I woke early this morning – just before 5 – and couldn’t get back to sleep. So after a while I got up, made myself a cup of tea and went back to bed, where I sat up and read a cookbook. Very soothing. After about an hour of that, I got up and meditated for 10 minutes (my plan is to work up to 20 or even 30, but I’m stuck on 10 for now) and then I watered the garden in the cool early quiet. The cockies and parrots who’ve been so noisy and destructive were either not up yet or busy elsewhere; the cheeping and peeping and occasional song from the small birds was a gentle accompaniment. Next I tidied the dining table which had been heaped with junk and washed last night’s dishes. I’ve just finished breakfast. Everything around me is now calm and neat and orderly. Breathe, Susan, I tell myself. Breathe.

Because for the rest of the day I know I will barely catch my breath. It’s the maddest, busiest day of the year in the bookshop. For hours at a stretch, I will be a machine – gift wrapping, scanning and using the point-of-sale computer or Eftpos machine, issuing book vouchers, searching for books. It’s exhausting but great fun, and absolutely wonderful to see all those books flying out the door.

Lost in the Christmas rush was a nice little statistic. Our shop sold its 500th copy of The Truth About Verity Sparks on 17th December. Next year I will bake a Verity cake and celebrate. But right now I am preparing for a day of happy retail madness.

Merry Christmas! Happy Reading! And all the best for 2015.


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