Sunday, April 14, 2019

Christina Hollis: Quick as a Flash!

Pic by Ipicgr via Pixabay
That's how fast the past six months have gone. I'm already well into my second semester at the University of Gloucestershire, yet as recently as last July becoming a mature student was the last thing on my mind.  I picked up a prospectus when I took my son to the university's open day I am, studying for my Master's in Critical and Creative Writing!

Over the past twenty-six weeks I've read what feels like a million books, analysed the living daylights out of the pastoral tradition, developed the idea for a novel about coercive control, and written the first ten thousand words of a non-fiction project on the changing role of women in the countryside. Oh, and I'm also part of the editorial team putting together the university's 2019 collection of new writing. 

Friday12th April was the end of term. I spent the first day of my Easter break recovering! A lie-in until six am, then dog-walking, gardening, and eating. That's my idea of the perfect holiday. Today I'm blogging, then next Sunday I'll be taking part  in the village's Easter Service.  

We're not going away at all for the holiday, but compared to many of the women I wrote about in my most recent book, Struggle and Suffrage In Bristol I don't have anything to complain about.
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In August 1886, social campaigner Mary Clifford wrote of a workhouse treat she organized to the seaside.* A poor one-eyed girl who had been found a position as servant in a lodging house fifteen years earlier was allowed to accompany her old friends on the trip. The annual workhouse treat to the seaside was the sole outing she had all year. As well as putting her helpless mistress to bed each night, she was looking after another old lady of ninety-two and waiting on other lodgers in the house. This poor servant made the most of every minute of her day at the seaside. She gathered a long black tail of seaweed, filled her pocket-handkerchief with pebbles as a souvenir to take back for her mistress, and spent her holiday money on a bunch of country flowers. 

It makes you realise how lucky we are these days, doesn’t it? 

As well as non-fiction, Christina Hollis writes contemporary fiction starring complex men and independent women. She has written more than twenty novels, sold nearly three million books, and her work has been translated into twenty different languages. When she isn’t writing, Christina is cooking, walking her dog, or gardening.

You can catch up with her at, on TwitterFacebook, and see a full list of her published books at

*Williams, Gwen Mary, Mary Clifford Bristol, 1921 Arrowsmith books.


dstoutholcomb said...

it sure does.


Christina Hollis said...

Have a lovely week, Denise!