, I'd never heard of it. But now ...
It started with a post on my own blog "What colour were Queen Victoria's eyes?" I'm just starting to spend lots of time in the Victorian period for a new series of books I'm writing for Catnip and I was realising that I might not know as much as I thought I did. Like, for example, the colour of Queen Victoria's eyes, which were blue, whereas I'd always thought they were brown. Like raisins. (Well, blame black and white photography, is what I say!)
THEN I did a school visit at a wonderful country 2-class school - Arbirlot Primary - and had a fabulous time. The kids and teachers were great and a whole swathe of parents showed up as well - I was thoroughly impressed with the place. It was also SUCH A TREAT going somewhere where they'd actually prepared beforehand!!!!! (Schools out there - you have no idea how relatively easy it is to make your visiting author love you forever - we're very easily swayed by a kind word , especially if the kind word is part of a sentence such as, "We've been reading your books and think they're really good" ...) I digress. When I was selling books at the end I was handed a glossy booklet titled Hospitalfield - Patrick Allan-Fraser and His Art Collection. In the midst of carrying on 7 conversations at the same time and trying very hard not to write the word banana while signing (I can never remember who did this - "To Banana - Hope you enjoy my book" because somebody behind her was offering somebody else a banana ...) ANYWAY, it turned out that one of the children and their parents had read my blog about Queen Victoria and thought the book might be helpful AND they used to live there! (If I got all that right.)
It IS helpful and I hope to visit Hospitalfield on one of their Open Days. It also seems to be the artists' equivalent of Hawthornden House, about which I was burbling not so long ago! But it ALSO houses Jazz Concerts - and here the spooky bit comes in (finally, I hear you say!) - I was reading Alexander McCall Smith's The World According to Bertie. In it, Bertie and his father Stuart are planning a get-away from Bertie's mother (I have to skim the chapters she's in, I really do) to hear a jazz concert in ...
"Arbroath?" said Stuart. "Is there jazz up there?"
Big Lou rounded on him. "What do you mean, is there jazz up there? Of course there's jazz in Arbroath."
"Hospitalfield, actually," said Alan.
Will they actually go? I won't know till I finish the book. Is the word Hospitalfield going to crop up again in my life? Well, I'll let you know ... And will you now start seeing the word as well? Ooooo.