Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Christmas Childhood Memories with Kate Blackadder

I’m delighted to welcome writing colleague and fellow Scot Kate Blackadder to the Reading and Writing blog today. I’ve long enjoyed Kate’s lovely short stories in women’s magazines over the years, as well as a couple of her serials. Now it’s a special pleasure that her debut novel, Stella’s Christmas Wish, is now published by Black and White in Edinburgh.

Kate is sharing some Christmas memories with us but first let me introduce her heart-warming novel. You can catch her other posts on the blog tour below.



Stella’s Christmas Wish

Six days before Christmas, Stella must rush home to Scotland when her grandmother is taken to hospital. As she reconnects with her past, old flames are rekindled, and as Christmas fast approaches, Stella begins to wonder if her most heartfelt wish can come true?

Uprooted from her life in London and back in her childhood home of the Scottish borders, Stella is soon faced with relationships which have lain dormant for years. New opportunities present themselves, but will Stella dare to take them...

Stella’s Christmas Wish is set in Edinburgh and the Borders and is published as an e-book by Black and White Publishing at 99p - click on the book title to buy!

Thanks for sharing these delightful memories, Kate!

When Christmas trees were tall … five childhood memories

1) A budding writer from an early age (although it took me rather a long time to get past the budding stage), one year I asked for a typewriter. I’m sure my disappointment showed – sorry, Mum – when I realised that instead of a keyboard it had a dial that you set to a letter before hitting a button. It would have taken months to write a list for Santa, never mind the stories that filled my head.

2) We lived on a large country estate and every year there was a Christmas party for the employees’ children in the village hall. We played The Farmer’s in his Den, In and Out the Dusty Bluebells – all the old, well-loved games. But don’t let it be said that the Swinging Sixties didn’t reach the north of Scotland – there was also a Twist competition (with Chubby Checker on the record player) and I won!

3) Family friends and relatives soon realised that they needn’t ask my mum what I would like for Christmas – the answer was always books. It’s lovely to still have hardback copies of Little Women, What Katy Did and lots more, with inscriptions from some of my favourite people.

4) My dad had Canadian relatives and two of them, unmarried women, worked in Eatons, a department store in Vancouver. There was my sister and brother and myself and around a dozen cousins on that side of the family, and these lovely ladies bought and sent carefully chosen Christmas presents to all of us. The Eatons’ packaging and the contents seemed so glamorous but it’s the cousins’ thoughtfulness I appreciate now.

5) One afternoon in the Christmas holidays my mum had asked another family round – three children and their mother. As usual, Mum made a huge amount of savouries and cakes and after we’d finished scoffing she cleared the large load of kept-for-visitors-china through to the kitchen and she and the other mother settled down for a chat by the sitting-room fire, telling us to go and play.

Well, the older girl in the other family was, it has to be said, a Miss Goody-Two-Shoes. No hide-and-seek or Ludo for her. No. Her idea of ‘playing’ was that we should give our mothers a nice surprise by – doing the washing up. And we – all six of us under the age of ten – went along with it. My mother was certainly surprised …

Thank you for having me on your blog, Rosemary. I hope all your Christmas wishes come true.

And yours, thanks Kate! I really enjoyed Stella's Christmas Wish

About Kate Blackadder

Kate lives in Edinburgh and has had around fifty short stories published and three magazine serials (two now on Kindle). Stella’s Christmas Wish is her first full-length novel.

You can connect with Kate on her Blog and Facebook and  on twitter as @k_blackadder

15 comments:

Kate Blackadder said...

Thank you for hosting me, Rosemary.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

It's a pleasure, Kate!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

Mary Smith tried to leave the following comment but couldn't get it to take! 'I enjoyed Kate’s memories – especially the typewriter one. I shared her disappointment when Santa brought me one!' Mary

Kate Blackadder said...

Luckily it didn't stop us, Mary!

Anne Stenhouse said...

Kate, I loved your memories. Will you be giving us your Chubby Checker routine at EWC's Christmas Party? I could get someone to find the music... Anne Stenhouse

Patsy said...

The 'playing' at washing up made me smile.

Rae Cowie said...

I love ALL your Christmas memories, Kate but the one that made me laugh was the Christmas party games. The Farmers in the Den is just so sexist - and then there was Spin the Plate, which was tame in comparison to Postman's Knock! My girlfriends used to debate for months who they'd like to snog in the cupboard of the church hall - and all this canoodling took place when we were a mere 8 or 9 years old, at the Sunday School Christmas party! - different times!

Teresa Ashby said...

Thank you for a lovely post, Kate and Rosemary. I love your memories, Kate. Stella's Christmas Wish is next on my reading list and I'll be starting it soon - I've been saving it for Christmas!

Rosemary Gemmell said...

They're great, aren't they, Anne!

I can just imagine how Kate felt about that washing up, Patsy!

Brought back similar memories for me too, Rae!

I'm sure you'll enjoy it, Teresa!

Nicola said...

What a lovely post. Congratulations Kate, what a fantastic achievement and what a way to end the year. Wishing you lots of success with Stella's Wish. The premise sounds intriguing and I adore the cover. Thank you for hosting Rosemary! Happy December to you both.

Kate Blackadder said...

Anne - thank you for your kind offer but I don't think I'll reprise the Twist on Monday!

Kate Blackadder said...

Patsy - thank you. It's a miracle nothing got broken!

Kate Blackadder said...

Rae - you'll have to write about those Sunday School parties! My last PF serial was about a female farm manager and her employer was female too - I've tried to rewrite the game!

Kate Blackadder said...

Thank you, Teresa - I do hope you enjoy it.

Kate Blackadder said...

Thank you, Nicola - yes, a lovely end to the year.