Saturday, September 14, 2019

Christina Hollis: September—New Starts, Old Friends

I love a quiet life. Writing lets me lead one. When you spend your days in front of a keyboard, the rest of the world passes you by—most of the time.  

My wedding bouquet
Everything changes in September!

For me, this month is on a par with December. There's something going on all the time. Much as I enjoy living like a recluse, there's too much going on over these thirty days to sit at home.

For a start, the birthdays of both my husband and his sister fall this month. When we got engaged, my then soon-to-be husband wanted to marry in September. "That way I'll never forget our anniversary," he said—and he never has.  My sister's wedding anniversary is a few days before us, so there's no excuse for forgetting that, either!

The Society of Authors has a small but lively local group which meets in the next county. I attended a meeting only last week.  I'm also a keen member of the Romantic Novelists' Association. Their local chapter has unmissable meetings too, so I've been to their September session as well. 

I also love cake!
A few years ago, the York chapter of the RNA hit on the great idea of hosting a formal afternoon tea  for people who live in the North of England and Scotland. It isn't always easy for them to make the London meetings of the association. York is much closer for them.  

York's a long way from me, involving a long car journey to the nearest station before a three-hour train journey, but my daughter is very fond of that historic city. She did some of her training as an archaeologist there so three years ago I booked us a weekend break there. She showed me round, and I took her to the York tea. A day's sightseeing followed by cake and fancy sandwiches in great company was a fantastic experience. The RNA tea is now an annual fixture in my diary. 

September is back to school time, of course. In my case it's back to university. I'm half-way through my Masters in Creative and Critical Writing at the University of Gloucestershire (you can find out more about that here) and I can't wait to get back to it after the long summer break. I've already been researching some ideas to incorporate in my final modules.
Find out more at
After working on my book, Struggle and Suffrage in Bristol, I've become interested in the way the simplest advances in technology have made huge changes in the lives of working people. I've taken out an annual pass for the Dean Forest Heritage Museum, and will be visiting it as often as possible to help with my research. The museum and its archive are stuffed with interesting items and books. They even have a miner's house on the site, decorated and stocked  exactly as it would have been in the late nineteenth century—complete with china chamber pots under each bed!

The final thing written in my diary this month is the talk I'm giving to the Bristol and Avon Family History Society.  I met several members at the Bristol city archive while I was researching Struggle and Suffrage in Bristol. They were very helpful, and friendly. Now I've been invited to their family history fair, and I can't wait!

Have you got anything exciting lined up for the last days of summer? 

Christina Hollis's first non-fiction book, Struggle and Suffrage in Bristol is published by Pen and Sword Books. You can find out more about that here, catch up with her at, on Twitter, Facebook, and see a full list of her published books at

1 comment:

dstoutholcomb said...

I'm going to an author event tomorrow.