Sunday, 23 December 2012

Christmas books

Books are small and (mostly) inexpensive pleasures that transport you to amazing worlds, that make you think, help you learn and many will be books for keeps. They're also some of the easiest presents to wrap and some of the best presents that I've received. Add a small box of chocolates and most readers will be delighted. Readers do seem to prefer it if you keep it simple and look at their wish list or shelves for obvious collectible gaps. On receipt of the present they may also be planning their disappearance to a quiet corner with a good reading light at the earliest possible opportunity.

All my Christmas shopping, if not wrapping, is done and I can enjoy Christmas Eve tomorrow in peace. I can also make a start on some of the books I've bought this year with the intention of reading. I never quite seem to have the time to do all the reading I'd like. This may sound odd, but do believe me that publishers don't spend all their time reading novels.

Cornelia Funke's Ghost Knight. I've loved her work since The Thief Lord was recommended to me, so a new novel is something to look forward to.

Joanne Harris. Peaches for Monsieur le Cure. Again, a favourite author and I've started this one, but other deadlines got in the way rather and I haven't quite finished. That's not to say I haven't enjoyed what I've read so far.

Clara and Mr Tiffany. The story of one of Tiffany's female glass designers by Susan Vreeland. The cover is beautiful and the story sounds fascinating. I remember reading some sort of factual article about the history of the women in Tiffany's workshop - they worked as a separate department and one woman seemed to have creative control reporting to Tiffany himself. 

Heavenly Pleasures by Kerry Greenwood. Having read every Phryne Fisher that I could get my hands on, I thought it was time to move to a series about a baker. The extracts on her website were all tempting and I chose at random.

For anyone hoping for one of my titles for Christmas, I hope you're pleased. Plenty of husbands and boyfriends have been buying from me this month so you may well have dropped enough hints or given him a list. Anyone disappointed that the hints didn't work, well, I close the shop over bank holidays, but will be posting at any other time.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Festive bookshopping

I've been doing a fair amount of Christmas shopping in bookshops. Books are so easy to wrap and all the lovely signed books come out at this time of the year. I'm fairly omnivorous when it comes to reading material, so browse secondhand, indie and chain bookshops with equal pleasure. Well, mostly. There are, though, some points that make visiting a shop a pleasure or an endurance. Naming no names here...

My feelings are that a bookshop should:

1. Have wide aisles that you can browse in without feeling that you're about to knock a book off the shelf or bump into another customer.

2. Not have signs saying 'no pushchairs in aisles' or 'do not sit in aisles'. Surely, something along the lines of 'be considerate to fellow browsers' would be better?

3. Clear signs and floor-plans. So basic, I know, but keep it fairly constant and don't take the opportunity to re-do your internal layout every three months. Customers won't take the opportunity to look round the shop, they'll get fed up and make a swift move to the exit.

4. Friendly and knowledgeable staff. Someone who can tell me that Paul Torday wrote Salmon Fishing in the Yemen because I could only remember 'T' and they answered without a pause.

5. Remove the damaged stock from the main floor and keep replenishing shelves with new deliveries. The last thing I want is to skirt round your stock that's been so carefully stacked up against the shelves and is on the floor waiting to be damaged or see shelves so stuffed full that removing a book is a struggle.

What about anyone else?

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Quick update

It's always a busy couple of weeks when a book comes out and I spend rather too much time in the Post Office queue for my own comfort. My local branch is huge and I'm even being recognised now. Still, the good thing about this is that Candy Nevill's selling terribly well as is Lintie. She's a good cold weather book and you want to settle down with a plate of scones and a mug of tea.

Most recent orders appear to be Christmas presents. Well, most of my customers are women, so when I see a number of men buying my books I suspect they've been given lists or hints. They're also the only ones who ask if I can wrap it before posting. Yes, if I have Christmas paper about. Yes, I charge a bit extra.

The next thing on my list is to investigate the list of 'possibles' that people email me and I'm very pleased to hear from people with suggestions for future titles. It's more common than I ever expected and nice in a friendly sort of way. Sometimes I don't even get an email with a title and author, just a plot summary, so Stump the Bookseller has come in incredibly useful in narrowing down my searches. I'll need to find a copy of Veronica Westlake's The Intruders before I take things further and see what I think of it. I can see that it's a rare pony book, but that may not mean that it's sellable as a reprint. We shall see. I was never really a reader of pony books, so I just don't know. Then again, I understand that there's a country house tale in there too. Comments, as always, welcome.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Title 4 - Candy Nevill

On a weekend that's cold, wet and not exactly cheerful, I'm pleased to say that Candy Nevill has arrived. The novel is a wonderful comfort read and full of recipes, a strawberry farm, friends, family and sheer enjoyment of life. Wonderful graphic designer even managed to fit a single strawberry on the spine to tie in the themes of baking and strawberries. I'm really pleased with this novel - not least because I did want to find an unpublished novel as well as reprinting rare or forgotten books and this novel is now in print for the first time. There's also a preview chapter on the website, so I hope you enjoy it.

Cover image courtesy of Getty Images.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Candy Nevill - end November arrival

I'll begin with some really good news on a cold and damp day. Candy Nevill, my fourth title, is set to arrive at the end of this month (c. 30 November) and I'm really looking forward to posting out the pre-ordered copies. Republishing rare and interesting work keeps me happy and in business, but it's slightly more special to have found an unpublished manuscript and put it together. I feel relieved and grateful and ready to stuff padded envelopes. I've done my last duty and approved the cover proof. I'm really pleased with it - the novel's about cakes, strawberries and other edible delights, so a glossy picture of a triple-layered cake with strawberries sitting proudly on an elegant cake stand has really worked. The wonderful graphic designer's even managed to fit a single strawberry at the bottom of the spine for additional title identity.

One day, I'll frame up my cover proofs rather than leaving them neatly in a folder. I love the A3 prints that I'm sent and am keeping them safely for the time being. I don't have anywhere to hang them just for the moment, though I don't want them to go for recycling. They represent far too much work and decision-making for that!

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Future of publishing

Another day, another 'the dire future of publishing' report in the media. I suspect it's connected with the 'buy an e-reader or a tablet' debate that's starting just in time for shopping for Christmas. Well, that and the Penguin/Random House story. The BBCs latest even had 'Once upon a time there were books' as a beginning of a radio report, though I can't find a link to it just at this moment. Bonus points to these if they tell the story about the birth of Penguin paperbacks again or hark back to the days of the net book agreement and this is something I can only vaguely remember.

Business models in publishing are changing, but it's harder to tell exactly how this affects authors, readers, publishers and the number of titles offered. It's not as though any high street bookshop has empty space on the shelves. I'd need to be able to read contracts with authors (new and established) to see exactly how the print and digital book are visualised in the next few years in terms of developing lists. Will a publisher want to develop a print list in parallel with a digital list or concentrate on one form over another? More significantly, how are publishers and imprints to develop? Yes, Penguin and Random House are discussing a merger, but when hasn't a UK-based publisher (or should that be 'publisher with a UK presence'?) been the subject of takeover rumours, if not formal negotiations. At the other end of the scale, it's never been easier to put a book together and tiny, niche market publishers, like me, are able to thrive.

Online shopping is now so normal that it's surprising if a company doesn't offer it. Foyles and Waterstone's also offer websites that are a pleasure to use. It's certainly true that Amazon flourishes while many other bookshops have failed, but secondhand bookshops (online or not) do have some success. Others will say that Oxfam have taken over the sector and forced many dealers out, though I see a few towns with secondhand bookshops and Oxfam secondhand bookshops. The dealers I've spoken to say that Oxfam's arrival has forced them to specialise and ended some of their lower price sales, but are pleased that customers tend to browse and buy in both locations.

I suppose I'm most concerned about the future of the printed book. Some genres (romance is doing particularly well) lend themselves to e-readers. Plenty of friends swear by their magazine subscriptions and virtual bookshelves read on their tablets. I prefer to be able to turn the pages myself, though Project Gutenberg is a fantastic tool for trying out books you may go on and buy. If a distinction between e-book and print books continues in terms of price and format, it may also mean that the print book is seen as more of a work of art than a more simple story or that means that book design and quality will improve, then I can only support it. There's only so many times that I'm willing to buy a paperback that looks as if it's been thrown together. You all know the type - spelling mistakes because they've relied on OCR capture, tiny margins, soft paper and a less-than-attractive cover.

For the future, mergers between publishers seem likely. Will lists contract? Possibly. I'd need to do some more research across the genres as much of the debate seems applicable to fiction, though educational publishing and larger-sized books seem to have a secure future as 'presents' and 'reference'.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Title 4: Candy Nevill

I've reached Title 4. I have to say that I never quite expected to reach this point - this is realism, not modesty. In order for a business to continue, you have to make a profit on each title, so to be able to reach four titles since 2010 is a dream come true for me.

In addition to her school and family stories, Clare Mallory also wrote Candy Nevill, though this was unpublished in her lifetime. I'm able to publish it now thanks to the help and support of Clare Mallory's family and the Alexander Turnbull Library. There are twelve generous chapters stuffed with the pleasures of being with friends, reading, baking cakes and cooking sweets. 

Some people have a gift for cooking and Candy Nevill is lucky enough to be one of those people. Unfortunately, she’s also the slowest and youngest member of a family of academic high-flyers who don’t always value light scones or delicious suppers when compared to captaining sports teams or achieving the highest marks.

Candida Nevill, known to the family as Candy, is an ordinary schoolgirl with a habit of daydreaming and coming a very distant fourth to her three successful and confident elder siblings. Candy is content to drift through her schooldays, not even playing team games, and it’s only the start of cooking lessons that show that she can be successful too.

Candy Nevill is due for publication in late November, early December. Advance orders are very welcome via the website.

Sunday, 7 October 2012


Books furnish a room, are something to put on the shelf (spines in rainbow order or not, as you choose), or are stacked neatly in alphabetical order or by Dewey Decimal system. Or, like mine, shelved reasonably neatly wherever I have space with what I want to read regularly close at hand. 

My work involves short-run print publishing in an increasingly digital age. People think I'm doing the equivalent of running a vinyl record press. That may well be true - the only certainty is the number of works on 'digitisation' and 'the death of print medium' will rise. Are paper books to become (again) the preserve of the rich? Or will the rise in e-books persuade print publishers to adapt? Turning the physical pages may yet become obsolete, but a drag of a finger, the idea of turning pages is retained on the even-more expensive ipad? The trade seems a mass of contradictions at present. The one constant is that readers continue to read in a variety of formats.

It's almost a contradiction in itself, but the advances in short-run printing are what allow tiny presses like mine to operate. To stand out from the paperback market, I use a slightly heavier weight of paper - it isn't as soft as that used in many paperbacks, so my books are more durable. The margins are wide so that it's possible to open the book to read without breaking the spine in three places and risking pages becoming unglued from the spine. I'm generous with spacing between the lines too which allows you to read and not see lines of print blur.

My books are, in fact, designed to be read more than once because I think that re-reading is one of life's pleasures. Most of us know some books so well that we almost don't need the texts, but remembering and seeing new tiny details is part of the pleasure. Then again, there's also the pleasure of opening a new book and finding a new favourite.

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Kitchens and baking and comfort

Nobody seems to expect thrilling things to happen in kitchens, and yet, when you think of it, they are the places where turkeys are roasted, and apple jelly made, and birthday cakes iced and decorated with pink scrolls and silver balls; and that’s all exciting, especially if it’s Christmas time, or you are the one with the birthday.  (The Two Linties, p 1).

On a day when most of England is covered by a heavy and endless raincloud, I thought I’d think of nicer things than the cold and damp that have brought summer to a sudden end. Baking and a well-equipped kitchen are two very good reasons to stay indoors and keep warm. Cake sliced and eaten warm from the oven tastes just as good as the scrapings from the mixing bowl. Lintie Oliver might not have been a natural cook, but she knew that you can find the start of your adventure in the kitchen and she develops as a writer because she discovers the existence of a childrens’ page in the local newspaper.

Better cooks are to be found at the sugar-scented Cake and Bake Show this weekend and I can safely say that I’m not one of them. It’s enough to make you feel quite insecure as you admire confections that are every Elinor M. Brent-Dyer adjective of luscious and delectable. Some are simply breathtakingly, technically incredible. Plenty of people passed me, slightly sticky from the rosewater and raspberry or passion fruit marshmallows. Others were nibbling from the huge slabs of brownies. There was far too much choice and the massed crowds inside Earls Court made it overwhelming. However, it was a day trip far outside my comfort zone and I’m very pleased that I went. 

Back inside my comfort zone is a gentle vintage novel called The Sugar and Spice. It’s by Mollie Chappell and she’s moved to England instead of her usual Rhodesia. It’s a novel about a family looking after a teashop for the summer and making all sorts of improvements to the shop and a small country town keen to attract appreciative tourists. From tales of strawberry shortcake, to gingersnaps to catering for society parties, this novel shows that you make friends when you arrive bearing cakes. Do read this one if you like vintage novels or cooking as it’s not hard to get a copy and they’re usually around £10.00. Even better, you usually find a pretty dustwrapper like the one pictured.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Leaflet - for Kindle novels

I've just seen a flyer from a local author who's doing his own marketing for a new novel. The A5 grey and black leaflet is something of a contrast between the high-tech Kindle platform (where he's selling the novel) and the low-tech marketing wheeze of shoving leaflets through the letter-box in the area. Personally, I wish him well and hope that it leads to a spike in sales. It's also a polite way of advertising as the e-book format means that he can't advertise in local bookshops. Well, I doubt any will advertise a rival platform for him and it doesn't seem to be available in traditional page-turning format, only in touch screen format. I suspect we're in that interesting 'in between' stage where technology and tradition are finding ways to work together, even if it does seem a bit odd.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

A Traveller in Time


Looking away from a spreadsheet for a moment, no, I don't spend all my time reading possible new books. I also spend rather a lot of time looking at new ways to afford new projects based on sales figures of X, Y and Z. Possible scenarios now saved, I'll have another look at that stack of books that's almost too large to be called my 'to be read' pile. I'm also happy to admit that the shelves are looking better since I removed the not-quite-wanted thirds from 'three-for-two' offers that Waterstone's has thankfully withdrawn. Shall we say double-shelved instead of 'double-shelved with horizontal stacking wherever I could make room'?

I'd been saving this little find inside a secondhand book for a blog post, but today's discover of a perfectly-pressed small spider in the margins of a new-to-me book brought the subject to the forefront of my mind. I suppose it's lucky that I'm not scared of spiders and just brushed it out into the bin with a tissue. I'll add that there was no damage to the book or staining which will be a relief to the book collectors.

More interesting was this little inset from a book fair. The writing is very hard to read and I only really recognise that someone has written down A Traveller in Time. This was a childhood favourite that I read to pieces. My copy survived (in three sections) as I couldn't bear to part with it. Though I did just as soon as I could find a hardback and more sturdy replacement. Puffin paperbacks are wonderful, though the glue just wears out over time. I think it was the first historical novel that I read and it certainly inspired a life-long interest in history, especially Tudor and Stuart history as well as visiting country houses. It was also one of the first and best examples of timeslip stories that I'd come across. Penelope goes to stay with relatives who live on a farm once lived in by the Babington family and becomes involved in the plot to free Mary Queen of Scots. It's a perfect introduction to more grown-up novels with plenty of chapters, information about herbs, country fairs, sugar and cooking that have stayed with me. I don't know how else I would have learned about moulding marchpane or what to look for in a herb garden.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

The rights of the reader and other vague thoughts

I feel as though I’m coming up for air between complicated contract negotiations for future titles and an awful lot of fiddly administration today with the added temptation of ordering new books. I’ve also been investigating new authors that have been requested and recommended. I'd be happy to hear of more if you're kind enough to tell me about a favourite forgotten author. More news about future titles as I can send it on. Preferably when the ink is dry on the contracts.

As for reading, I don't seem to have managed to finish much. I've relied on old favourites like Jane of Lantern Hill and Ruth Elwin Harris, though I intend to buy Cora Harrison's latest teenage country house story Debutantes as a reward for finishing the paperwork as the sample chapter drew me in, even with the 'You'll like this if you like Downton' sticker that's getting a bit ubiquitous. Now that I don't need to write essays on books I follow Daniel Pennac's The Rights of the Reader:

1. The right not to read
2. The right to skip
3. The right not to finish a book
4. The right to read it again
5. The right to read anything
6. The right to mistake a book for real life
7. The right to read anywhere
8. The right to dip in
9. The right to read out loud
10. The right to be quiet.

I suspect that most readers would agree with the above - my own pet hate is being interrupted with either 'What are you reading?' or 'Are you enjoying that?' I might not always enjoy a book, exactly, but I may appreciate the subject, the structure or the author. I also feel that there's nothing wrong with putting a book aside and taking it up again after you've had a change of mood.

Finally, the last box of The Two Linties was opened today and I’ll be posting her to a new set of homes later this afternoon.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Design and content

It’s probably the sign of being open-minded or magpie-minded that I’ll consider all sources for inspiration for my books. I don't see why an idea used, for example, in a cookery book, might not transfer to fiction. Overall though, I want them to look beautiful and stand up to reading and re-reading. I do hope that these are books that will be read more than once. Some readers will want to keep their copy pristine in a suitable library plastic cover, but others will read it one-handed standing on the tube, so the book needs to be tough enough to strap-hang on the commute. Or get rained on while being carried in a bag. There’s no real point in transporting a book in a padded envelope after it has been delivered after all.

I’m finding that I’m reading for sources and ideas for design and layout just as much as I’m reading for pleasure. You find yourself looking up fonts used in various novels or posters and sometimes there’s a short entry about it all at the back of the book. Usually not, so you hunt down a good typography blogger and envy their eye and steady hand at calligraphy for guidance or a history lesson. Then you look more critically at the layout – yes, my books might be ordinary fiction, but it’s so important for them to be a pleasure to read. That, to me, means wide margins and space between the lines of text running neatly down the page. I prefer not to be forced to crack the spine just to turn the page or squint at the text which is small, packed together or hyphenated chaotically. Actually, I prefer not to see hypens at all unless the spacing will be unequal if you don’t have them, though there does need to be a balance between squashing words into a line and having lines with four or five words extended along them. I have mixed feelings about headers, especially in fiction. Does anyone really forget what novel they’re reading and need to turn the book round and check the cover? It’s essential in academic publishing, especially when you’re reading for an essay or similar and need to note the reference for the bibliography, but not quite so much when reading for pleasure. I’ve started adding simple chapter headings to the books if the chapter has a title. If it’s a simple matter of ‘Chapter Three’ following ‘Chapter Two’, then surely the reader can cope?

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Wall to wall sport

I'm trying to steel my nerves to watch Murray and Federer battle for the Olympic gold medal in the tennis and so pleased to see that Murray has taken an early lead. I'm also trying to contain my anger that there are still seats free at both the gymnastics and the tennis that I haven't been able to purchase for the last year. I've barely read a book all week, though I've been error-checking Title Four as well as watching the Olympic cycling, sailing, showjumping, tennis and gymnastics. Much of my time is spent turning away to the computer screen to make a change and then being distracted by cheering on the television. It appears that I don't even have a suitable sporting vintage novel in my collection to reread: I was never a fan of pony books - lots of competitions, medals and rosettes there, but I only seem to have Noel Streatfeild's Tennis Shoes. I even skim over the netball, cricket and hockey matches in most girls' own fiction, so have a collection that reflects my own interests in music, cooking, crafting and the like. That said, I also skimmed the interminable descriptions of Chalet School Sales!

Saturday, 28 July 2012

A Friend for Frances - P.M. Warner

I'm quietly taking some time away from the relentless (and wonderful) Olympic coverage, but there's only so much sport that a resolutely unsporty person can watch. I could, of course, read a girls' own novel about a sports star, but I'm trying to work back through unread purchases and see what I think of them. Closest to hand was A Friend for Frances (c. 1950s). P.M. Warner's A Friend for Frances was picked up in the local charity shop a while ago. I did think about posting a photograph, but it's a battered, blue boarded Seagull edition without the dustwrapper, so not exactly photogenic. Now, the magic words of 'Collins Seagull' encouraged me to take it home with me and give it a try. This Collins Seagulls usually have good dustwrappers and a certain charm about them. The plain blue boards don't, so you have to hope for a good story.

Frances is clever, but poor, so almost prevented from taking up her place at the High School because of the associated costs of uniform and equipment. She's also a farmer's daughter and able to earn a little money looking after the hens. Frances is nice and rather shy - interested in flowers and a good friend if slightly shambolic about getting up in the morning and scruffy around the edges until her elder sister persuades her that smart dresses and a good haircut improve her confidence. The book seems to be about her efforts to join a school trip to Holland to look at the bulb fields and her growing friendship with Deborah - a newcomer to the village. So far, hopeful.

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Vintage and Modern

Still reading, but not finishing the books I've started. Not that the books aren't gripping, more that I'm tired and in intense editing mode. That said, Joanne Harris's Peaches for Monsieur le Cure and Veronica Henry's The Long Weekend are keeping me happy. I always have at least one book on the go for the very simple reason that you feel like reading different books at different times. Two modern books are contrasted with a vintage book borrowed from a like-minded friend's collection. It didn't look like much on the shelf with a worn cloth binding, bit on the grubby side and no clear title visible. However, any book collector knows that's when you find treasures and so it's proving. Just look at these endpapers - 1930s girls on the lawn of their school sprawling around and reading on lush grass under shady trees.

I'm reading Theodora DuBois's Diana's Feathers and enjoying it so far. It seems to be an American boarding school story published in 1935. I know nothing more about it and may do a little more research when I finish. I've got through a lecture from an understanding headmistress, chaos caused by boisterous dog and the formation of a secret society already. It looks to contain all the standard elements of girls' own fiction and I'm waiting to see where the knitting comes in. That was the picture on the front board that I found attractive. You don't often see a heroine knitting.

Right - back to work and to see if any more orders have come in. I hope so.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Pictures at an Exhibition - Camilla Macpherson

Today’s a welcome day for any bookseller, retailer or publisher as it’s the weekend after payday and there’s always a reassuring rise in sales around this weekend. A large heap of padded envelopes stuffed with books waits for me to walk up to the post office tomorrow. I’d go to the post box now, only it’s raining and the post won’t be collected until tomorrow in any case.

I’ve also read a wonderful book this week and wanted to blog about it and recommend it to all friends, online and offline. I borrowed this from the library, but will buy my own copy just as soon as Waterstone’s reopens on Monday. Pictures at an Exhibition attracted me simply because of its title – I love Mussorgsky – and the cover showing the National Gallery in flattering morning light. It’s one of those split-time tales, so shared between a contemporary marriage in crisis and a series of letters written by one cousin to another during the Second World War discussing the single pictures brought back to the National Gallery for display during 1942. I don’t know much about Camilla Macpherson other than the blurb and her beautiful website, but am very impressed by her first novel and eager to read more by her. This is a book that attracts just as much on the second reading as details of the Tower of London moat being filled in and used to grow sprouts as mention of the delicious cakes in the Peyton and Byrne cafĂ©, never mind a plot that draws you in and holds you there. 

Have a read of an extract and just be drawn in to this fantastic story.

I've got myself a new project, to cheer myself up a bit, and that’s really why I’m writing. It has absolutely nothing to do with the war effort – and thank heaven, that’s what I say. We're completely starved of art in London these days. Anything decent was stashed away by the authorities years ago, and I suppose one can’t blame them. It’s one thing for civilians to get themselves killed but quite another for the nation’s treasures to be blown to smithereens. Still, there’s been a lot of muttering about it recently – letters to The Times no less! – because everyone is simply longing for something to take their minds off this war madness (it’s not just me) and it doesn’t seem fair any more to hide all the good stuff away. We haven’t had a really bad raid in London for months and months. What’s been decided is that the National Gallery is going to dust off one masterpiece each month, put it on display, and allow us masses to trail in front of it. It’s meant to be good for morale (like everything else). Well, to hell with morale, I just want to see something that isn’t brown, khaki or camouflage green.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Certain sense of achievement


Spread the word – I’m a publisher with three titles to my list! You hope, but you can’t always quite believe, that you’ll manage it while in the middle of negotiations with everybody and doing all the project-management from typesetting to cover image sourcing. I’ve been lucky to work with some very talented artists and designers and brought out three distinctly different novels. It did cross my mind to publish a very plain wrapper and use lettering instead of artwork, but preferred to develop different covers for each novel and reflect their own characters. 

It’s been a week or so without much time for reflection as I’ve concentrated on packing and posting a massive advance and new order list for The Two Linties. If you’re not familiar with Lintie, may I recommend someone who finds that interesting things happen in kitchens, even if you’re not a natural cook?